Five Reasons why you need an Editor in Kenya

Five Reasons why you need an Editor in Kenya.

Editing is lifesaving to writers.  A good editor will make your work shine, and help you tell your story in the clearest way possible.  A good editor will ensure you are bringing out the best of your content.

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Editing Notes

Here is why:

  1. Language:
    • Editors will make sure you have structured your sentences, full stops, commas, ellipses, dialogue tags…all these important tools and ingredients in the right way. This is no excuse for you to ignore the rules of language.  A writer should be well-versed on language, and the tools it requires to write a good story.  The editor helps you refine your language.  You don’t want to punish your editor, you want to inspire them to help you polish your work.
  2. They are your first audience:
    • A good editor will resonate with your work. If they read it, engage with it, and interact, then you’re one step closer to reaching a wider audience.  Do listen to their advice, even when you don’t want to.  It will help you in the long run.
  3. Your Editor will help guide you in the right direction
    • Depending on the relationship you develop with your editor, any conversation you have with your editor can help the direction you take with your work. They will challenge you to break long time habits, explore your talent, and push it beyond the limits you have set yourself as a writer.  Be careful to choose an editor you can communicate with.  Don’t forget, Editing is a service, shop around until you find the right fit for you.
  4. Editors keep you honest – If you’re writing fiction, and your editor knows your style, the moment you start to cut corners, your editor will call you out on them and keep you honest.
  5. They are always right, not always, but most times– This is the hardest thing to take for a writer. The moment your editor reads your work and you find a series of red marks, suggestions and comments.  Do not lose your head.  Take a walk, then return to your document and give it a second look.  You may argue a point out with your editor, sometimes, you may win, most times, you won’t as they are only trying to help you tell your story in a clear manner.

Once you have finished writing your fiction, or non-fiction book, get yourself an editor.  Do not mind the cost and take it as an investment.  To ensure the fiction/poetry or non-fiction book you produce is polished, and readable.  Remember, your book is a product, you want to produce the best content quality possible.

Have you found your right Editor?

Life on the Fast Track – 19

Track 19 : No matter how crazy I get, I’ll come home to you

Danny and Nic drove Tyler to Danny’s garage, where they cleaned the cut on his forehead.  Once they drilled the truth out of him, Nic decided to call a criminal investigator who worked with his father.  Jimmy caught up with them as they waited for the investigator to show up.

Danny sat with Tyler, unable to understand why such a young man would want to get into so much trouble.  Adrian ordered Tyler to cause trouble at the racecourse, hoping an accident would occur that would bring in a police investigation.  Apparently, Adrian wanted to buy the racing grounds from Danny and Jimmy.  He figured if enough troubles arose, and police got involved, Danny would cut his losses and put up the business for sale.  As if, Danny scoffed.  He had worked too hard to give up what he had now.

“You could walk away,” Danny pointed out to Tyler.Danny

“Have you met Adrian?” Tyler scoffed.  “He controls my life, Danny.  It’s not like I can say no.”

Hiyo ni ufala,” Danny said, staring at him.  “You’re weak, that’s why you can’t say no.  He is not forcing you; you’re allowing him to control you.  What do you lose if you walk away?” (That’s stupidity)

“I heard you’re finally dating Jasmine,” Tyler said, meeting his gaze.

Danny was surprised to read jealousy in Tyler’s eyes.

“What does that have to do with anything?”

“Adrian threatened to hurt her when we were together.  I’d found the strength to walk away from him then, I really thought I could make it work with her.  Then Adrian showed up, and I had no choice but to walk away.  To protect her,” Tyler said.  “I broke her heart.”

Danny sighed, not sure what to say.

“You should thank me,” Tyler said, with a small smile.  “She always did like you, never had the courage to tell you though.  Guess she got it somehow.”

Danny thought about Jasmine’s pleading gaze when he refused to listen to her.  She was going to be so angry with him.

“Now what?” Tyler asked, looking around Danny’s garage office.  “Nice place.”

“Now you get out of town,” Nic said, coming into the office with his CID friend.  “You’re going to help this man bring your brother in to the police.  I hate thieves, and bastards who think they’re entitled to anything they want.  If I was a more cruel man, you wouldn’t have lived tonight.”

Tyler sighed, and turned to Danny.

“I suppose this is what I deserve for what I did earlier. I wish you were handling this instead of him. Nic frightens me, more than you do,” Tyler said.  “Can you tell Jasmine something for me?”

Danny frowned.  “Why would I do that?”

