Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Writing Tips: How to write 5 Articles a day

My Friend saw a job alert that required her to write five articles a day and was quite flummoxed. Is that even possible Cecilia? I chuckled and told her I have written 10 articles a day and I know people who can do 15.
If you are just starting and wondering how that is possible. I will share my secret rituals.

    Take a bath

Writing would be so much easier If you could kidnap that dress for me

 It is easier to get up and go right to your computer, then have a shower in the afternoon. You are doing it wrong. If you are working dressed in your pajamas, you are not giving this writing the seriousness it deserves. Wear something cheerful..You will not be wasting time if you get up, have a shower, eat your breakfast, clean your desk and start to work. These little procedures are part of writing and incase a relative drops by, they won't think- unakaa tu kwa nyumba.

my 50% clean, cheerful desk

  Eat and Drink
breakfast in my house, mostly
When I have a lot to write, I bake a -whole grain pancake- This is a pancake mix with baking powder in it. I put in the entire mixture onto a heavy pan, cover it and let it rise until It starts to smell nice.  A pancake has protein, carbohydrates and fiber. Grate an apple or throw in some dried fruit for vitamins. This style also saves on time. All through the day I down several mugs of spiced tea and drink lots of water to keep hydrated. If you are hungry your brain will just give you reject articles. So eat and drink.

Notebooks and pens
It is easier to copy paste your research onto a word document and then refer from it for your online writing. But I find that writing down short notes of just what I need for the article gives me speed when I start to compose the article.
 Another problem with creating a word document for you research notes is, at the end of the day when your head is scrambled, you might end up attaching the research document as one of your articles. That will get you fired right away.

I have three playlists which I keep changing from time to time. As I am doing my research and don’t need to concentrate as much, I play soft rock (Alter Bridge, Train, The Killers, Nickleback). When I start to type out the online articles, I play House Music, or Techno. It makes me set fire to my key-board coz I feel like I’m in a spaceship.
When I take a break, I play instrumental music and Jazz. I don’t  play Bongo, One man guitar or Reggae when writing because I start to sing along but it is good for when I take a break.

Write other things
when lights go out, use your phone to search, write out your articles, run to a cyber, type and email before your deadline.
When doing online writing, it is very easy to lose your voice when you have been reading other people’s work the whole day. I find that, if I take a break and write something creative, something out of my own head and my blog gets done. It presses the refresh button and I can keep the pace in writing. Otherwise your last articles might start to sound like someone else’s. I remember one time a client telling me- You didn’t not write that article, I know your style-
Writers have different styles, so maintain yours, don’t try to copy another.

I a m sure you have your own rituals, you can share them. I will share some more tips later.

Friday, August 26, 2016

we laughed outdoors

When reason failed
when weakness of mind,caused weakness of heart
an obstinate heart pressured a lenient mind.

So we laughed outdoors
coz if we stopped
we’d never dam the flood of tears that
threatened to come down.

We laughed for as long as we laughed the tears were not as painful
as they would have been had we cried,
sobbed like a night mare,
bowled like a loss,
yowled like deep hurt,
heaved like the distress-
that burned inside.

Laughter in its volumes lined the walls
against the bile.
So we laughed and laughed
and laughed bitterly.
inspired by this line: "even at our swiftest speed,we could not break from the concrete, in the city where we reside."
 and a bunch of other stuff going through my mind when I am trying to damage control situations that sometime could get out of hand.

5 non-mainstream movies you need to check out

Hollywood is great, and they have all the gadgets. I hear Nollywood is entertaining too.
But I find that non- mainstream movies stick in my mind longer. Check out these five if you are looking for something different. I can hardly watch a movie twice, but these five,,, give me any day.

        1. Hero
This was not a movie of my choice but I had to review it in Digital Film Class. The director is the same guy that choreographed the 2008 China Olympics. Some of these scenes are computer generated but whoa. Check this..color color.

The mock battle on the water, and the other where all the petals are red, or yellow. Cinema is about being carried into another world, and this movie does that for me.

