Category Archives: Literature

It’s Been Real – #YourTurnChallenge Day 7

Day 7: What are you taking with you from this Challenge?

I take with me a renewed encouragement to step into the light

I take with me the habit of shipping

I take with me the effect of the power of a virtual tribe and the power of accountability and discipline

I take with me a  mental awakening

I take with me a confident acknowledgement of the fact that ‘It’s my turn’

It’s been real

Thanks to the ‘Your Turn’ tribe – @SethGodinBlog and @winniekao for doing this.

P. S – It’s 2 days to my birthday and I will be releasing a single from my upcoming album ‘Organically Singing’ , pre~orders available on my website at http://www.tosinger.com/music-store, stop by and check on it 😉 Thank you.

Love, Peace and Beautiful Music to pull your heartstrings.

Beautifully Dreaming…. Positively Doing

Tosinger

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Dare To Be Daring – #YourTurnChallenge Day 6

This is Day 6  of the #YourTurnChallenge, an initiative to practice the art of shipping by writing one blog post every day for a week.

As a child I stuck my finger in fire

Just to know how ‘hot’ heat is

Broke open a living, breathing snail

Just to see what goes on inside, within

I’m the cat that curiosity never killed

The lioness that ate more than meat

The thirst for adventure will continue for life

I’ll dare to venture from time to time

Crossing boundary lines of creativity

Breaking rules like Picasso’s artistry

I’ll dare to be different in my chosen ways

Some restrictions may not allow it again and again

But I’ll do what I can with what I have

Until it’s time to throw caution to the wind

And skydive off the edge of a very high cliff 🙂

 

Beautifully Dreaming… Positively Doing

Tosinger

In Need of A Tribe? – #YourTurnChallenge Day 5

This 7 day #YourTurnChallenge is not so difficult after all. Got my brain a -working, and my fingers a -typing. The motivation is there because of the virtual ‘tribe’ out there who are also participating. It calls for some level of accountability from each person.  But what happens at the end of the 7 days and you get stuck on your own? Today’s (Day 5) blog post prompt question is “What advice would you give for getting unstuck?”. Beyond stepping away from the screens, inhaling nature or shifting one’s mental alignment, how about forming or getting in a ‘tribe’ for support, for accountability, for encouragement, for that needed push.

  “Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us”  Book  by Seth Godin defines a tribe:

A tribe is any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea. For millions of years, humans have joined tribes, be they religious, ethnic, political, or even musical (think of the Deadheads). It’s our nature. Now the Internet has eliminated the barriers of geography, cost, and time. All those blogs and social networking sites are helping existing tribes get bigger and enabling new tribes to be born—groups of ten or ten million who care about a political campaign, or a new way to fight global warming.

Due to financial limitations or repeated disappointments from people, I have found myself learning a few self taught skills and DIY~ing that cuts costs considerably. They do come out right, looking ‘pro’, thankfully. But one can get burnt out sometimes and be a Jack/Jane of all trade and master/missus of none. So sometimes it’s good to ask for help when stuck, if you know where to find the help that is, from fellow like minded people, mentors or leaders who are willing, and they will only be willing if they are ‘your tribe’. A tribe.  A team.  A mature clique. Or should we use that word ‘network’ (which I blogged about on my Day 4 post) Actually, I believe a tribe is more specific and intimate than a network, a tribe can be carved out of your network. When you know others in your ‘clan’ are really interested in you and what you do, are forward thinkers, never give-up’ers, of like mind, positively motivated you have no choice but to be hardworking and progressive as well. Didn’t they say “show me your friend and I’ll tell you who you are”, didn’t they also say “birds of the same feather flock together”. 

Tribes are at our fingertips in these days of social media – facebook groups, meetup.com, instagram followership, twitter, pinterest. Who you follow, what you see, quotes/blogs you read, music you listen to, can get you unstuck at moments you lack inspiration. These are all ‘virtual tribe’ platforms even if you don’t know each other, or may never even meet on ground till heaven comes and the earth disappears. So if you want to be unstuck, who is in your tribe, do you have one?