“Because.”  Tyler shrugged.  “My head hurts, and she was the last person who cared about me.  Tell her I was wrong.  She was worth fighting for.”

“Okay, Casanova,” Nic said, coming to grip Tyler’s left arm and pulling him up to his feet.  “Let’s go.  Danny, the Andersons will be history in a few.  I’ve cleaned up the races this time.  That means you now owe me a favor.”

“Noted.”

“Good.  I love your car.  Got you around really fast,” Nic said, with a grin as he left the office.  “Care to race for logs?”

“I’ll consider it,” Danny said, glad when Nic disappeared with Tyler and the detective with no further comments.

Danny stared at the keys he still held, the skyline was full of luck.

He sat back in his seat and looked at Jimmy who was leaning on the doorjamb.

“Jazz?”

“She’s with Terry, at your house.  She was not happy,” Jimmy said.  “She looked pissed off with you, you have your work cut out for you.”

Danny stood, and stretched his arms above his head.

“We’ll get through this,” Danny decided.

Jimmy grinned.  “All I can say is good luck.”

Danny drove home at six in the morning.  He parked his car and hurried into the house, anticipation coursing through him.  This was the first time Jasmine would be staying over his house, as his girlfriend.  She had stayed over before, but with Terry.  Now, it was for him, he smiled as he closed the front door.

He was surprised to see Terry relaxing on the couch, watching a home-makeover show.  She hugged her pillow, and was still in pajamas.  This soft, disarrayed side of Terry was rare.  He only saw it when she was worried.  Danny walked over to her and touched the headscarf covering her hair.  She looked at him with bleary eyes.  Clearly, she had not slept.

“Hey.”

“Jasmine went home.”  Terry stated.  “She couldn’t stay here, kept freaking out that you might kill yourself racing the streets of Nairobi after a psycho who tried to kill you.”

“Why didn’t you talk her into staying?”

“Because, I’m sure if I tried, she’d talk herself into the reasons why she can’t be with you,” Terry snapped.

“Tereza.”

“I love her,” Terry said.  “She’s like a sister to me, Danny.  I love you too.  You’re my brother.  So fix it so I don’t have to choose which one of you I have to give up.  I stayed up to tell you that, now I’m going to bed.”

***

Two hours later, showered and changed, Danny walked up to Jasmine’s front door.  He contemplated unlocking her door with the spare key she gave him, but then he thought it was better to knock, and ended up pressing the doorbell.

The door opened, and Danny stared at a younger version of Jasmine.

“Wow, you are Jazz’s secret, aren’t you?” She grinned and leaned on the doorjamb.  “Oh Jasmine, kuna stori ha uja twambia.  Guys, come out here.”

Footsteps, and in seconds, Danny stared at a younger boy who also looked like Jasmine.  Her brother and sister, he assumed.  The older woman behind them all studied him with a suspicious gaze.

Jasmine’s mother, Danny thought, when she narrowed her gaze at him.

“Morning,” Wanja said, pushing her son and daughter aside.  “Call me Mama Jazz.  What’s your name?”

“Danny.”

“Danny, why don’t you come inside,” Wanja said, her smile a tad too inviting.

Danny wondered where Jasmine was, but decided to take the plunge and give Jasmine a reason to forgive him.  Taking Wanja’s hand, he allowed her to lead him into the house.

***

To be continued…Thanks for reading ^_^

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Life on the Fast Track – 18

Track 18 – I met your dark side and it scares me

“Danny?”

Jasmine flung the driver’s door open.  Her hands shaking when she saw Danny slumped over the steering wheel.

“Danny.”  Jasmine touched his shoulder and he sat back with a harsh curse.  “Oh thank God!  Are you hurt?  Anything broken?  We should get you to the hospital.”

“Jazz, I’m fine.  Jimmy, who was that bastard?”

“Nic went after him.”

“Damn it!” Danny gripped Jasmine’s hand.  “Take her home.”

“No.”  Jasmine leaned into the car, looking into Danny’s dark eyes.  “Whatever you’re thinking, no.”

“Jazz.”

“No.” Jasmine shook her head, wrapping her arms around him in a tight hug.  “Danny, take me home, and I’ll check to make sure you weren’t hurt.  Don’t do this.  Not right now when you’re pissed off.”

Danny tightened his arms around her, squeezed her tight, and then he pushed her into Jimmy arms.  Not giving her a chance to fight back, Jimmy lifted her up, moving her away from Danny’s car.  She screamed and kicked the driver’s door when Danny closed it and revved the car.

