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Friday, February 25, 2011

Encouragement via the Imani Literary Group

On January 29th, I had the opportunity to call in to a meeting of the Imani Literary Group. They'd read Powder Necklace (along with fellow Ghanaian author Kwei Quartey's book Wife of the Gods), and they were a huge source of encouragement to me.

I'm in the middle of working on my second book and it's been a particularly difficult process. I thought it would get easier after Powder Necklace, but it feels almost harder mainly because it's a completely different experience.

When I was writing PN, I had gotten into a very rigid routine: wake up at 5 in the morning and write till 7:30, write on the hour long train ride to work, write on the hour long train ride home, write till 2 in the morning. But now, 8 years later, I just don't have the energy I used to. Now, by 10p, I am nodding off. (Old age has also weakened my defenses against reality TV. Curse you Basketball Wives marathon!) And I've since moved which has cut my commute time considerably.

My second book also spans Ghana from 1962 to the present day so I have so much more research to do. I have spent literally days obsessing over the minutest details, and I have spent other days wondering if I'm slowly going insane because of it. The day I called into the Imani Literary Group's Q&A session, I was taking a break from that madness, and God knows I needed it.

I spent probably an hour on the phone answering the very thoughtful and incisive questions Angela Reid and the group of retired educators that belong to Imani had for me. They brought up details and themes in Powder Necklace that I had even forgotten about, and as I spoke with them I felt encouraged that every detail I'm currently obsessing over is worth it. So thank you, Imani Literary Group, for the encouragement and sending me pics of your meeting to remember the day!! The food looks amazing.

Now back to writing...

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