Happy and Grateful for having a Reading Culture

Happy New Year! 2020 is currently very beautiful. My Sunday is full of perfect sun, and birds chirping on the trees around our compound. Peaceful perfection.

This post is a gratitude post. I was on Goodreads deciding on my 2020 reading challenge number, and got to check out last year’s accomplishment. It suddenly occurred to me that I ought to be very grateful to my parents. Very grateful because they gave me the gift of nurturing a reading culture.

It’s a small action, really, but also the most powerful gift ever. My dad had a serious obsession with science fiction. He gave me my first Arthur C. Clarke books, (Rendezvous with Rama), and my mom has a thing for literature, she had a stash of African plays, and a box full of reader’s digest romance books. When I was done reading theirs, they bought me fiction books, one every month, and made sure I learned how to borrow books from my school’s library. The biggest challenge was taking care of that book and returning it in good condition. Better yet, learning how to keep books they bought so that my sister and brother could read them too. These small lessons have turned into the biggest blessings now.

I am grateful for my parents who taught me how to be a collector of books.

The Goodreads reading challenge is a great way to track books on the shelf at home, or in your virtual library. That’s a thing now by the way. My kindle has an endless list now. This year, I plan on 120 books, as opposed to the 200 from last year. I’m anticipating a busy 2020 in terms of actual activities on my time, so the number has reduced. I don’t know why it’s so exciting to see Goodreads make a report and list of books I read through the year. It makes me want to have a more impressive review for this year.

I’ll tell you that real world obligations can take over and suddenly you’re in March and haven’t started the reading challenge at all. I’ve found downloading a book every week on my kindle app helps me keep track. Read during a commute, when waiting for someone, or instead of scrolling endlessly on social media.

My first book this year is going to be finishing Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo.

What’s yours?

I wish you a wonderful 2020!

Nanowrimo and Picture Perfect

November is here! You know that means NaNoWriMo! Have you started writing your novel for the month yet? The NaNoWriMo: Kenya Region has an exciting whatsapp group, that keeps you going even on the days you want to stop. If interested, join the daily writing sprints. Here is the link to the NaNoWriMo whatsapp group. Get in and write your 50,000 words this month.

My project this year is called Kipepeo. I hope to get about 50K words of it done. It’s Nov 5th, I’m at 6K. 44k to go!

Picture Perfect

More News! Picture Perfect finally has a cover and a completion schedule which is this Month (November 30th). I’ve had a long journey with this story, and you’ll find a chunk of it on this site. I’m excited to finally finish this and get it out there on e-book platforms. Please look forward to it. Here is the cover!

November is exciting!

Olympus Art by Mike Omondi

Feature

Profile: Mike Omondi

Mike Omondi Mulinya is an artist focused on painting on Canvas and Mix Media. He is the owner of Olympus Art and is based in Ngara, Nairobi. He often documents his progress on canvas on Instagram. You’ll find a work-in-progress post and project-complete post on his feed..


What I love most about his work is the color that explodes on canvas: so vivid and authentic. Read on to discover more about Mike and his art, in the following interview.



Don’t give up on your dreams. As an artist, stand up bold and be what and who you want to be in life because we live once.


Q. Tell us about yourself and what you do.

My name is Mike Omondi Mulinya. I do Art and Design to satisfy my spirit of creativity and adventure.

You’re an artist, what is your experience in your industry in Kenya?

The art industry in Kenya though not so tough, is also not an easy walk through. Though the industry has prominent artists, not many of them are willing to sit and have a chit-chat of encouragement and prosperity (with new artists). I think there is a fear of overtake in their monopoly market of art. To add to that, I started up with four paintings in 2017 and went to ask for a chance at Alliance Française. They told  me that they don’t exhibit the paintings that I was doing. They (the paintings) were kinda small I guess. So, lucky for me, they were bold to my aunt who bought them all.

What Inspires you? What inspired your most favorite artwork?

My dream and passion of having the Olympus Art Gallery is my wheel that I push daily. This dream inspires me every dawn and dusk. What inspired my most favourite work is nature. God was creative with the world, so God is an Artist and so nature inspires my paintings.

How or why did you start making art?

I started making art in high school to preserve the art culture that I see is almost coming to an end. I also started making art since I’m art coherent. It’s in me and I really wanted to bring the art culture to bold light and say Art is what I dream and I paint my dreams. In this world, one can’t survive without cash. I had to look for a source of income. I chose making art as my source of income.

What is your most important artist tool?

My important artist tools are my paint brushes, since they help me create vivid artistic images for the future and for utilization purpose.

