PickOfTheWeek – Hope when it seems impossible

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How do you feel when you have literally given up on something happening and in the midst of that dark cloud, a silver lining shows up?

How do you feel? Probably pure joy. 

That’s one of the feelings a writer described on today’s PickOfTheWeek . We hope you love this week’s articles. 

The first is by rockcalvary and we love this post because it captures the realities of our heart when people we term as important don’t see us the same way. Has this ever happened to you? 

farmto tableLove makes people say stuff though. When we saw this post we didn’t know what to make of it but then we understand that the promise of forever means a lot to people. What have you said or done in the name of love? 

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The next post is for those who usually wait for inspiration to do work that has to be done. It is easy to wait to feel like doing work but it is not ideal. We honestly have nothing else to add. Thank you Oluwadara for this. farmto table (2) The last piece for today struck a chord and if you read our introductory post, you’d understand what we mean. Sometimes all we need is a little light at the end of the tunnel. farmto table (1)

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#PickOfTheWeek – The lies we tell ourselves

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Hey Sparkle Writers! Our #PickOfTheWeek is back! We’re excited about the writers we are featuring today. We hope you learn a thing or two from this week’s pick.

Temi is speaking the absolute truth and everyone needs to read it.  There is no point living in regret. We have to move on. 

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 Those ‘I am not enough’ ‘ I would do it tomorrow’ kinda lies. Be conscious of them, they are slow and silent killers. Gbolahan is one of our steady writers, there’s something about the way he writers.  farmto table (3)Oh if everyone could see the next post. Tomiwa hit the nail on the head Whether as writers or in our individual lives it is important that we remember this all the time. No forming, no pretense just be you. farmto table Desolape is one real writer! There are honestly some memories not worth remembering, the question is how do we erase them? Anyone with answers? farmto table (1)

#PickOfTheWeek – Is there anything like a perfect fit in love?

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We’ve discovered that Tuesday’s are one of the most popular days on the blog probably because that’s when we feature all the amazing writers we meet on social media. We figured that’s your way of saying thank you!👍👍👍

Four incredibly talented writers are on our Pick this week. 

Let’s start with Muhamad Gbolahan’s piece. 

farmto table There are a number of reasons we love this. Maybe its because he points out that we would not always have it easy or because he reminds us that even in those tough circumstances we need to find light at the end of the tunnel. 

The next piece is by WriterZues 

farmto table (3) We say this over and over but once in a while it is good you hear it from another source. Never be afraid to pour your heart out on paper. 

Victory goes on to give insight about love and finding the perfect fit. 

farmto table (2)What do you think about it?

The last piece on our #PickOfTheWeek is by Blessing 

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Hard work really isn’t a crime but even if it is Blessing thinks we should be ready to commit that crime over and over again. Thank you for reminding us of this truth Blessing! 

Want to be featured on our next #PickOfTheWeek series? Simple! Tag us when you post on instagram. 

#PickOfTheWeek – Love and a determination to move on!

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If you are new to the Hub you may not know about our #PickOfTheWeek series so we’d explain what it is. On this segement we feature amazing writers, whom you may not know because there are so many of them.

If you are a writer and want to be on the segment, please tag us on instagram

farmto table (4) Michael Inioluwa sure explains the heart of many people who have ever gone through painful heart breaks. Those tears don’t stop coming.

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Haha! This is so true. There are times your head tells your heart what to do but it just won’t listen. Who else has experienced it? Oluwadara we love this post. farmto table (1) We saw this and instantly knew we had to share. Who would have thought? Sometimes letting go doesn’t mean forgoing the relationship.  Who agrees?

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When you know that going back to the past is not even an option.  The best you can do is move far away from it.

If you are a writer and you post your work on Instagram, don’t forget to forget to tag @thesparklewritershub for a chance to be featured on our Pick of the Week.

#PickOfTheWeek – On women and imperfections

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It’s another #PickOfTheWeek and we think it’s absolutely beautiful how our  picks are always (well most of the time) in sync. 

