If I was Drunk

So yesterday night was Wednesday night and for the first time in months I did not do something I usually do. Naturally I struggled with getting adjusted to the idea of not going to listen to some drunk folks singing their hearts out and just making my evening as I laughed my heart out and enjoyed the company of a very special friend that always accompanies me to these nights. So with a clear mind……unmisted with the good music and poor singers at Hub, i wrote this:

If i was drunk,

I would sleep and not care if I awoke,

I would buy another bottle,

Then put my nose in your business and meddle.

I would waylay you,

on your way to the loo.

Tell you how beautiful you are,

Perhaps convince you to sit with me here.

I would tell you how awkward it is,

For you to be sitting there alone at ease,

While all the men admired your gait.

I would tell you I like your smile, wait.

Would you ask if am always like this?

I wouldn’t tell you it’s because am drunk.

In fact I would tell you I don’t usually do this.

I know I would see those curves turn up,

I would feel your coldness melt,

You would be glad we met.

If I was drunk, and I know I might look crazy.

I might walk out in a frenzy.

Perhaps to take a pee.

Then come back and join you.

Buy a Margarita for you to sip,

Or a cocktail for you to dip,

Maybe a whiskey for you to down.

Perhaps you would take one of those,

You usually can’t pronounce.

Plain Baron de Vaals, Chamdor, or one from Champs elysees,

Money wouldn’t be a problem,

That’s my emblem.

You would tell me you like me,

They always do.

and i would too.

You would leave for the loo,

and that would be my cue.

Ready to make dirty,

Your carefully woven fabric of dignity.

The last thing you would remember,

before you fall into a slumber,

Would be you liked me.

It would be a pity. But final.

The thoughts expressed herein do not necessarily reflect my personal experience.

Moral: Do not speak to strangers…..No matter how beautiful or charming.

© Ado Yiembo.

Copy and pass “If i was drunk” around to your heart’s content,
but always post my Copyright notice above, correctly, both as  courtesy and as a legal necessity to protect any writer. Thank you.

Writerisms and other Sins: A Writer’s Shortcut to Stronger Writing

I found this somewhere so I thought I should share it with you everyone.

Copyright © 1995 by C.J. Cherryh

Writerisms: overused and misused language. In more direct words: find ‘em, root ‘em out, and look at your prose without the underbrush.

1. am, is, are, was, were, being, be, been … combined with “by” or with “by … someone” implied but not stated. Such structures are passives. In general, limit passive verb use to one or two per book. The word “by” followed by a person is an easy flag for passives.

2. am, is, are, was, were, being, be, been … combined with an adjective. “He was sad as he walked about the apartment.” “He moped about the apartment.” A single colorful verb is stronger than any was + adjective; but don’t slide to the polar opposite and overuse colorful verbs. There are writers that vastly overuse the “be” verb; if you are one, fix it. If you aren’t one—don’t, because overfixing it will commit the next error.

3. florid verbs. “The car grumbled its way to the curb” is on the verge of being so colorful it’s distracting. {Florid fr. Lat. floreo, to flower.}If a manuscript looks as if it’s sprouted leaves and branches, if every verb is “unusual,” if the vocabulary is more interesting than the story … fix it by going to more ordinary verbs. There are vocabulary-addicts who will praise your prose for this but not many who can simultaneously admire your verbs as verbs and follow your story, especially if it has content. The car is not a main actor and not one you necessarily need to make into a character. If its action should be more ordinary and transparent, don’t use an odd expression. This is prose.This statement also goes for unusual descriptions and odd adjectives, nouns, and adverbs.

4. odd connectives. Some writers overuse “as” and “then” in an attempt to avoid “and” or “but,” which themselves can become a tic. But “as” is only for truly simultaneous action. The common deck of conjunctions available is:

  • when (temporal)
  • if (conditional)
  • since (ambiguous between temporal and causal)
  • although (concessive)
  • because (causal)
  • and (connective)
  • but (contrasting)
  • as (contemporaneous action or sub for “because”) while (roughly equal to “as”)

These are the ones I can think of. If you use some too much and others practically never, be more even-handed. Then, BTW, is originally more of an adverb than a proper conjunction, although it seems to be drifting toward use as a conjunction. However is really a peculiar conjunction, demanding in most finicky usage to be placed *after* the subject of the clause. Don’t forget the correlatives, either … or, neither … nor, and “not only … but also.” And “so that,” “in order that,” and the far shorter and occasionally merciful infinitive: “to … {verb}something.”

5. Descriptive writerisms. Things that have become “conventions of prose” that personally stop me cold in text. “framed by” followed by hair, tresses, curls, or most anything cute.