With a final glance at her, Danny sped out of the field in a cloud of dust and she pinched Jimmy’s arm so that he could let her go.  Terry reached them, her gaze meeting Jimmy’s for a second, before she pulled Jasmine into her arms.

“I’ll drive you guys home,” Jimmy said.

“I brought my car,” Terry said, leading Jasmine toward the exit.

“I’ll make sure it gets home to you,” Jimmy said.

Jasmine tuned them out, her thoughts on Danny.  Jasmine couldn’t stop thinking about

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

Danny’s gaze right before he drove off.  Dark eyes filled with anger, and this dark…she couldn’t describe it.  His temper was short, she knew that, and someone cutting him off like that in a race deserved it.  But then, what would happen if he caught up with that bastard and ended up facing Anderson?

Jasmine allowed Terry to help her into the backseat of Jimmy’s car.  She wrapped her arms around herself, suddenly freezing.  Terry must have seen her shiver as she draped Jimmy’s jacket over Jasmine’s shoulders.  Jasmine stared out the window, her thoughts on Danny, until she realized Jimmy wasn’t driving her home.

“Where are we going?” Jasmine asked.

“Danny’s house,” Jimmy said.  “I need you to stay with Terry.  I’m going out to find Danny, when I drop you off.”

“Why did you let him go then?” Jasmine asked, meeting Jimmy’s gaze in the rear view mirror.  She couldn’t help the accusation in her tone.  Jimmy was Danny’s best friend.  Best friends did not let each other rush headlong into trouble.

“Danny knows what is right and wrong, Jazz.”  Jimmy narrowed his gaze at her.  “Learn to trust him.”

Jasmine looked away unable to hold his gaze.  She did trust Danny.  She did.  She couldn’t love him without trusting him, but—

Jasmine bit her lip, tears stinging the back of her eyes.

If something, happened to him…how would she live then?

***

Danny locked his phone on its dock on the dashboard, and pressed the speaker feature.  Nic’s voice filled the car.

“I’m almost caught up, but he’s headed for the southern bypass fast.  We’re on Gitaru road.  Bastard doesn’t care if he hits people.  His speed is on another level.”

“What do you see?”

“Almost to Kinge’ero stage,” Nic said.

Danny swerved his car into the next small road he found and concentrated on driving fast.  Roads in residential areas were great in the middle of the night.  No one walking in the night, cars locked away safe in compounds, unless one counted patrol units.  The skyline would hold up in a chase, and it was a while since he’d given it the chance to open up and test its limits, no patrol unit would reach him.  Changing gears, he took a turn too fast, burning rubber.  He increased speed and raced toward the cutoff point.

“Where are you?” Nic asked, sounding annoyed.

“In just a few,” Danny said, cursing when he tried to avoid a porthole but failed.

He hoped Jimmy wouldn’t yell at him too much for the damage, and increased speed.  Relief flooding him when he finally saw gitaru road ahead. In six seconds, he raced into the major road, glad there weren’t cars to halt his progress.  On his left, he saw the rogue car almost upon him.  Danny gave it a deliberate tap on the right front bumper, and the driver lost control and spun out of the road and into the open space filled with kiosks and electric poles.  For Danny, it took skill to control his car out of the way, so that their cars didn’t tangle.  When he was free, Danny slowed down, and came to a stop a distance away from the car spinning out of control.

Their rogue driver panicked, his grip on the steering wheel unsteady, he drove right into an electric pole, and that’s what stopped him.  Danny got out when he saw Nic’s car come to a stop behind his.  Gripping his car keys, Danny hurried to the rogue car, peering into the driver’s side from the passenger window.

“Get out,” Danny ordered when he saw the man in the driver’s side moving.  “Don’t make me get you out.”

Nic had no patience, so he went around, pulling the driver’s door open, and dragging the driver out, holding him up with a fist on his clothing.

“Who the hell are you?” Nic asked, directing light from his phone on the driver.

Danny walked around the car and stopped, staring at the bloodied face looking back at them.

“It’s Tyler Anderson,” Danny said, when Nic started to shake the poor man into submission.  “He is Adrian’s brother.”

 

***

To be continued….Thank you for reading ^_^

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Saturday afternoons in the Flower garden

Today, our favorite companions, two white cats, with the most expressive eyes.  I, most times, believe they understand every word we say.  They’re both girls and get those moments when they huff and walk away…..clearly, they’re speaking here.

I saw them playing in the flower garden and it reminded me of another Saturday not too long ago.  As mentioned before, I love gardening, flowers growing around the house, digging fingers into the dirt…all of it is therapeutic and a great mind-clearing exercise, as Mum says.