Today’s writers are talking about the sacrifices, struggles of women and imperfections. Let us know which one you could relate with. 

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Our first pick is by Gina. We love this because it describes how possible it is to pick up dreams that have long been forgotten and make something out of it. 

 

 

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As sad as this is, we know it is true!  Sometimes we try hard to win those battles against ourselves, habits and instead of getting better we usually go back to the same spot where we started off. 

 

farmto table (3)How many of us look at ourselves and complain about one thing or the other? Almost all of us! But the truth is that despite all our imperfections there’s still so much we have to offer. So much our world needs from us.  Okwuwoga Temitope nailed this one. 

 

 

farmto tableMothers are truly precious.  They can give whatever they have just to make sure their children are doing well.  Thank you Kolade for this beautiful post. 

If you are a writer and you post your work on Instagram, don’t forget to forget to tag @thesparklewritershub for a chance to be featured on our Pick of the Week.

#PickOfTheWeek – Setting 2018 on course

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It’s our first PickOfTheWeek for the year and we have selected some amazing pieces to kickstart 2018.

From a prayer to a candid advice and inspiration, 2018 is looking good already.

The first piece to be featured today is by Oluwadunsin Deinde-Sanya. Such apt prayers to start the year. We all know that we can’t afford to be fearful especially if we want better results this year.

 

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There are times we get discouraged because of those people who keep reminding us of our shortcomings.  All we can say is this, it won’t be long! Hey Ella this is one beautiful piece.

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Who else just gets excited thinking about the possibilities and opportunities 2018 has? Adigun Mide knows this too

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Last and definitely not the least is this! Simple and straight to the point. In 2018, don’t get distracted.

farmto table(4)If you are a writer and you post your work on Instagram, don’t forget to forget to tag @thesparklewritershub for a chance to be featured on our Pick of the Week.

#PickOfTheWeek – Success redefined

 

Medieval(1).jpgHey Sparkle Writers! Our #PickOfTheWeek focuses so much on success and we felt it would be good to define or maybe redefine what it means as we enter a new year.

We hope you learn a thing or two from this week’s pick.

Do you agree with us that Gbolahan always brings his A game on in this segment? Today isn’t any different. His take on success is true.

 

 

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Sometimes we have to go through those ‘dark’ times to have victory because it is in those times we conquer our demons. We couldn’t have said it any better Victoria.

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Writers will know this so well. Sometimes you are writing a story or an article and by the time you are done you realize it isn’t the idea you started with that you ended with. It’s probably a better one.

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When help is dong more harm than good, it is better to let go. Victory is right with this one.

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#WriterSpotlight – “Share the message. If you err, try again.” Tomilade Olugbemi

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Today on Writer Spotlight, we have the prolific poet, Tomilade Olugbemi. In our interview with him, he talks to us about how he developed the passion for writing and where he gets his inspiration from.

Enjoy.

Hello Tomilade. Can you please describe yourself in a few words?

Writer. Rewriter. Poet. Shy.

When did you discover that you had a passion for writing and why did you decide to follow this passion?

I was twelve or thirteen. I fell in love with poetry somewhere between rap music and writing a poem for an English Language assignment. Why follow it? I’m really not sure. I guess I followed my instincts.

Can you tell us what you love most about being a writer?

It can be exhilarating when it is not frustrating. The potential of creating stuff with words gets my blood flowing. It is the only uncertainty that doesn’t constantly torment me: a place for my other uncertainties. I also like that the work inspires, tickles, heals and sometimes, terrifies people.

Why did you decide to put your poems together into ‘Love is not a tempest?’

It wasn’t exactly a putting-together of poems. Most of the poems were written specifically for the chapbook. I spend an inordinate amount of time in my mind, battling doubt, anxiety and all their friends. I was in a place where I needed to transfer all that angst into something. A chapbook seemed like a good idea so I started writing the poems on a whim.

Since you released the book what has the reaction been like?