  • “swelling bosom”
  • “heart-shaped face”
  • “set off by”: see “framed by” * “revealed” or “revealed by”: see “framed by.” Too precious for words when followed by a fashion statement.
  • Mirrors … avoid mirrors, as a basic rule of your life. You get to use them once during your writing career. Save them for more experience. But it doesn’t count if they don’t reflect … by which I mean see the list above. If you haven’t read enough unpublished fiction to have met the infamous mirror scenes in which Our Hero admires his steely blue eyes and manly chin, you can scarcely imagine how bad they can get.
  • limpid pools and farm ponds: I don’t care what it is, if it reflects your hero and occasions a description of his manly dimple, it’s a mirror.As a general rule … your viewpoint characters should have less, rather than more, description than anyone else: a reader of different skin or hair color ought to be able to sink into this persona without being continually jolted by contrary information.Stick to what your observer can observe. One’s own blushes can be felt, but not seen, unless one is facing … .a mirror. See above.
  • “as he turned, then stepped aside from the descending blow … ” First of all, it takes longer to read than to happen: pacing fault. Second, the “then” places action #2 sequentially after #1, which makes the whole evasion sequence a 1-2 which won’t work. This guy is dead or the opponent was telegraphing his moves in a panel-by-panel comic book style which won’t do for regular prose. Clunky. Slow. Fatally slow.
  • “Again” or worse “once again.” Established writers don’t tend to overuse this one: it seems like a neo fault, possibly a mental writerly stammer—lacking a next thing to do, our hero does it “again” or “once again” or “even yet.” Toss “still” and “yet” onto the pile and use them sparingly.

6. Dead verbs. Colorless verbs.

  • walked
  • turned
  • crossed
  • run, ran
  • go, went, gone
  • leave, left
  • have, had
  • get, got

You can add your own often used colorless verbs: these are verbs that convey an action but don’t add any other information. A verb you’ve had to modify (change) with an adverb is likely inadequate to the job you assigned it to do.

7. Colorless verb with inadequate adverb: “He walked slowly across the room.”More informative verb with no adverb: “He trudged across the room,” “He paced across the room,” “He stalked across the room,” each one a different meaning, different situation. But please see problem 3, above, and don’t go overboard.

8. Themely English: With apologies to hard-working English teachers, school English is not fiction English.Understand that the meticulous English style you labored over in school, including the use of complete sentences and the structure of classic theme-sentence paragraphs, was directed toward the production of non-fiction reports, resumes, and other non-fiction applications.The first thing you have to do to write fiction? Suspect all the English style you learned in school and violate rules at need. Many of those rules will turn out to apply; many won’t.{Be ready to defend your choices. If you are lucky, you will be copyedited. Occasionally the copyeditor will be technically right but fictionally wrong and you will have to tell your editor why you want that particular expression left alone.}

9. Scaffolding and spaghetti. Words the sole function of which is to hold up other words. For application only if you are floundering in too many “which” clauses. Do not carry this or any other advice to extremes.”What it was upon close examination was a mass the center of which was suffused with a glow which appeared rubescent to the observers who were amazed and confounded by this untoward manifestation.” Flowery and overstructured. “What they found was a mass, the center of which glowed faintly red. They’d never seen anything like it.” The second isn’t great lit, but it gets the job done: the first drowns in “which” and “who” clauses.In other words—be suspicious any time you have to support one needed word (rubescent) with a creaking framework of “which” and “what” and “who.” Dump the “which-what-who” and take the single descriptive word. Plant it as an adjective in the main sentence.

10. A short cut to “who” and “whom.”

  • Nominative: who
  • Possessive: whose
  • Objective: whom

The rule:

a) Treat the “who-clause” as a mini-sentence. If you could substitute “he” for the who-whom, it’s a “who.” If             you could substitute “him” for the who-whom it’s a “whom.”The trick is where ellipsis has occurred … or where                   parentheticals have been inserted … and the number of people in important and memorable places who get it                       wrong.       “Who … do I see?” Wrong: I see he? No. I see “him.” Whom do I see?

b) “Who” never changes case to match an antecedent. (word to which it refers)

  • I blame them who made the unjust law. CORRECT.
  • It is she whom they blame. CORRECT: The who-clause is WHOM THEY BLAME.
  • They blame HER=him, =whom.
  • I am the one WHO is at fault. CORRECT.
  • I am the one WHOM they blame. CORRECT.
  • They took him WHOM they blamed. CORRECT—but not because WHOM matches HIM: that doesn’t matter: correct because “they” is the subject of “blamed” and “whom” is the object.
  • I am he WHOM THEY BLAME. CORRECT. Whom is the “object” of “they blame.”

Back to rule (a): “who” clauses are completely independent in case from the rest of the sentence. The case of “who” in its clause changes by the internal logic of the clause and by NO influence outside the clause. Repeat to yourself: there is no connection, there is no connection 3 x and you will never mistake for whom the bell tolls.

