This is a view from the window of a little hotel where myself and a few other colleagues are holding a workshop, and coming up with a draft for a pharmaceutical sector strategic plan for the next 5 or so years. Yawn inducing, I know, especially since it’s Saturday.
Attention spans are waning as you can see. I really don’t blame us. Yapping for hours on end about objectives, strategies and key performance indicators can have that effect. We take a tea/coffee break when this happens. Then we just keep going for seconds until the hotel staff relieve us by clearing the snack table, which is not pictured here for obvious reasons. We don’t want to look like a bunch of people that meet up to eat tons of food while pretending to get a little work done, um, just in case this obvious reason is not so obvious to you.
This work is a continuation of last weekend’s work, Friday to Sunday. Why weekends? Because it’s the time we set aside to do work that’s not really our day job. It’s work that needs doing, and we are members of the Pharmaceutical Society, so the onus falls upon us. The more interested members among us, that is. You may call it voluntary work.
A little background: pharmacy is not that well-developed in Uganda, so we set times as members of various committees on the afore-mentioned society , meet, decide what needs doing and improving, map a way forward, formulate regulations and bye-laws, compile our recommendations and send them to/meet policy makers. I like thinking of it as being a part of history-making, in some small way. A change-maker. Yeah, grandiose, that’s me.
This rooster keeps crowing. It’s nice background music to our work, I prefer it to the hum of the projector.
This post is prompted by a comment exchange with a blogger whose writing I like, but whose blog I rarely show up to her as I’m subscribed to her posts by email – that should redeem me, right? —> anneschilde.wordpress.com
Anyway, in answer to a question of mine, she expressed that she’s planning to publish her book as an e-book, but dreams about having it published traditionally. I headed out to find some quotes on ‘dreaming’, and truly, when do you take out the time to thank God and/or Tim Berners-Lee for the inter-webs? I came up with lots, and these left me feeling pretty inspired – and probably more accident prone.
“I dream. Sometimes I think that’s the only right thing to do.”
― Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart
“All (wo)men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”
― T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph
“Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.”
― Gloria Steinem
“Promise me you’ll never stop dreaming.”
― Melina Marchetta, Looking for Alibrandi
It’s probably pretty obvious by now that I live with my head in the clouds. I’m a dreamer. It’s the only way to be.
So, that glowing, orange, African sky I rave about in my header above? You do know it’s real, right? I’m not just speaking artistically. It is very real, and I don’t have to catch a plane to get it. I live in a most beautiful corner of the world.
This poor blog had recently gone the way of the dinosaur, so to speak. I found myself dropping by less and less frequently, and when I did, my visits were limited to the reader. I’ve finally diagnosed myself with a mild case of blogging ADD. I seem to always be on the look out for new things that pique my interest and take up all my time. Yes, I just may be the queen of procrastination, and what with all this social networking, there is always something to grab and hold onto your attention if you’ve got a mobile device and an Internet connection – and are willing. I’m guilty of being too willing, that’s my crime.
My latest interest is tours and travel. Continue reading »
We’ve all got some lovely (I hope) childhood memories of Christmas, and I think Mark Twain’s family had some of the loveliest. Here’s a letter of his, one I took from Letters of Note, a bank of lovely letters that you won’t want to stop reading once you start.
During Christmas in the 1870s, when he wasn’t sending horse-led sleighs piled high with food and toys to his less fortunate neighbours, the inimitable Mark Twain could usually be found at the family home with his wife and young children, often pretending to be Santa Claus. On Christmas morning of 1875, Twain’s 3-year-old daughter, Susie, awoke to find the following charming letter on her bed. Continue reading »
Note to all: This piece is written in humour, take it as such.
This is what happens when you spread your culture.