I have a limited sample size but it’s been well received. A handful of people relate to many of the poems and that makes me happy. We write for ourselves, and I certainly did that, but we also write for others. It’s always such a joy when anyone reads my work. I don’t take it for granted.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I am inspired by a great number of things: a nagging need to write, people and their lives, music, other people’s work, etc. There is, however, no greater inspiration than one’s own worldview and experiences.

What is the most important lesson writing has taught you? 

Nothing consequential comes to mind. It has probably made me more curious and taught me a lesson or two in patience.

Which author (dead or alive) would love to spend a day with if given a chance?

Only one? Sylvia Plath

What advice do you have for people who know that they have a message to share but fear keeps holding them back?

I think writing, at least my writing, is mostly trial and error. It’s a cliché but I’ll advise them to just do it. Share the message. Try. If you err, try again. I dislike some of my work in retrospect. But without them, I’d have no barometer for progress or lack thereof.

 

 

#WriterSpotlight – “The depth of poetry isn’t necessarily in big words but in the mastery of stringing words together to make art.” Femi Peters

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Hello Femi Peters, please introduce yourself

I’m a man of many parts but a single core, Jesus. I’m a writer, blogger, author, and an entrepreneur. I value relationships. I am married and a serial father.

When and why did you start writing?

I started writing way back in secondary school. I remember helping classmates and friends draft love letters to their crushes and girlfriends. Then I wrote a couple of short stories in the university. I took a shine to it when I started blogging in 2007. I write because I believe a have a message to communicate.

Permit us if we are wrong but you recently entered the writing scene with the introduction of your book ‘Notes to My God’. How has the reaction been?

The reactions started with my first blog that has the same name as my debut book. It pointed that I was solving problems, that my poems were needed. The reactions from the book has been astounding, humbling and has spurred me to write more.

We hear it took 10 years to put this book together. Why did it take you so long?

Well most of the poems came between 2006-2009 but other factors came into play. I had to overcome self doubt and other people’s opinions. I had to journey from getting a publisher to self publish amongst other factors.

We know you are a blogger, when did you start blogging and what’s the biggest lesson blogging has taught you?

I started blogging in 2007. I learnt a lot of lessons, the biggest of them is that I am a solution to someone’s need. Consistent writing betters your gift. Blogging opens you up to a wider audience for a myriad of purposes of which critiquing is one.

Poetry can be therapeutic. Has it been that to you?

Poetry is beautiful in many ways. It is therapeutic for me in the sense that birthing a poem sometimes stems from a prevailing thought and I could start as a quest and end with result.

What’s your take on writing poetry that is becoming relatable as opposed to what poetry used to be? Words many people couldn’t understand because it was too ‘deep’

There are different types of poetry, different kinds of expression. The depth of poetry isn’t necessarily in big words but in the mastery of stringing words together to make art, art that convey a message.

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What do you think in your own words make a good poem?

For me what makes a good poem is one that is fluid, rhythmic, memorable and stoking.

What has putting together Notes to My God book taught you?

It has taught me go after my dreams, that my gift was given to be shared and that God is waiting at the point of our use.

Are there plans to release another book soon?

Yes, I’m working on a couple of books actually and one of them should be ready for early 2018

What challenges did you think you were not prepared for in the process of putting this book together?

For one I was hoping I would remain behind the scene and churn out the work but I find that I have to be out there speaking for the book as we are Siamese twins of some sort.

Where can readers get your book?

It’s available at Glendora, Ikeja City Mall, Patabah bookstores, Adeniran Ogunsanya Shopping Mall,  Jumia.com.ng and the Kindle edition is available on Amazon.com

What’s your advice to writers who have been working on a project for long and are getting tired?

It’s never too late to put it out there, stop procrastinating. The world needs to hear your voice. Your book is the solution someone is waiting for.

 

#WriterSpotlight – “Your craft is your strongest voice in the midst of unending unrest.” Todimu Ikuyinminu

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Sparkle Writers, are you ready for today’s #WriterSpotlight? Our guest, Todimu Ikuyinminu. is a writer, poet, thespian and … a wack poet! Yeah, we asked him why he calls himself that. Find out why as you enjoy his interview with us. 