The examples above probably grate over your nerves. That’s why “that” is gaining in popularity in the vernacular and why a lot of copyeditors will correct you incorrectly on this point. I’m beginning to believe that nine tenths of the English-speaking universe can’t handle these little clauses.

11. -ing. “Shouldering his pack and setting forth, he crossed the river … ”

No, he didn’t. Not unless his pack was in the river. Implies simultaneity. The participles are just like any other verbal form. They aren’t a substitute legal everywhere, or a quick fix for a complex sequence of motions. Write them on the fly if you like, but once imbedded in text they’re hard to search out when you want to get rid of their repetitive cadence, because -ing is part of so many fully constructed verbs {am going, etc.}

12. -ness A substitute for thinking of the right word. “Darkness,” “unhappiness,” and such come of tacking -ness (or occasionally – ion) onto words. There’s often a better answer. Use it as needed.As a general rule, use a major or stand-out vocabulary word only once a paragraph, maybe twice a page, and if truly outre, only once per book. Parallels are clear and proper exceptions to this, and don’t vary your word choice to the point of silliness: see error 3.

I hope all writers will keep this in mind as they go about doing their business …. that is writing!

To you with love

If ever two were one, then surely we,

If ever man were loved by me, then thee,

If ever woman was happy in a man,

Compare with me women if you can.

I prize your love more than mines of gold,

or all the riches the world does hold.

My love is such that riches cannot quench.

Nor should. Love from you i do recompense.

Your love is such that i can in no way repay.

heavens reward you many times i pray.

Then while we live, lets persevere in love.

That when we live no more our love may live ever.

© Ado Yiembo

Copy and pass “To You With Love” around to your heart’s content,but always post my Copyright notice above, correctly, thank you, as both a courtesy and a legal necessity to protect any writer.


I sit still under the sunny shade
Listening to the tree whisper
As the gusts of air move through
The twiggy branches and long leaves
I think they are sending secrets to others
And I wish I was the wind
I would pass my secret message to you
No matter where you are

Martha aka Thatcher Karua: Is Change Here? by Alffie

After the recent by-election wins for Narc-K in the name on Mike Sonko and Kabogo most of the headlines were all centered on Martha Karua being the new third force. Almost felt like the English Premier league with Chelsea or some inconsequential team breaking into the elite’s club whose members were (still is despite 5 year hiccups of one member) Arsenal and Manchester United.

Predictably, the small issue of  “a running mate” cropped up! For me, this brings a whole new dynamic in Kenyan politics. The Americans have had this practice since they sought democracy but in Kenya, where the notion of democracy is still a foreign concept, this might be tricky for aspiring presidential candidates.

I’ll come right out and say that I’ll vote for Martha W. Karua for reasons I choose not to address here (but will..eventually). I however have a concern in light of the issue of ‘running mate!!’ Who in Narc-K would be suitable to be her running mate..Danson Mungatana? Mike Sonko? Kabogo?…The last two just won their respective constituency battle and are undoubtedly a big plus to the Narc-K fraternity…more significantly for the money they bring in. So in terms of funding…I’m confident that my preferred candidate is well covered.

But I still don’t see a suitable running mate. You might be of the opinion that she joins forces with some other strong individual like Bill Ruto for example..well, mathematically..that would be a good move but I don’t see that happening. At #mindspeak August 2010 edition, the “Iron lady” expressly stated that that kind of politics is one of the things she’s fighting against and so to partake of it would be a blow to her integrity. I was to ask her this question on that #mindspeak edition but I missed that bus.

Martha’s campaign strategy is admirable thus far…interracting with the electorate especially via social media and forums like #mindspeak. Her stand on the new constitution & her defence of the same showed maturity and a grasp at the implications & intepretations of the then draft constitution that few even dared to exhibit. I remember the first question that was addressed to her at #mindspeak was “Have you ever been corrupt?” to which she answered.. “No!” Whether or not that is true I can’t tell but her confidence in that answer under no pressure whatsoever spoke volumes to me and the audience as a whole. These are some of the reasons I’ve in a matter of speaking already picked her as my candidate of choice. Another reason would be that she’s not from a political ‘dynasty’ as it is with most of the other probable candidates save maybe for Bifwoli Wakoli & maybe Bill Ruto (not sure about this though).

I find her more principled than the other politicians but therein lies the potential problem. Anyone who she picks as a running mate would most likely tarnish her campaign as she has set to high a standard. The recent Kabogo-Sonko wins are good for Narc-K and her presidential bid probably but I still believe the choice of running mate would make a very big difference especially for her..

So the question still stands: Who will be her running mate? Do I think she can win? I really do think she can & so does she. Will she win?..For that we’ll have to hope the Mayan 2012 prophesy isn’t true as we wait to see.