…and suddenly it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of new beginnings…

Growing up, i was surrounded by women (my older cousins) who were lovers of all things Art and Literary. One of my cousins i lived with, had just moved back to London from manhattan and she was an aspiring writer. She wrote short stories and poems, and she actually had a few of her work published in anthologies and compilations. I was well proud of her. Since she loved reading and writing, it also meant that in my household it was compulsory for my brother and i to love it too (we had no choice in the matter). There was a library just down the road from Cricklewood park, and soon, it began a rule in our house that we must spend an hour in the library everyday after school (we usually walked through the park on our way home) and every weekend we must borrow at least 3 books from the library. At first, i was like…why’s she so extra tho? Ain’t no one got time for this…i have homework to complete! But before i knew it, i had fallen head over heels in love with reading. By the age of 11, I’d say i had become an avid reader and developed quite eclectic taste. From Marvel, Beano, Dandy and Calvin and Hobbes, to Enid Blyton, and fantasy novels. These books and those precious moments in the library became my great escape from what was otherwise a not-so-sweet childhood. I got lost in them, created parallel worlds in my head and found solace and incomparable joy.

It didn’t stop there though. My cousin then decided that under the new regime at No.5, it is mandatory to write a short story every weekend, which we must submit to her for assessment on Sunday after lunch! At this point I’m thinking…ok this delusional chic needs to take her behind back to the States and find herself a real job…like WTF! Turns out, she was dead serious and so it began! On Friday evenings, she’d give my brother and i a key word or phrase, and we must build up on it, draft a plot with carefully thought out paragraphs, and then write a short story. We were graded on our spelling, punctuation, use of paragraphs, blah blah… and boy…she was a tough marker. What seemed like a ghastly chore at the beginning soon became a hobby, one which i fell deeply in love with. Discovering the ability to put pen to paper and marry it with my over imaginative mind and producing something captivating and entertaining was so surreal! Bihhhh i though i could give Blyton and Dhal a run for their money. LOL. And alas this is how my love for both reading and writing began.

In hindsight, although i didn’t appreciate my cousin’s rules and methods in the beginning, I later grew to because it armed me with the skills and ability to murder every arts subject i ever took and if it was a class that required a lot of reading or composition, i got straight A’s. If i can eloquently express my self both verbally in or out of court and on paper today, it’s because of her tough love and foresight.

P.S i’ll be doing a lot of book reviews, poems, short pieces etc on this page so look out for my next post :).


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