Do you only paint on canvas, or can you make art in other forms?  For example, painting murals, making greeting cards, or even on clothes?

I paint on canvas and any hardware material that paint is compatible. I can paint and make things to order.

What are your thoughts to aspiring artists in Kenya?

My thoughts are don’t give up on your dreams. As an artist, stand up bold and be what and who you want to be in life because we live once.


There is special magic in a painting on canvas hanging on a wall. If you’re looking for an artist to get art for your walls, your place of work, your …insert preference…do check out Mike’s Art. His contacts below:

  • Email: omondimike88@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @olympus_arts_mike
  • Phone: 0708825023 (based in Ngara, Nairobi)

Ocean trinkets – Art & Craft

A burst of inspiration struck this afternoon.  We collected shells on the beach during a trip to Diani, and we had this huge bag of shells we didn’t know what to do with.  Anyway, the inspiration came from browsing pinterest, and finding these great seaside jars made over at Completely-Coastal.

So, got to work collecting glass jars in the house.  Impromptu arts & crafts, hahaha.

Made quite a mess of it at first.

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Memories in a Jar!

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But the end result looks awesome.  These are now going on the bookshelves.  Memories in a Jar!

All in all, a productive Saturday afternoon…at least it was a great save for the shells.  Hope your Saturday was great!

Up next, Life on the Fast Track – 22.  Jasmine is to face Dad and make a stand for her little brother! Oh boy!

Cheers.

Chasing the Sunset to Eldoret

Took a road trip to Eldoret, KE this week.  There were so many pictures that I thought it’s best to just share them on the blog.  So, here are sights from our beautiful, lush countryside!

always meet them having lunch, hahaha!

A lake to purposely visit

The sun painting the sky.

Where did the riders go? ^_^!

Shades of Sunset Gallery.

We were heading west, so each town tended to have it’s own moment.

I was in charge of photos for the trip…caught this selfie moment among the three ladies doing baking training at our destination.

I’mma take a selfie!

Checking out the Kerio Valley in Iten.  Home of the Champions!

Training hard to run for KE

 

Massive Kerio valley!

Along the way, caught sight of this billboard and it made my day.

I had fun on this trip, collected quite a few stories.  Until next time.

 

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.

 

 

The Liebster Award

Starting my year with a bit of fun!  Thank you Dora of Nilichoandika for the award nomination.  It was a great surprise to discover as I jump back into the blog for 2018!

What’s The Liebster Award all about?

The Liebster Award is a blogger award for new bloggers, those with few followers, who are still getting the hang of this dynamic industry. It is a fantastic way of giving exposure, recognition, and motivation to these talented newbies so as to keep their blogging fire blazing!

Rules of the Liebster Award

  1. Create a new blog post with the graphical image of the Liebster Award as the one above.
  2. Thank the blogger who nominated you while also providing a link to their blog.
  3. Answer the Questions you had received from your Nominator(s).
  4. Nominate 10 bloggers and share your blog post with them so that they can accept their awards.
  5. Create a set of questions for your Nominees to Answer.

Fantastic, let’s get started!

  • What would you say has been the highlight of your blogging experience this year (2017)?
    • The best  part of blogging in 2017 was getting personal messages in my email from readers who discovered my stories.  I can’t begin to express how exciting that gets, and I felt truly happy.  Getting fiction out there is hard work, and it was good to get such positive feedback from readers.
  • If you could pick a theme to blog about, any theme that scares you or you know very little about, what would it be and why?
    • Stocks and Bonds!! Hahaha…Okay, to be serious, anything IT oriented.  Stuff is changing so fast, it’s hard to keep up I think.
  • What’s the best and the worst part of being called a blogger?
    • The best part comes from someone following your blog, and connecting with you, truly.  The worst part…I haven’t discovered it yet.  Honestly. I will update that when it comes to me.

My Questions:

  1. What Fantastic thing do you want to accomplish with your Blog this year 2018?
  2. What is your favorite topic to blog about?
  3. If you were to go on an adventure then blog about it, where would you go?
  4. How has your passion influenced what you blog about?

I would love to know more from these great bloggers:

  1. Kenyan TrepLady
  2. Vincent de Paul
  3. Child of Destiny
  4. Vinz Poetry
  5. Wild Ventures
  6. Kevin Wanderlust (This blog gives me wanderlust, so beautiful)
  7. Maremma Gee
  8. Demogorgon’s Fiction
  9. The Social Crazies
  10. Humphrey Osoro

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