Hello please introduce yourself.

I am ‘Todimu George Ikuyinminu which is clipped as T. G. ‘Yinminu, a postgraduate degree holder of English from the English Department of the prestigious University of Ilorin. I am a professional creative, content developer and thespian who has led at different capacities and performed brilliantly well. However, I remain trainable and always open to knowledge acquisition.

Your IG handle is ‘The Wack Poet’ what inspired the title?

About theWACKpoet, erm… each time I am asked to explain why I chose this moniker, of all the more pleasant ones I could have adopted, I laugh at myself. The reason is because, in all honesty, I did not spend time to consider the choice of it. Now, don’t get me wrong, I actually thought about it but I am saying I did not realise that one day someone will ask me the rationale behind it. Well, there are two reasons for the choice of this moniker.

The first is the literal meaning of it, “the wack poet”. I have always been a shy fellow and it took a lot of time, and comments from readers, for me to be confident about my craft. Hence, I surmised that if I accept my own weakness(es) before the public spells them out to me, it will be easy for me to distance myself from the negative vibes that may come. However, ever since I summoned courage to exhibit my content, I have not received “bad feedback”. On the other axis, theWACKpoet is an acronym. It is a simple sentence, so to speak, it is simply saying: The Witty, Astute, Calm and Knowledgeable Poet. On a general note, I feel all creative writers must possess at  least one of the qualities coded in the meaning of “theWACKpoet”. A few people get this even without knowing what theWACKpoet means.

You are a creative writer, poet, public speaker, dramatist, artistic director, how do you combine all these?

First off, let me align myself with these words of the renowned poet of blessed memory, Maya Angelou who said, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

I hope you will agree with me that all these ‘shades’ of my ventures listed above revolve round the humanities; which is my educational background. They all revolve around entertainment and creative output, therefore to me, if I am writing (a speech, a lecture, a poem, a play, a dialogue) for instance, I am also indirectly preparing content for the stage; the audience; the readers; the viewers; the participants, as the case may be. For me it is always like “using one stone to kill five birds”.

However, I am able to combine all these because I feel that man is best at whatever he is talented/skilled at and loves to do. It is like being a roadside mechanic in Nigeria. A roadside mechanic in Nigeria can repair a Renault car this minute and work on a Mercedes Benz car the next minute. I hope the analogy is clear. So, in short, every venture I am engaged in indirectly helps become better at the other ventures. For instance, acting on stage gives me more confidence to face the crowd when I’m speaking at an event. Being a creative writer gives me more insight into creative/artistic directing thus as I imagine and block scenarios, I represent them to the best of my knowledge on stage and with the actors.

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In your bio we see that you have a bias for poetry, why is this so?

At a point in my growth, I never thought I was capable of writing poetry. My creative impulse started when I was in Junior Secondary School, and at that time I used to write short plays in a 60-leaves exercise book. I would give the books to a few of my classmates, mostly females, they would read and then recommend it to their friends. Then, I came about one of my neighbour’s poem, Dr. Gbenga Owojori (Ph.D a scientist) when I was in SS3. I took the poem and “edited” it. I enjoyed “editing” the poem so I decide to write one myself. It was an exciting experience. And that was how I started writing poems in exercise books hidden under my clothes in my wardrobe.

I recently got to know that writing poetry is hereditary for me because my late paternal grandmother used to write poems, and I also have a younger brother who has also been captured by the loving, soothing, and peacefully troublesome embrace of poetry.

The bias for poetry is inexplicable really, poetry is something I can do even under pressure. It is an attraction that is as easy as breathing in and out for me.

Your poetry house Aranbada hosts a poetry festival, please tell us more about it.

Let me say something brief about Aranbada Poetry House (APH) before I talk on Aranbada Poetry Festival as it will shed light on the question asked. Aranbada Poetry House is founded solely based on the need to create a platform that encourage creative arts, and creative writing, in the new generation of African (Nigerian) writers/artistes. The youth of today face many silent problems, these border on the scarcity of genuine art materials that will inspire and guide their creative ability. Aranbada Poetry House, seeks to ignite the passion for art and creativity in this generation of youths who are lured by the fantasies of the modern world to the detriment of the arts, creativity and its tendencies.