Beautifully Dreaming… Positively Doing

Tosinger

When Network Does Not Equate Networth – #YourTurnChallenge Day 4

Day 4: Something you do well. #YourTurnChallenge

As I write this, I just finished making an introduction. All it takes for me is the click of a button, a few good words and an email introduction and good vibes start to roll, and sometimes to my ignorance, they bankroll too. All done out of goodwill, based on established reputations. Mr John is in your network, so is Mr Doe,  you’ve known them for eons, albeit on platonic levels, even say in business circles, but neither Mr John or Doe added any worth or value to you or vice versa (financially speaking) for one reason or the other but you introduce them to each other and they are the better for it. That, right there, is a good example of when network absolutely did not even add a dime to your net worth. They say your network is your net worth, so why would one have a seemingly high network and be as broke as a church rat.  What is going wrong with what is being done well. Is something not right somewhere? Are the right people in the network? Is the network not being used well to one’s advantage maybe? It’s one thing to know people, on the other hand, is knowing them relevant to your life, progress, business, career, future?.

Networking. Not a big deal. I connect.  I introduce albeit online/social media. In business, ‘they’ call it PR/Branding.  And that’s what it is when it is structured. When it is informal and unstructured, it is ‘Word of Mouth’ which is said to be the most effective and traditional mode of ‘marketing’, but which unfortunately is the most ‘less monetized’, you can’t trace the chain of who initially said what to who, you can’t track gains and losses, words are like eggs, once broken, it spills.

Guard your influence/your network

“You’ve got a great fanbase/ following, please help me share this link” No Sir, No Ma’am. My value statement and beliefs are important. It’s more like I love this content and I think it will benefit whoever reads this/listens to this within my network/target audience. What is worth sharing is worth sharing well. Quality is key.  I share what I believe is worth sharing not what friends or random persons cajole me to share, if it doesn’t even resonate with my business values, it will not be a paid for PR/Branding service.

You read in some notable influencers’ Twitter bios – “Tweets are not endorsements”, these are disclaimers that are necessary to be communicated, just in case for example, an unsuspecting individual connects with a tweet subject (just because Ms XYZ tweeted about it) and their business deal goes sour.  So yes, sometimes, network does not equate to net worth. People may have made millions on your tab, you made it happen yes and that’s about it. There is consolation in the fact that – “Give and it shall come back to you in other ways not necessarily monetarily, goodwill shared is a seed that will always bring a good harvest, pass it on, the God who sees in private rewards publicly, karma has its ways, universe bounces back good energy”..so many sayings to compensate for when network does not equate to net worth. Even the bible says:

James 4:17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin

So if not why not, if you know Sallie Mae needs to meet John Doe to make magic happen, go ahead and make that intro, they’ll thank the day you were born.  Guard, but yet be selfless with your network and expect your emotional/spiritual assets to grow significantly.  Or better still, revamp your network to see the financial growth you need. Right? Wisdom is the principal thing. Comments anyone?.

Beautifully Dreaming… Positively Doing..

Tosinger

State Of The Onion – #YourTurnChallenge Day 3

 

Day 3 #YourTurnChallenge is centered around – “Tell us about something that you think should be improved”. I know a lot of people will have loads of suggestions for improvement with regards to  POTUS’s SOTU address from last night. I’d like to switch things around and not go there, why not start with the state of mind of every individual. The man/woman makes the home, the homes make the community, the community makes the town/city, the town/city makes the state, the state makes the nation which in turn chooses the man/woman that leads her. It’s a cycle. So let’s deal with the nitty gritties of the state of individuals’ onions. Do your onions make you cry? or do you know well enough to slice them under running water to avoid the tears? What is the state of your onion? Are they all good or rotting in the vegetable rack? Here is a story I’d like to share about the onion that made my eyes water.

Let’s call her Ms Angel. She crossed my path today. A little precious Caucasian boy calls out to her “Mom”!. She looks at me and answers the question I did not ask.  She tells me the story of her 3 adopted children, all under 10. You see, Ms Angel has a Caribbean accent, she must have been originally from Jamaica maybe. 2 of the 3 of the kids are of a different race, they were abandoned babies. The pretty little doll eyed 2 year old’s name is “Miracle”. Miracle because she was birthed in a hospital restroom, abadoned and later discovered. Ms Angel adopted her and showers her with love. She is improving health wise and Ms Angel is grateful to God. I fast-forwarded my imagination and pictured them all grown, this Mom who saved them all, loving on Ms Angel like crazy and someone will tell them otherwise about color. No way! They are color blind with a clear vision of love. My eyes started welling up.  I said a prayer for them.The onion of this situation made me realize you cannot choose the circumstances of your birth, what you look like or your genetic formation. It also affirms that “love indeed conquers all”.  With a foundation of love in a home like this, the nation can be stronger. It is as you grow older that you start to make decisions that will determine what the next generation will be like. It’s time to choose wisely and make decisions that positively affect the next generation.

