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Hi Blogville Folks,

Compliments of the Season!

It’s been a while. And I know it. In less than 16 days from now, we’d be thanking God for seeing us through this year (2010) and taking into another year (2011). At the end of these past 12 months, like they do in ‘those Nollywood’ movies, we’d say “To God Be The Glory.” (By the way I recently read something funny on FairyGodSister’s blog about someone’s musing on that particular phrase. You gotta read that post for the full gist!)

Photo credit: lagosbusinesses.blogspot.com

Okay, back to this post, I intend to write randomly here as there are several things on my mind and I hope that this weekend gives me the privilege of finally writing them down. Earlier on in the year I wrote a rather blunt piece about ‘Fake Beggars in Lagos’ (I’m often the peacemaker trying to view issues from almost all angles, but I just had to write it that way!). It was first published on CP-Africa.com, then here on this blog. A writer for PM News quoted me in another piece he wrote. Then some weeks ago I read an article on YNaija.com where the author was on the rather calm side. Anyways, last Friday on my way from Opebi to Palmgrove, it was some minutes past 6PM and as the bus I had boarded moved past Leventis Bus-Stop to join the slow traffic ahead, we approached the Maryland Bus-Stop. Suddenly, there was a mild commotion. Everybody on the bus turned their heads in the same direction (some degrees North-West) and I followed suit. There in full glare was a guy, apparently in his middle thirties, a mallam, running fast with so much fright written across his forehead-thanks to the language of creases, like death had suddenly appeared to him, club in hand, in the physical! Though he seemed to have a slight limp, he actually ran with full speed like the average physically fit human being. We all continued to wonder; some people even thought he was a thief being chased. Anyways, when we got to the bus stop we understood better!

Guess what? There in the tight grip of two mobile policemen was another man, a mallam too. One of the policemen was also holding a crooked walking stick as they both dragged the man across the road towards a parked police van. Now, I’m sure you have the full gist. The ‘Fashola Police’ had come to pick up the (fake) beggars who had always pretended to be handicapped all the while milking the sympathetic populace with falsehood! Really, imagine seeing someone you’ve given 100 box (Naira) several times in the past because he had feigned physical handicap and you had believed too, suddenly taking his stick, standing up and walking, even running away! (Not that Peter said, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.)

So why have I not been posting these days? Have I even been writing anything? Yes, I’ve been writing, but not necessarily for this blog. The last few weeks have been rather hectic. There was the Sable Literary Magazine Call for Submissions which I endeavoured to obey. It’s amazing how deadlines could stimulate one to finish projects. I was able to ‘complete’ and touch-up a short story I had started writing several months back! Now, while I am hoping to get that story accepted by the Sable Editor, I’m trying to complete another one for Christmas (I got the idea for this one, too, a few months back). There’s also an essay contest that closes next Monday. It’s high time I tidied up my research and typed away at the keyboard. Now, there are a few contests ahead and I hope to tap into them as stimulants for bigger writing exploits. Then, there have been a number of interviews planned and executed, and a few more before the year runs out while there’ll definitely be loads of them in the first quarter of 2011 by the grace of God.

Photo credit: dukemagazine.duke.edu

In the coming year, I hope to have a more structured plan for (frequency of) posts on this space. Perhaps, two or three posts per week – time will tell. But be assured that I’m all for quality posts and will be raising the bar in the New Year. There’ll be tons of reading and writing to do outside of this space, but I’ll endeavour to always put a link here to my works as they begin to appear across the internet. In planning for the New Year, I believe it would be a lot better if we did the whole thing in time. Glory Edozien, Features Editor, BellaNaija.com, made a post two days ago which is in tandem with what I had been thinking about concluding reflections and detailed plans for the new year at least a week before the end of the year. You often find out that evaluating the outgoing year and planning extensively for the new may be hurriedly done if postponed till the very end of the outgoing year or the beginning of the new. Wisdom is profitable to direct.

On highlights on where I’ve been in the past two weeks: penultimate weekend I was at the Farafina Book Review (Terra Kulture) as well as Myne Whitman’s Raffle Draw (Palms Shopping Mall). Two days ago, I attended the British Council’s Dare to Dream Conference which I would score 9/10 (in fact, I recorded audio from all the sessions I attended). Next weekend looks like when you’d probably see more gists on those events, but (who knows?), the posts may come earlier than you expect! So, don’t forget to do your evaluation(s), assessment(s) and planning in good time before the year ends. Good luck with that!

Till we meet again, very soon…

Warmest regards,

The Lagos Boy

PS: Michelle’s poems made it into the 4th Edition of Sentinel Nigeria, an Online Magazine of Contemporary Nigerian Writing. Read the two brilliant pieces here!