Aranbada Poetry Festival is just one of the platforms APH is offering, others include Aranbada Poetry Series (Poetry Anthology), Aranbada Poetry Magazine (poetry events, poets features), Aranbada Poetry Tutors’ Campaign, and Aranbada Poetry 1/2Hour set to kick off soon. Aranbada Poetry Festival (APFest) is a biennial art event. APFest is open to all artists, and the only criteria to partake is for the person to be an artist. APFest is more of a breeding platform for artists to interact with one another and meet mentors. Interestingly, the coming edition will, as planned, have great artistes like Professor Femi Osofisan, Professor Olu Obafemi, Professor Tanure Ojaide, Olulu and other established artists in attendance.

With the right funding, the vision of APFest is to be a national art event.

How was the reaction to the first edition?

The first edition was a huge success. It had many emerging artists in attendance and an audience strength of about 160. The first edition was held in honour of Professsor Olu Obafemi, my mentor and the President of the Nigerian Academy of Letters, thus it received widespread acceptance from scholars in the academia so much that some lecturers in the host university partook as performers at the event.

You are quite outspoken on social media how has this helped improve your writing skill?

Social media, a place where anybody can be somebody. Unfortunately, I am not really as outspoken on social media as I am in person. However, one cannot underestimate the power of the social media in the 21st century clime, my presence on social media has affected my writing immensely. As a budding writer, there was a time I could not summarise my thoughts, I would write poems and I won’t stop until I literally left no room to probe the creative interpretation of the reader but when I got exposed to the social media, I had to start compacting my writing hence I got better at the use of stylistic poetic devices.

Social media also affords one the opportunity of freely accessing the works of other writers. For instance, recently, I decided to study the works of @desolape on Instagram and soon enough I composed a poem in the same fascination she has, but not in the same style she employs though.

Also there is the role of poetry prompts that circulate on social media. This at least challenges one to practice more.

Many believe writing is not financially rewarding what’s your take on this

Without mincing words, writing is not a venture that one should expect much reward from, which is quite discouraging for many emerging writers. When you sit to analyse the rate at which young people dabble into the entertainment industry just because of the fame and perceived fortune that comes with it nowadays, one would want to almost conclude that there will not be young creative writers in the nearest future, and same applies to the sciences. All the impressionable minds are running to the entertainment industry to make watery music which further destroys all sanity and decorum that the typical African society treasures.

As much as I am of the opinion that writing should not be about the financial reward but be a purgative enterprise that seeks to help shape our society better through the codification of reasonable heartfelt expressions and perceptions that will inspire the reader(s), I am not against getting some financial reward for it. It is quite disheartening that the Nigerian system has no established structure to boost the intellectual industry, thus many intellectuals lose focus and are made to diversify. I have come to the conclusion that indeed there are many creative artists in Nigeria that can mentor and raise more for the future but the mentors do not have time to do so because even the mentors are busy chasing their daily bread not to mention the fate of the mentee.

What’s the one thing you wish every creative could hear

Your craft is your strongest voice in the midst of unending unrest. Stand by it, guard it, groom it and most of all, use it. Stay true to it, it will set you free even if the world is not ready for freedom. Mind you, the leaders of today are those who have stayed true to their voice, the future already started the very day you were matured enough to think about your future.

What’s your ultimate dream as a writer?

I am sure every writer’s dream will be to be successful and renowned, yes we all want that, probably win a Laurette, or a prize. However, my ultimate dream as a writer has always been to be a writer that inspires emerging writers. It is like being a pastor who has raised many “spiritual sons”, or a Commandant who has raised many combatants ready to take on the battle field and conquer the world.

The ultimate dream is to sit in the nearest future, look back and count my blessings; the many writers that would have picked the ultimate pen because “if T. G. ‘Yinminu can do it, I can do it too”.