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So, on this Saturday, we (Mum and me, worked in the flower garden, while my sister baked) spent time weeding, loosening dirt for the flowers, kneeling right in to pull out weeds. It doesn’t take long.  Afternoons are the best around three p.m., going into dinnertime.  It’s funny, but when we start working, everyone in the compound gravitates to that spot, and wild conversations arise.  The last time, my sister (the bakerette), was reminiscing on when we were kids and each of us got a small patch to dig and plant.  We each had digging tools, and even planned out what to plant.  Of course, Our Mum would be supervising, and we grew flowers mostly, while she planted veggies, but it was a fun way to keep us occupied. Many years later, looks like we’re all still tending to flowers, and pretty grass.  Of course, our little helper, Bindi the cat, always inspects the job, to make sure it was done right.

Afterwards, we all sat on the stairs having tea with pancakes made by our in-house bakerette. Thinking about gardening today, I went to check the flower gardens thinking next Saturday, we need to do some garden work…the cats seem to agree.

Read a Story:

Save My Heart is available here, get the pdf, and read away.

 

 

Art Adventures at the Hotel Waterbuck-Nakuru

 

It feels like it’s been a while since I went on a road trip, so this was incredibly fun.  Nothing on the mind, but being on the road, noting random things, lush green scenery and that family of zebras, having their lunch.

 

Nakuru was rainy when we got there, so our contact sent us a tuk tuk man.  I now believe everyone should have Mr. Ngugi when you first hit Nakuru.  He got us around town and answered a billion questions with patience.

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View from inside Mr. Ngugi’s Tuk Tuk.

We had a stress free transport time thanks to him.

The trip was a fun day out, but it was also for a conference, organized by Topserve Baking Accessories and supplies, who have relaunched their shop in Nakuru.  The Conference was held at Hotel Waterbuck, Nakuru.  While the event continued, it was hard to ignore these gems on the walls of this hotel.  So much art, there is no chance you will be bored checking in to this hotel.

 

 

 

 

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Let’s Join the Jazz Band
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All that and a Cup of Coffee

Nakuru is about 3hrs away from Nairobi.  Very quiet, very laid back, and definitely a lot of fun to be had.  New Goals after this trip –> Not to take everything too seriously, gotta take time to have fun.

Check out Hotel Waterbuck next time you’re in Nakuru.  If not to stay overnight, then to eat, at their delish restaurant.

3 Important Things for Kenyans to Remember

I’m guilty of falling into a dark repetitive cycle when what I expected doesn’t happen, or changes into what I didn’t want.  #ElectionsKe is a great example of jumping into this dark repetitive cycle that leaves you spinning on the same spot. Questions like, ‘Why is this happening?’ ‘Can’t they just stop or agree?’  ‘Oh my god, there is this side, and that side.  That side is definitely out to get this side‘, fill the mind. The blaming, the shaming, the hating, the pointing fingers…this is just a small part of the dark repetitive cycle, earlier mentioned.

You have to make a conscious effort to pull yourself out of there.  To remember the important things, despite the turmoil bred by politics.

  1. Your Life’s Goals – Focus on that instead of negativity.  Allowing yourself to be imagessucked into the dark cycle will only derail your life’s goals.  This isn’t easy, especially for those of us in business. Every day Kenya continues in a state of anxiety, the harder it is to buy and sell, manufacture and deliver.  Costs run up, so we’re forced to think of new ways to achieve our goals.  It’s a challenging experience, but one that’s way more important than jumping into the dark cycle.
  2. Kenya is not one person, it is all of us.  Be kind to your neighbor as you have always been before, are now, and should be in the future.  We can only grow together.
  3. Let the Giants fight it out.  The rest of us, keep living, building, growing what matters to us, in our lives.  The giants won’t pay for your rent, give you money for your house, and family.  They won’t know what you’re eating for dinner, or breakfast.  You can only do one thing, vote, the rest, leave it to our more than capable Justice branch.

Meanwhile, raptly waiting to do what I can, which is vote as needed, then see new trends, like #githeriman #Chilobae  on my nearest screen, and smile in amusement at the Creativity in this country. Gotta love it! While doing my own thing, through it all, because that’s what matters to me and my family.

This is a Blog Hop Post! For a writing group called Literati.  The best bunch of people I’ve gotten to know.  Totally inspiring you and making you aspire to do better too…

Read other posts.

