Zohra – Back on the Wagon

There was a time when I lived to write. Now I write for a living. It should have been a good thing, except for a long time, I’ve allowed myself to lose the joy I once had in writing.

True, I still have to spend quite a bit of time writing for payment, but I have made a promise to myself that I will also go back to writing just for the sake of it.

As many of you already know (due to my constant harping about it, of course), I started reading at age 2, and 10 years later decided to write my own reading material. Hey, if you want something done just right, you gotta go and do it yourself, no?

For some time I wrote almost compulsively. I was also a perfectionist, so many are the stories I simply crumpled and burned because they just did not seem right. It took a while before I was ever able to share my work with anyone.

And then the internet happened. About 2005, I finally started to show off my work on online forums, I started with writing.com, moved to thesop.org, author.com, and several others, came home to kenyaimagine.com, and finally set up my own home here at jmaruru.wordpress.com.

Here, I have shared my rambling on life, relationships, Kenya… even dared let you read part of my works in progress. But that frenzied scribbling I use to love has left me. I must now woo her back, tempt her with everything I’ve got, seduce her, convince her to move in with me again.

Zohra started out as a writing game with friends, then morphed into a manuscript project. Completion date, near future 🙂 Here are the prompts we started out with. Click on the sentence to read the instalment of the story. When you get to the end, you can yell, send in a continuation suggestion or simply wait for the project to be done:

1. The steady tap-tap of a leaking faucet intruded into her thoughts every other minute.

2. The sound of the men’s footsteps, and their voices in Swahili only vaguely interspersed with Arabic, faded into the morning chirp of countryside birds.

3. A bokeh; an out of focus snapshot.

4. Her mind rushed forward and backwards, trying to place even a little bit of sense into what he was telling her, but she only found herself with no words, righteous or unrighteous.

5. It took her a few minutes to gather her wits together and enough courage to venture out of the room she had been pushed into last night.

6. Zohra nodded to her ‘step-mother’, and headed off in search of chai na mahamri which she was expected to earn afterwards.

7. The terrain around the compound was a gentle ascension from sea level.

8. “Rashid, is my father alive?”


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