This poor fella in the video below is trying so hard to sound like the American ‘icons’ he’s watched. At over 7 million hits, I’m not sure i he feels he’s a success or even knows that so many are pitying him. Fortunately, some of us have been able to find comic relief in what could very well be a copy-cat disaster. It’s painful, pathetic and hilarious all at once. If you’re American, you might be moved to comment as one American commenter did, ‘… . My God, what have we done!’ Continue reading »
I spent most of my day today doing a whole lot of big cleaning. That’s what we called it back in primary boarding school, when our 10-year old selves were given big brushes and told to scrub all the dormitories and classrooms until they glowed. I had been putting off this very necessary big cleaning chez Kat for a while and it left me panting but was, as always, very rewarding. I love it when every corner of the house that catches my eye is spick and span.
In the evening I visited a friend with a 3-week old baby. The poor chap was colicky, so I went over to see if he’s any better, and to check on his mom, of course. Also, we’ve got a novel-swap thing going, kinda like a 2-person book club, so I was dropping off a few of my recent reads.
The last novel she loaned me was a Jackie Collins that she promised didn’t have the usual excess of sex scenes. Ha! I should have known better than to believe her. The last time I had read a Jackie Collins was back in secondary school, around Form 3, which was also my Mills & Boon phase. I had found Jackie Collins to be, well, a little over the top for me, then. So when Dee said she had a Jackie Collins I ought to read, I was hesitant. I’d sooner jump up for a detective or some other thriller. It’s more my cup of tea. When I told her when I had last read JC, we concluded that perhaps I had found it a bit much since we were a lot younger then.
Having read the JC, I reported back to Dee with a complaint. ‘You promised it wasn’t too sexual!’ Come on, she’s the queen of that genre what had I been expecting! Out of curiosity, does she write anything else? Anyway, Dee replied that she didn’t consider that too much sex. Ha, well. Different folks, different strokes, right?
Speaking of Mills & Boon, back in boarding school, there was an Inorganic Chemistry textbook we used in A’ level that had Mills & Boon written at the back in a relatively large red font, I guess they were the publisher. Unusual, huh? Well, I thought so too. It so happened that we had to share these particular textbooks as the school lib only had a limited number.
Preparing for a chemistry exam one morning, I happened to yell out across our Form 6′s only hostel that comprised both arts and science students, ‘Could someone please lend me her Mills & Boon?’
‘Listen to this crazy girl,’ responded one of the other girls. ‘Instead of studying for your exam you’re looking for a romance novel! You must be mad’
Ha-ha. She was obviously a non-chemistry student. She was also very amused to learn that there was a little chemistry textbook we referred to as Mills & Boon.
Now here’s a special something from my homeland, famously called the Pearl of Africa. It’s filmed by Ikena Azuike at WhatsUpAfrica, I’ve got no claims on it at all, simply very happy to share. Have a look. Unfortunately, the embed function is disabled on this one, so I hope you’ll find it.
Next is a lovely one from South Africa, Emlanjeni.
Dear Friends in NaNo,
As NaNo draws to a close, I’d like to simply say this. I will not be a NaNo winner. How does it feel to say those words out loud? It feels okay, actually.
My first novel writing experience went this way.
- I mapped out my novel, outlined the plot, described my characters, et cetera, et cetera. An iPad app called ‘A Novel Idea’ came in really handy. It’s the best tool I saw out there that could help a newbie like myself.
- I did my research. I loved this part. I was just short of taking a trip to where my novel is set. I get a rush just thinking about it.
- I even narrated the novel to a very willing and seemingly entertained listener, from start to close to end. I was that psyched about it all.
- Then I wrote. Ideas, scenes, more ideas more scenes. Fed them all into my A Novel Idea app, while updating my word count in another app called typepad. I was writing, finally. Yay!
But then I seemed to have a bit of an issue. Continue reading »
Yes, yes, I know you’ve heard – NaNo is upon us and all that – but you may not have seen or heard about this, trending right up there with Mitt, Barack, and the Prime Minister’s office: NaNoWriMo Openers.
What would the first line of your
draft epic novel sound like? How would/does it go?
Take a look at these, from Twitter. Be inspired/amused, and share your own, if you will. Among those is one of my own. No, not my actual opener, but something along the lines of what I’m working on.