In this scene they pay an old man to play a haunting tune that mingles with the rain outside.

 2. Run Lola Run

I watched this movie at Goethe Cultural Centre Nairobi many many years ago but I still remember it. Great background music. I like stories like these. Simple story-line. The contrast was the girl's hair.

  3.  Parineeta

I have many Bollywood favorites but Parineeta remains top on the list because it really gives us a view of the Indian countryside. My favorite shot is when the children are singing:
Kasto Majja Hai Lelaima
Ramailo O Kalee Odhalee
I watch Bollywood for its poetry, costume and clever quotes. The above scene, when the two are singing that song they made up together as kids is another fav.
 4. Our Times
 Is a Taiwanese Movie that again, has a simple story-line, but with funny twists. You will laugh, and cry and then fall in love with the bad guy, coz he is really cute and not the bad guy in the end. 
it's true, sometimes your nemesis becomes your sidekick

    5.  Amélie
My ex gave me years ago and somehow I only understood it when I watched it the third time.

 He said I should  stop taking care of everybody's happiness and look after myself for once! Well.. that came out all wrong and I just kept walking in the other direction. but I liked the movie anyways.

 You really have to pay attention to this movie, it has good music like -Juno- If you are a nerd you will love it.  I have been meaning to clip out a tiny scene though, just like in Juno.

That's my list, feel free to add.

5 Reasons Hillpark Hotel is queen of the South Coast

Queen may refer to:
a female monarch who reigns in her own right having equivalent status to a reigning king

If you have had a long day dragging cameras, interviewing random people, trying to fake a Coast  Swahili accent and not doing it successfully, you know you need to go somewhere to let it out.

For us, our home has been HillPark Hotel, Tiwi located at South Coast.
We stumbled upon it one evening after work We wanted somewhere  next to the beach, but for a good rate.

1.Service and Security

From the hotel manager, Mr. Kuria, to the receptionist Catherine to the intern Moses who I met at the bar during a morning walk, to the security guards, the swimming pool attendant. Everyone is so cool and professional. You just need to make a phone call and any issue will be fixed, even if it is bringing you extra shampoo at 11 p.m.
This is one hotel I have felt completely secure. We hardly ever locked the doors or used the safes provided. It could be that the entire place is lighted all night through. This means you can do these two activities at any time.

2.Nature trail
Hillpark Hotel stands on 80 acres of ground. If you can get out of the heavy set beds and take a walk, you will be able to enjoy nature in its own setting.
well kept grounds, you don't need a guide.
The vegetation is pristine, and the big trees are all well labeled so you know what you are looking at. There are birds, butterflies, lizards,  I don’t like monkeys but they got that kind that has blue fur in certain places which I find hilarious.

3. Star Gazing
One day we got to HillPark Hotel so late so we had missed the swimming pool, and we couldn’t swim in the sea, there was only one activity to do: Star gazing. We were disappointed there was no moon but surprise surprise, it came out. I love looking at stars, but looking at stars on the beach, with waves as a background? You  haven’t lived until you try this.

It is great that unlike other hotels we have been to, HillPark hotel keeps their beach light on.

4. The swimming Pool

If  the tide is in and you need a swim, get into the pool. You won’t regret it it is big  enough with a little fountain.

We were always late coming back from work but they would give us half an hour to splash about before they put in the chlorine. If you are up for a game, they have scheduled pool games.

5. Go Snorkeling!

When the tide goes out. It leaves behind waist deep pools of water where you canget on your gear and spend the afternoon looking at blue fish, stripped fish and sea urchins.

 my favourite spots

There is restaurant. I am sure they make great food, but we have mostly made our own food to eat at the Gazebo. Naivas and Nakumatt are just  10 minutes drive away so you can get your supplies and cook up a storm at HillPark's fully fitted kitchens.

Efficiency, why we must learn to be.

 There are no schools that you will sign up to to learn how to be efficient. Most will teach you a profession or a skill and it's up to ...