You have onions all around you. What do you make of them? Do you  let them make you cry and that’s it? or do you close your eyes and slice them under running water? Do you use them to cook or you let them rot away? What is the state of your onion? I will like to improve on the state of mine, I won’t just let them make me cry. I’ll make them useful.  I will do something.  Cook them. Stir fry them. Do something. Be the change I want to see.

Beautifully Dreaming…. Positively Doing..

Tosinger

 

Day 1: It’s My Turn To Sing … and Write – #YourTurnChallenge

Hello there. I am participating in the #YourTurnChallenge. I’m doing the #YourTurnChallenge starting today Jan 19 — 1 blog post every day for 7 days powered by Marketing Guru and BestSelling Author Seth Godin (who I’ve followed for a while) and curated by his project manager @winniekao. No regrets.

Why am I doing the ‘Your Turn Challenge’?

I’ve chosen to do this challenge because I  know that I need to stretch. What am I stretching? my mind, my state of mind, my abilities. My resilience. This challenge will definitely make me stretch, intellectually, mentally and even spiritually. It’s also good for where I am creatively at the moment. The #YourTurn challenge came at a very good time when I was  hitting a roadblock with the whole blogging thing. As a blogger, my first post of 2015 was delayed until Jan 14, that does not sit well in the blogosphere which depends on frequency of content. And when I eventually posted, it was audio visuals – videos, photos and musical expressions; something I usually do when I have no words to describe my state of mind or when I am just absolutely speechless on a situation. The situation in this case being the massacre of about a reported 2,000 or so of my Nigerian people by the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram, coming at a very politically sensitive time. But will my keeping mute help? No. It’s time and it’s my turn to write. It’s my turn to speak up, put pen to paper, write, sing, address issues, be the change I want to see.

Thanks to my subscription to Seth Godin’s blog and grateful that he stepped out to write his book  ‘Your Turn’ ;  I would have missed this life changing opportunity. Life changing? Yes! because if I say I am a Writer (albeit a very underground and succinct one) Why does the momentum to write (express) fluctuate like the waves of the sea?. So it is very life changing to get a wake up call to rise up to the occasion and conquer fears of contradictory mental voices of one’s adeptness.

Frustration number 1,  is anyone out there? The readers, “where they at doe?” . My blog was the best place I could express my writings on topics/subjects I am passionate about – the Arts, Africa and the diaspora, hoping someone out there is reading.  Being a writer of brevity, the blogosphere was a space I could express my interests without being judged (per se) on the specificity of content or the length of it  (Side note – Seth Godin’s blog made feel OK about the latter part).  However, I thought twice about the challenge. What if my post was too short, what if I hit another roadblock? but I breathed a sigh of relief, there was no word limit, and there were question guides. Phew! Good. It’s a challenge but it’s a pleasure.

My body of writing work includes but have not been limited to a few random, seasonal,  freelance copy-writing work for brands here and there, ghostwriting, academic work and a short poetry blog which has not been recently updated. I have made absolutely no attempts to write a novel and my short stories/poetry has not made it into any anthologies. I waded in the waters of the writing space, but never really took a dive.  But wait.  I do sing.  And I am known for that. Oh yes, my songwriting  – writing lyrics to music is a great strength of mine and singing is my thing, more than a thing; it’s my calling. I do it well and I am well received doing it. So that exactly is  what’s my turn to do. It’s my turn to sing and write more. Generations have come and gone, they did their part, they left their footprints. Now It’s my turn.

What is it that it’s your turn to do? Is it your turn to _________? ( see below, an excerpt from Seth Godin’s book)

Ship.

Speak up.

Stand out.

Build a following.

Market a product.

Make a connection.

Solve an interesting problem.

Write, sing, invent, create, ask a

question, launch a project, organize a protest,

open the door for someone, question authority,

make a short film, direct, produce, create, or adopt.

Learn a new skill.

Help someone who needs you.

Be missed if you’re gone.

Your Turn to make a ruckus

How will I be missed  when I’m gone..? What is my legacy? Well, I have my songs and my writings, I’ll love to keep copy-writing for other brands for income,  express my poetic side and write more short poems and of course continue to mark my footprints on the blogosphere. How about you?

