Sunday, December 17, 2006

the writer returns

So, lately I've been feeling like a writer proper. Partly because some Ghanaians - as you probably gathered from my earlier post - can be quite judgmental when it comes to appearance but every time I say I'm a writer, they go - oh, it's OK; that's why you've got locks! Yes, it appears writers can be forgiven for everything here because it's not a 'proper' job. My next dastardly deed is to try to rob a bank and see if I'll be forgiven :)

The good news is confirmed; I got a distinction in my MA and came top of the class, for which I am to be awarded - wait for this... no, really, wait... 50 POUNDS! I mean, I'm not going to refuse it, but PLEASE! Have you any idea what that course costs? 6400 POUNDS... At least give me 10% back, or, yeah I know it's asking a lot... refund my fees or something. I could really use that money!! Even my first degree, which I finished in 1998 awarded me £180 for coming top of the class - and that was in Manchester (lower cost of living and all that). Anyway, still, I met my favourite writing group there so ha hum I'll be mum... I'm still going to start a campaign for the next person who wins that award - it's 'disgracefulish'

On my more academic side, I have just completed a paper on linguistic diversity in Ghana, focusing on the influence of the media and the idea of national identity so I'll let you know when that is out. I went researching at the Balme Library in the University of Ghana in Legon and also at the George Padmore Library in Accra - those libraries have some choice material but they need help! No anti-theft barriers NOTHING. At George Padmore, the collection has reduced to a point where I am planning to mount a campaign for people to donate books to them... It's serious!

On my creative side, I FINALLY GOT A SHORT STORY IN A NORTH AMERICAN MAGAZINE :) Storyteller Magazine (Canada - will carry the latest (and final) version of my story 'Scotch Bonnets' in their Winter issue. I'm ecstatic of course... but I have to stay focused; I'm deep inside my novel...

Got to go..

I'm not reading anything for the next week or so - just writing


Frances said...

Well done Nii! That is truly well-deserved on the MA. That novel will be a winner.

I'm not so happy with my result. I guess I have a way to go yet.

Lady Ursula Major said...

Fantastic news Nii! Congrats on the distinction and the £50 award. I know those book vouchers will go a long long way and much more useful than offsetting the £6000 tuition fee or giving you a publishing deal. :)

Still it is wonderful that others (aside from your talented workshop friends) notice and applaud your skills and abilities.

As a wise yellow tshirt I had as a kid said:

**Keep on Truckin'**

Anonymous said...

Very interested in the comments on the Balme and Padmore Libraries.

I gather, the former has a particularly strong Classics section. (This was because Balme was a Classicist.) I suspect it is largely unused and could be sold off to provide funds to up-date Library security and holdings.

Regarding the proposals: might I suggest that Professor Alemna, a most sympathetic and concerned individual who knows conditions in Balme well, might be someone to work with?

In the meantime, that is at least until adequate security measures are in place at Balme, it might be that book donations are better directed to the 'quite secure' Library at the Institute of African Studies, Legon.

Unknown said...

fran, niki... great to hear from you from out here! i miss you guys. fran, remember a result in a creative writing course is highly subjective - it means something, but it doesn't mean a thing...

anonymous, thanks for the info on the libraries. i'll keep that in mind when i get on the campaign trail - and i will definitely go and seek out prof alemna when i move back to Ghana later in the year to work out some long term solutions...