Where do we find your book?
African Books Collective ships around the globe
And outside of RSA...
Where do we find your book?
African Books Collective ships around the globe
And outside of RSA...
- The problem is, it is difficult to lie to a camera. The truth becomes apparent in the way people want to be portrayed in a photograph, in their image of themselves. In the 60th of a second, when the shutter opens, when the flash highlights their reality, their insecurities and fears stand up and fight, or their strength and contentedness shines through. -
- I have read that a photograph is a depiction of a photographer's soul. -
- She asks what the point of a relationship with an expiry date is. To quell the loneliness, I answer. -
- Her disease is fear. Mine is sorrow. That is why the puzzle fits so perfectly. -
- Why not just let him be sad? Along with you? Society surely won't give him that chance. We're all expected to pick up and go on. There is not time to mourn anymore. Give him the time. -
This is a unique novel that comes complete with photographs that contribute to the narrative. While it would be inappropriate for me to repost them here, you may view them here: http://www.reneywarrington.co.za/pics...
Gently I open the door, peeping in like a mother checking on her slumbering baby. There is no one waiting for me on the other side. This is now the guest room for the visitors who have never arrived. The walls remain the same pale yellow with green trim. But the curtains with the surfboard print are long gone, replaced with drapes in striped panels of greens and pinks. On the plain pine double bed is a white duvet with dark green vines that bear gold flowers, tinged with pinks. The three little pine shelves on the windowless wall still hold a wooden airplane and three antique tin cars. Gone is the general debris that comes with child rearing. That has been swept away to decompose far from here.
I open the wardrobe, taking care not to glance down. I know they remain. I cannot forget. The series of tiny hand prints running along the door’s bottom border is imprinted on my brain. Each one is dated, the last when Kai turned eighteen-months. I was waiting for his second birthday to do the next set. I worried that if done too often, we would run out of space.
- And Sarah wanted magic, wanted to know that there was something more to her life than packing up and moving, and going to new schools, and not bothering to learn the names of the people around her because what did it matter, really. -
- They didn't talk, although her father tried a few times. Sarah just turned her face to the window and ignored him. It was to punish him, a little, but it was also because she didn't think she'd be able to say anything and not have her whole chest break open and spatter the inside of the car with all the things she was trying not to feel. -
- "You can't make someone fall in love with you," the raven said when if finally spoke. "I should know. And that is where the storytellers write their own sugary versions of the truth. A pack of lies until they reach 'The End.' But no story ever comes to an end, at least not one so neat. -
- Except this wasn't a tale - or it was...it was the part of the story no one liked to tell: the unhappily-ever-after. -
It has often been said
there’s so much to be read,
you never can cram
all those words in your head.
So the writer who breeds
more words than he needs
is making a chore
for the reader who reads.
That's why my belief is
the briefer the brief is,
the greater the sigh
of the reader's relief is.
And that's why your books
have such power and strength.
You publish with shorth!
(Shorth is better than length.)
- Dr. Seuss
- It was impossible, I said in response to his question, to give the reasons why the marriage had ended: among other things a marriage is a system of belief, a story, and though it manifests itself in things that are real enough, the impulse that drives it is ultimately mysterious. -
- What Ryan had learned from this is that your failures keep returning to you, while your successes are something you always have to convince yourself of. -
- It made you a better writer, did it not, not having an identity to fall back on: you saw the world with less troubled eyes. -
- I mean, you never hear someone say they wanted to have an affair but they couldn't find the time, do you? -
- Music is a betrayer of secrets; it is more treacherous even than dreams, which at least have the virtue of being private. -
Originally published on Books Live
Black Dog Arriving
On paper my life has been through a bit, in the last three months. 2014 ended with an accident. 2015 began with a death. Another member of the family is gravely ill. Tucked around the loss and worry have been the more everyday life-hitches: Eskom load shedding, Telkom incompetence, a burst water pipe (again, and again, and again), an employee breaking a leg, a minor operation (me), a stomach bug (child)… The physio keeps strapping me up and sending me back out there, like a coach during a game. So it goes, Kurt Vonnegut would say.
The morning after the death, husband and I sat side-by-side, bleary eyed and stunned while a waitress brought our drinks. We were at a rest stop outside Swellendam, facing their picturesque mountains. In an adjoining field, our dog, Orwell, joyfully ran, delighted to be travelling with his family. His bliss was so great you could practically hear Born Free playing as he romped. Smiles crept across our weary faces. I said to Husband, ‘Really glad we brought the dog.’