Can I? Will I? Sure. I’m up to the challenge. A mini step to the bigger steps. And this is why I am doing the #YourTurnChallenge. Thanks Mr Godin.

 

 

Beautifully Dreaming…Positively Doing..

Tosinger

Writers, Africa, African Diaspora : Submission Opportunity – Havard’s Transition

Sharing this literary submission opportunity with any relevant and interested parties.

This a reblog via Hutchin’s Center

Transition Submission Manager

Born in Africa and bred in the diaspora, Transition is a unique forum for the freshest, most compelling, most curious ideas about race. Since its founding in Uganda in 1961, the magazine has kept apace of the rapid transformation of the black world and has remained a leading forum of intellectual debate. Now, in an age that demands ceaseless improvisation, we aim to be both an anchor of deep reflection on black life and a map charting new routes through the globalized world. Transition is a publication of the Hutchins Center at Harvard University, published three times annually by Indiana University Press.  Alejandro de la Fuente is the Editor.

Transition aims to speak to the broader intelligentsia and the educated lay public through jargon-free, readable prose that provides both insight and pleasure.

We accept submissions year-round on a rolling basis.  We generally respond to all submissions within four months.  Due to volume, we are unable to provide updates on the status of submissions unless more than four months have passed.

Transition publishes writing by and about Africa and the African diaspora, with an eye towards a global perspective.  Please familiarize yourself with our Archive and read a recent issue to gain a sense of both the content and style that we seek.

General Submission Guidelines

View Style Guide

  • Transition does accept simultaneous submissions.  Please notify us immediately if you need to withdraw a piece because it has been accepted elsewhere.
  • Transition does not accept multiple submissions within a four-month period.  Within a season, an author may submit one packet of 5-7 poems, 1 short story, 1 essay, or 1 interview.  Multiple submissions will result in all submissions being rejected.
  • Transition now only accepts electronic submissions through Submittable.  Submissions sent by physical mail will be recycled unread.
  • Expect to revise.  With the exception of poetry, Transition almost never publishes work in the form it was originally submitted.  Authors of work under consideration may receive editorial feedback and requests to revise prior to final acceptance.
  • All submissions should include a brief cover letter that includes a short author bio.
  • For all submissions, please include the following information in your cover letter and in the top left corner of the first page of all documents:

Name
Email address
Title of the work
Word count (or page count, for poetry)

  • Pages should be numbered and include the author’s name on every page.
  • All text submissions must be in .doc, .docx, or .pdf file format.  Images may be submitted in .jpg, .tiff, .gif, or .png.
  • Use 12pt. Times New Roman font unless there is a stylistic reason to do otherwise.

Transition pays contributors with one print copy of the issue in which their work appears, and the opportunity to reach a broad, international audience. For more info visit – https://transition.submittable.com. Submit here and all the best….

Beautifully Dreaming…. Positively Doing

Tosinger

“When I am writing, I am trying to find out who I am.”

“Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God” – Maya Angelou
Rest in Peace Mama Maya..Your words remain a legacy..

Cole Haan “Maya Angelou (Director’s Cut)” from Ben Hughes on Vimeo.

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Phenomenal Woman

By Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Maya Angelou, “Phenomenal Woman” from And Still I Rise. Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou.

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The Daily Post

Maya Angelou by Spanglej, CC BY-SA 2.0.Maya Angelou by Spanglej, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.

Find a beautiful piece of art. If you fall in love with Van Gogh or Matisse or John Oliver Killens, or if you fall love with the music of Coltrane, the music of Aretha Franklin, or the music of Chopin — find some beautiful art and admire it, and realize that it was created by human beings just like you, no more human, no less.

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.