  1. Politics 101
  2. The Ballot Box has a Hole

Life on the Fast Track – 3

Track 3 – I Like You So Much, I’m Terrified

The next few minutes were a blur for Danny.  He could only think of her delicious scent when she leaned into him.  Her soft lips on his clean-shaven jaw and how much he wanted her to do it again.

“Danny?” Jasmine called again, snapping him back.  “Earth to Danny, is everything okay?”

“Sure,” Danny cleared his throat, blinking.

Jasmine was in the dining room, looking at him, her gaze expectant.  Following her, he realized breakfast was ready.  Jasmine had set the table.  Smiling at her, Danny moved to the dining table.

“Where did you go?” Jasmine asked, as she sat down to her breakfast.  Picking up her fork, she dug in.

Danny, charmed, watched her eat.  He wondered what she would say if he told her the truth.

“The food looks good.  I didn’t know you could cook.”

Jasmine laughed.

“Danny, you’ve avoided me for a while now.  You don’t know many things about me.”

“Avoiding?  I haven’t avoided you,” Danny said, picking up his fork ready to deny the truth.

“Really?” Jasmine studied him.  “Hmm…then, I have avoided you,” she said, taking a sip of her orange juice.

Her comment had him looking up to meet her gaze.

“Why?” he asked.

Jasmine looked away first.

“I don’t know,” she shrugged.  “Just ‘coz.”

“I want a reason,” Danny prodded, watching her eat eggs.  He imagined watching her eat eggs for the rest of his life was not a bad idea.

“No, you don’t,” Jasmine said, sipping her juice.  “How’s the business of cars?”

“Fine, we’re still standing,” Danny said, reaching for pepper to sprinkle on his eggs.

“Speeding against the air waves?” she asked, her tone cautious.

“It’s my passion,” Danny said.  “I have a race tonight.  Would you like to come?”

“No.”

Jasmine answered without much hesitation.

“I have somewhere to go tonight,” she said.

“Oh yeah, with who?” Danny asked, his teeth gritted at the answer he would get.

“Someone, anyone,” Jasmine said quietly.

“But me” Danny finished for her, matching her tone.

“I’m avoiding you, remember,” Jasmine said, finally lifting her gaze to study him.  “You and I, we’re very—, different.”

“Because you’re avoiding me,” Danny said, placing his fork on his mat.  “You piss me off more times than you know.”

“I hardly talk to you,” Jasmine frowned.  “I make sure not to.”

“Do I have the plague?”

“Can’t we have a nice meal with each other?  No arguing.  I owe you a debt—

“You don’t,” Danny said, louder than he intended.  “I helped because I wanted to.  You’re Terry’s friend.”

“Don’t yell at me,” Jasmine said, annoyed now.  “This is why I avoid you, Danny.  We can’t seem to be cordial to each other.”

Danny got up from his seat.  He reached into his pocket, pulled out her car keys and placed them on the table.

“You know what, you’re right.  Call me if anything sounds wrong with the car.  I have to go.”

“Sure,” Jasmine said, not moving.

Danny glared at her one last time before he stalked out, making sure to slam her front door.

Avoiding, ha!  Jasmine was too much.  Did she even realize he’d asked her out and she had ignored it?  Not to brag, but the list of women who wanted such an invitation was long, especially tonight.  Plenty of women!

Turning his car toward the highway, Danny cursed under his breath.  It wasn’t like he wasn’t avoiding her too, but the fact that she actually admitted staying away from him with such a calm tone, that pissed him off.

“Speeding against the airwaves,” Danny scoffed.  “Who says that?”

****

“We had breakfast,” Jasmine said, hours later.  “Then he left.”

“That’s all?” Terry exclaimed.  “Oh, come on.”

“It was an exciting moment,” Jasmine said, flashing Terry a smile.  “He yelled as usual.  You can at least give me credit.  I made him eggs.”

Terry shook her head at her best friend and wondered what she had to do to get her brother and Jasmine together.  Her best friend and her brother were the two most idiotic people she knew.  Did they need everything spelled out to them?

“Quit matchmaking,” Jasmine said, pushing clothes on the rack in her closet.

They were getting ready to go to a new club tonight.  Jasmine wanted to let loose after her disastrous breakfast.  The day had not improved, and her mood was sour.  Terry had found Jasmine dealing with work problems, the warehouse she worked for wouldn’t stop calling her.

“I’m exhausted with drumming sense into you,” Terry said, moving to take Jasmine by her shoulders.

Giving Jasmine a little shake, Terry sighed.

“You two need to stop dodging the obvious.  Things will get easier if you face up to the truth and stop avoiding each other.”

***

To be continued….Thank you for reading ^_^

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