Archive for February, 2012

The Climb

Having a scan through my old emails, I was shocked to discover that it has been two years since I finished the first draft of a complete novel (let’s ignore the numerous subsequent drafts that had to be produced). I know this because I always email the first draft to myself and the date on my last complete novel is late March 2010. You’ve probably sussed that the two novels and one novella I have recently published were all written before then (between 2003 and 2010 to be exact). It sounds like a long time ago but with all the constant editing, the stories have continued to feel fresh to me which has been a great help in keeping my interest in them alive.

So what exactly have I been doing for the last twenty-three months? Thankfully I haven’t been struck by writer’s block or anything drastic. I’ve been writing more and more short stories (thanks to the exercises set in the writing group I attend), most of which I have put up on this blog in the last year or so. But short stories have never given me the satisfaction that completing a 75,000 word novel brings. I tried to start other novels but Continue reading

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My T-shirt is better than yours

On my way to work last week, I noticed two men walking slightly ahead on the other side of the road. Both of them were dressed in identical brown leather jackets with thick fur-lined collars, same shade of tan trousers and dark brown shoes. I didn’t think much of this – men wear matching outfits all the time – until one  of the men stopped the other and pointed out the situation to him. They both laughed and carried on their separate ways. No high drama.

I don’t mean to be sexist but I couldn’t help thinking that if they had been women, one of them (probably the first to notice the offending outfit) would have gasped in horror and cowered in shame as she slowed down her pace and waited for the other to leave the scene. How dare someone else have similar taste in clothing as you and have the cheek to wear the same outfit on the same day and in the same room with you? Continue reading

Ebook Feature

Hurrah, my books are being featured on http://bargainebooks.blogspot.com/ today!!!

Short Story 15: The Wedding

[I just realised I haven’t posted a short story in almost two months – shock and horror! Apologies for that. This one was written last year around the time of the Royal Wedding (hence the title). Enjoy!]

She broke up with him on Christmas Eve, on their way to his parents’ house in Nottingham. It was quite convenient for her because they were already on the M1 so he dropped her off at her parents’ in Leicester before carrying on alone. They didn’t live together so, after the holiday period, all that had to be done was a cordial return of the few personal items they kept in each other’s house. He came over when she was out, dropped her stuff, picked his up, took his house keys which she had left on the kitchen table and threw hers in through the mail slot after he had locked up.

She didn’t see him again for the next three months and the time away from him was so peaceful that she wondered why she hadn’t made her decision much earlier. No one looming about in the background clouding her judgement or questioning her actions. After a year of dating him, it was utter bliss. And then the loneliness began to set in. It was mostly the little things that got to her; he’d understood her sense of humour and could always make her laugh, he knew what would make her happy and what not to say when she had that annoyed glint in her eyes. She missed the occasional romantic surprises as well, like the boxes of fresh doughnuts he had delivered to her office every time he said he saw a funny cloud – which tended to be a lot of the time. Or the time he’d flown back a day early from a meeting in Spain just so she wouldn’t have to go to her friend’s wedding alone.

It took her almost five months to realise that she missed him more than she had expected to. It had been unusually easy not to bump into him. Maybe it was because she had made very little attempt to socialise much after he’d gone. They had mutual friends but it was only after the breakup that she remembered they weren’t really ‘their’ friends but ‘his’ and ‘her’ friends. Her friends that knew him had been careful not to mention any news of him to her if they heard anything and she had been grateful initially but now she really wanted to know what he was up to, how he was doing. It was a little too late to try to ring him up and check on him in what she would have attempted to pass as a casual interest in his wellbeing so there was one other way in which she could find out all she wanted.

Bill and Cathy were one set of friends they could actually call mutual. In a few weeks time, she was going to be one of Cathy’s bridesmaids and he was Bill’s best man. They’d met through the bride and groom about two years ago and the fact that they were now no longer together didn’t mean they couldn’t be on their wedding party. She found herself preparing for the day more than she had planned to. Arranging a facial, a body scrub and a visit to her hair dresser suddenly took on great importance as she kept telling herself not to be so silly; after all she was the one that had broken up with him. That had happened for a reason and she would be foolish not to remember why. But as her head chided her, her heart carried on wildly hoping.

The night of the dress rehearsal arrived and somehow she had still not seen him. She had hoped to run into him at Cathy and Bill’s flat after running one of many errands for the bride during the week but she had no such luck. It was only when he ran into the church, ten minutes after the rehearsal had started that she saw him. Nearly six months had gone by and although she knew she shouldn’t be, she was surprised to note that he looked no different. His trademark wide grin was on his face as he apologised to everyone for his late arrival and even a wink for her as she walked past to take his place beside the groom. No sign of anger or resentment towards her. Maybe that was a good sign. He made an excuse to Bill once the rehearsal was done and dashed off before she could speak to him. She wasn’t worried at all by this; after all he’d have nowhere to go the next day. Continue reading

New Facebook Author Page – Kenechi Udogu

I have a Facebook Author page! Woohoo! I felt a bit egotistical setting it up but based on endless hours of research, it’s supposed to be a good tool to help keep people (oh my goodness, fans!) updated on my book promos etc (other than on this blog, of course).

Please “like” the page and tweet or blog about it! Also I’d appreciate book reviews if people have read any of my novels/novella. Let’s keep spreading the word people! Thank you.

https://www.facebook.com/KenechiUdogu

Poetry 2: The Couple

[This is a Valentine’s Day poem I attempted last year. It’s pretty short but I like it so thought I’d post it for all the couples out there. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone – albeit a day early as I won’t have access to the internet to post this tomorrow.]

Jest about it

Brood about it

Laugh about it

Fret about it

Argue about it

Even pray about it

Just don’t forget about it.

The Notebook

I haven’t found many positive things to say about this recent spell of mind numbing cold but last night, I finally found something that made me go “If it wasn’t for this weather…” What could it possibly be? I hear you mutter with a raised brow. Well, if it wasn’t for this weather, I would not have found my Ideas Notebook. What notebook? I hear you…okay, I think you get the drift. Here’s the story. I used to think I had lots and lots of jumpers till I started running out of my normal stash, due to the recurring below zero temperature days we’ve been  experiencing. I knew I had more jumpers than I had been recycling to work, so I went to dig out my older stash, buried somewhere deep down inside a suitcase in which I store old stuff I’m not ready to give away yet (Oxfam, I need t pay you a visit soon). And within this rarely visited suitcase, I found my Ideas Notebook.

So what is an Ideas Notebook? Many many years ago (let’s say ten because it was definitely during my undergrad years), I read somewhere that all good writers should keep a notebook to record things they find interesting or inspirational in their daily lives. Overheard conversations on the bus, jaw dropping scenes in the park, seemingly insignificant episodes in the supermarket, anything. So I, the eager young writer, took an A6 notebook and made it my Ideas Notebook. At the time I didn’t think too much about it but reading through it last night, I realise now that I used it more than I remember. The strange thing is that I remember the events I jotted down quite clearly even though, as I said before, some of them happened close to ten years ago. The last event in the book appears to be from four or five years ago. Some of the events recorded actually happened to me. For example, eight years ago, I was once on a three storey building roof with a colleague carrying out a survey when we heard alarms, fire trucks etc but we assumed it was somewhere else. We got down the ladder and discovered that the fire had been in a flat right below us! Scary or what? I had completely forgotten about that. I wrote this down as future inspiration for a story which I have never gone back to. Shame. Other good ones I wrote down are Continue reading