When I am writing, I am trying to find out who I am, who we are, what we’re capable of, how…

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HONOUR AMONG ALL – A Brief Review of A Novella by @VivianKayAuthor

I’ve never really picked up a publication that is tagged “Christian Fiction”; motivational, inspirational books? Yes, but not fiction. So I approached “Honour Among All – A Novella” cautiously and with skepticism. The fact that it’s a short story, a novella, helped too 🙂  but oh! was I impressed and impacted? Yes I was.  “Honour Among All by Vivian Kay” nicely puts together a great story line about the raw details  of everyday living among Christian believers. Topics that exist but are not out-rightly discussed among Christians or the average moralist for that matter. The story is real, deep, inspirational while breaking the walls of hypocrisy. After reading the novella, my thoughts were “This may be fiction, but these stuff happen out there, people (we all) are dealing with life issues and surely need God more than ever” I will not give it all out. Check on it. Here’s a synopsis:

After many years of happiness, Moni Badmus’s marriage is crumbling and she doesn’t know what to do. Desperate to save her home, she goes along with her husband’s suggestion on how to spice up their conventional sex life. Ladi Badmus gets exactly what he wants. But his thirst for excitement remains unsatiated. The couple find themselves drawn deep into a secret world until the risks they both embrace, exacts a steep price. In this emotionally charged tale of temptation, sacrifice and redemption, we see how love and faith erodes with promises not kept and how in the midst of man-made chaos, God’s compassion stands sure.

It’s available on Amazon Kindle here and it’s only $3.49, also available on Barnes & Noble Nook here  It’s worth the buy and highly recommended. Give a friend it might just save their relationship.


About the Author

Vivian Kay is a debut Christian author living in Canada’s banana belt. When she is not writing or daydreaming about writing, she’s cooking, playing scrabble or snuggling up with a good book.Penning Tales About Imperfect Characters Meeting A Perfect God http://viviankay.wordpress.com/

Honour Among All

Beautifully Dreaming… Positively Doing..

xoxo

Tosinger

P.S – Speaking of Christian Books, if you are in the US, stay tuned to watch Olu and Kay Taiwo discuss their new book – Vision Guided Life – on The Word Network “One on One with Damon Davis”  on April 20 (See graphic below, book Review coming soon on the blog)

AFRICA39 WRITERS LIST IS OUT!

What is the Africa39 Project?

The Africa39 Project is part of the series of events and programs celebrating Port Harcourt’s selection as UNESCO World Book Capital for 2014 .Port Harcourt City in Rivers State, Nigeria was conferred the status of UNESCO World Book Capital in 2014, the first African city south of the Sahara to have such a status.

Following a submission call December of last year by Binyavanga Wainaina, coordinator of the Africa39 Longlist; the Kenyan author was looking for 120 of the most promising fiction authors. And this month, Africa39 announces 39 of the most promising African writers of fiction under the age of 40.

 

The Africa39 Project is a partnership between the Hay Festival of Literature & the Arts Ltd., UK; and the Rainbow Book Club (Port Harcourt, Nigeria). The Africa39 Project aims to “discover adventurous young Africans who will redefine our literary ecosystem in the future”. Wainaina created a longlist that is at least 50% female, as well as one which provides for writers writing anonymously for safety reason and those who compose in Braille. Writers of all genres of prose fiction were encouraged to apply.

Africa39 is a Hay Festival and Rainbow Book Club Project which aims to select and celebrate 39 of the best African south of the Sahara writers under the age of 40. It will be launched at a festival in UNESCO’s World Book Capital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria, in October 2014.

Africa39 seeks to produce a possible snapshot of our shared African future. Some countries have a recent vibrant writing culture in African languages. The long-list panel is committed to reserving a minimum of 25 places in the long-list for writers under 40 who have written fiction in any African language.

The selection of the 39 writers is made using the following criteria:

• The writers are chosen by a panel of well-known judges
• The selected writers have to be under the age of 40 and to come from the region or diaspora
• The selected authors need to have at least one work of fiction published and potential for development
• Publishers, literary agents and critics from all over the world are consulted to create the longlist of authors

The judges selected from up to 200 submissions researched by Binyavanga Wainaina, founder of the Nairobi-based literary magazine Kwani?, and the writers names will be featured in Port Harcourt and at the London Book Fair in April 2014.

We have entered into this long-list making project with an openness to non-traditional ideas on what is “a published writer”, and are therefore open, even in this short time, to discover adventurous young Africans who will redefine our literary ecosystem in the future. – Africa39

Read more about the project here 

Congratulations to all who made the list which includes ADICHIE NGOZIE, Chimamanda; BABATUNDE Rotimi;  BREW-HAMMOND, Nana;  SHONEYIN, Lola; FOLARIN, Tope; SELASI Taiye among others, see full list here. Their entries will be published in the Africa 39 anthology.

Beautifully Dreaming… Positively Doing..

xoxo

Tosinger