Then we returned from the wake and Orwell fell into his post-holiday-with-other-dogs-slump. So it goes…
Between the accident and the wake a friend dropped by. After saying what is said in these times, the conversation wandered into the more everyday. He mentioned he had started volunteering at the SPCA. He regaled us with his humorous encounters with dogs that would never suit our family. Then he paused. ‘I probably shouldn’t tell you this…’ But he did. A blind Labrador puppy. ‘The thing is,’ he said, ‘You’d never know at first that she’s blind.’
And my ears perked up. Labrador is the right size to be a friend to Orwell. Blind dog might not try to usurp our un-Alpha-but-still-like-being-in-charge dog. And he really needs a friend because every time we return from holiday that involves other dogs, he goes into a slump. Plus a blind dog would probably be less likely to catch a chicken while we train her not-to-chase-the-hens. But this was not the time to get a second dog. We were still travelling back and forth on a moment’s notice, hoping death would be held at bay. She’ll be adopted by the time life has calmed.
She was still there.
I could tell you all the reasons people told me not to get another dog. The list is long and their objections are sound. I could tell you all the reasons people say you should never adopt a blind dog, too, as many were eager to share their thoughts. But there are times when decisions don’t make sense on paper. I wanted a dog. I can take care of a dog. As I told my father during a recent telephone conversation, ‘Everyone keeps telling me not to over do it, until they want something, like dinner and laundry to be done. If life is going to be this busy and this chaotic, I’d like for some of this crazy to be for good reasons.’
Because the truth of the matter is, when your health limits your physical capabilities the greater world can forget about your need to participate in fun. Unintentionally, these caring souls try to make my life even smaller than it needs to be. You could just watch. Be careful! Are you sure you should? Oh, please take the kids to school and activities. You want to what? You might get hurt! Is dinner ready? Have you seen my shirt?
Hey, if I’m going to hurt, it would be nice to be hurting because I love dogs, and not because of the damn dishes. And let me be the first to say, my most debilitating injuries I’ve suffered in the last four years were all acquired while doing not-fun-things! Like saving a child from poor traffic choices. Necessary, but not fun.
Almost two weeks ago I went to the SPCA and asked to see their kennels. I told them I was cautiously interested in a second dog. I did not, however, inquire about a specific one. I stood there and examined them all, and there was one dog – more than any other – that tracked me as I walked around. This puppy was alert, energetic and showed promise of intelligence and was sweet as any dog lover could want. So then I brought Orwell to see what he thought. Then the kids. And then a few days after that, the black dog arrived.
Her name is Ziva. She’d like you to know she gets around fine, all on her own, thank you very much. That how a dog copes with a disability depends on the dog. Her presence has yanked Orwell out of his mope-slump and is keeping me from losing perspective in this current circus called 2015. Playing with my dogs is the ultimate stress relief.
And every day since I brought her home I’ve thought of Ella, from This Day. How throwing your energy into devoted, loyal companions keeps the beast at bay. If our characters have future lives, may Ella be blessed with a dog – or two.
Join me this Sunday, 1 March, at 9am (RSA time) for another Sunday Morning Pajama Flash festival at GBAS*. This week I will be chatting to Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, author of the highly acclaimed, Folio Prize nominated novel, Dust.
*If anyone would like to join GBAS - Facebook's Good Book Appreciation Society, please inbox me via Facebook and I will send you an invite.
Oh, just get yourself a copy.
- Forgiveness. The ability to forgive oneself. Stop here for a few breaths and think about this because it is the key to making art, and very possibly the key to finding any semblance of happiness in life. Every time I have set out to translate the book (or story, or hopelessly long essay) that exists in such brilliant detail on the big screen of my limbic system onto a piece of paper...I grieve for my own lack of talent and intelligence. Every. Single. Time. Were I smarter, more gifted, I could pin down a closer facsimile of the wonders I see. I believe, more than anything, that this grief of constantly having to face down our own inadequacies is what keeps people from being writers. Forgiveness, therefore, is key. I can't write the book I want to write, but I can and will write the book I am capable of writing. Again and again throughout the course of my life I will forgive myself. -
As somebody who, from time to time, runs writing workshops for children, I have often stated that children can have a darker side to their work. But most believe little girls only write about glitter. And yes, there is glitter. And sometimes there is a baby pig running for its life before its mother eats it.
All of which is why I think Gabie, age 9, deserves the attention she is getting for her poem. Warning: Red as Blood contains NO glitter. Click if you dare.