Writings of the general word's body

Monday, August 18, 2008

New Read

To make up some for the silence here of late, how about a new read from me? "Smoking Bamboo", a tale of love and loss and lots more besides, is published in Serendipity, the online journal of magical realist fiction.


The notion of babies from the sky was drummed into us by the mothers, to explain how we came about. I had long concluded that this could not be true. No babies had arrived since the men of the gorge went to the never-ending war in the place below. Still, I had the fanciful idea that morning and I was determined to hold on to it.

But Amugbo had heard me. He sauntered down the steps of his stilt-house, movements unsteady. I did not remember a time when he did not walk like this.

'Foolish children,' he slurred. 'Women get babies from men, not birds.' He ignored our collective intake of breath, scratching his head. I wondered if his hair had ever met a comb. A nest woven by an inattentive bird, the hair was knotted, and bits of leaves peeked from the locks. 'Well, you can't be expected to know any better, living as you do in this unnatural environment.

''Unnatural? Babies from men?' Simisola, indignant, scrambled onto her feet. 'Let me go and ask my mother.'

'And what have I said to you all about hanging around my place? Go and disturb your mothers. Leave me alone.' Amugbo hit the air with a kick thrown in our direction, falling on his backside. We knew he meant none of it. We put up with his interruptions in our play because his was the one place we could converge without being driven elsewhere. He tolerated us and we tolerated him.

And for me, Amugbo's place was a refuge, somewhere I could play with my friends, away from the creeping spectre of death at home.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Contribute to Cavalcade

CAVALCADE literary journal, devoted to publishing original stories, poems,one-act plays, reviews, critical essays and art from an African perspective,will debut in October 2008 with a special edition. The tri-annual journal, aproject of the Abuja Writers' Forum (AWF), is now seeking submissions for the second and third editions.

All works must be submitted by email in the form of a single Microsoft Word compatible attachment. Be sure your name and email address appear on each page. Please put "Fiction," "Poetry," “One Act Play”, "Essay", “Review” or “Art” in the subject line of the email. Submissions that do not follow these guidelines risk being unread.

Fiction, essays and reviews must not exceed 5,000 words. Please do not submit more than one work of short story, one-act play, essay or review, and send ONLY three poems and five art works per submission. Art submissions must be in jpeg format.

You may submit works that have been previously published as long as you still own the copyright and all reproduction rights. Check with the previous publisher before submitting such works to CAVALCADE. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable, but please notify us if work has been accepted elsewhere. All rights revert to the author upon publication, though CAVALCADE expects to be credited when the work is republished.

Contributors will be notified if their materials are selected and will in turn indicate their willingness to have the materials published in CAVALCADE. Contributors will not be paid for their works but will receive a copy of the edition in which their works appear. Deadline for this particular call is October 30, 2008.

Send submissions to the appropriate editor and copy cavalcade@bigstring.com:



One-Act Play

Critical Essay