Tag Archives: fiction

Get Real?

Have you ever been told that in the past? When you have a varying opinion from another’s, and the person wants you to see things the way they do, they say, “get real.”

But have you ever thought about what this means? I just did, and then I got inspired to write my first post since the release of my latest novella, Eyes (see the Free Books page).

In a world where everyone has their own interpretation of reality, what is “real”? One man’s reality is nothing but fiction to his neighbor, and the neighbor’s reality is nothing but fiction to one man. This suggests to me that the statement, “get real”, seeks to make one unreal just so they could be won over to our own thoughts, our own reality. But if they first of all have to be made unreal, can we truly say they are “getting real?”

Let’s face it. Each person’s life is their own reality. And everyone’s reality differs from the other.

So if everyone’s reality differs, how can there ever be common ground?

That’s where the only force that overrides reality comes in; Truth.

You see, to any given situation there can only be one truth. It doesn’t matter if the truth is not visible; it remains truth. It doesn’t matter if the stubborn try to reject it; truth is truth, and will always be truth.

Hate it. But it’s true.

Dispute it. But it’s still true.

Even deny it. It yet remains true.

If this is true (pun most definitely intended), how about this; instead of trying to make others to, ‘get real’, how about we make them, ‘get true’?

@chosenmich

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It Begins…EYES

Today marks history for Mich Olorunfemi fiction with the release of Eyes across various platforms as a free ebook. With the little hype I was able to generate on my own, I’m sure a few of us are eager to get a copy, but first, a little history about the book:

Eyes (the captivating and enthralling story of a detective named Ricky Platt) is actually the first story I came up with, but was not the first I released. Three years ago when I decided to try my hands on this craft called writing, this was the only story concept in my head. I began penning it down, and hit the sixth chapter. However, not being satisfied with it (it was my first, after all), I scrapped it totally and began working on another title Feral (which will make a comeback this year), and others that can be seen in the “Free Books” section of this blog. The book, though short it might seem, took me a whole year to rewrite. Now, I’m more than delighted to share this thrilling story with you.

Where to download a copy:

You can download various formats (including KINDLE and PDF) on Smashwords:

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/401992

You can also snag a free copy off of the Apple iBookstore (not available in the Nigerian store, sadly):

(Available in 48 other countries)

If you have the Barnes and Noble nook, or nook app, you can get it at Barnes and Noble:

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/eyes-mich-olorunfemi/1118114506?ean=9781304763709

Sign in, or Sign up to Lulu to get it from the Lulu Bookstore:

Lulu: http://www.lulu.com/content/e-book/eyes/14345104

The wait is over! Click, download, take the plunge, be thrilled. And be redeemed!

Ricky Platt has never lost case, now he’s about to lose his life.

EYES Covermediumsmall(blog)


Eyes Chapter 1…Coming 01.27.14

It’s been a great, long while since I posted anything into my stories category, and after almost two years of not doing so, I’m honored and privileged (in light of my new novella’s Monday 27th’s release) to share with you all, Chapter one of Eyes. Read it, and anticipate.
MiCH


Eyes…Chapter One

DETECTIVE Ricky woke up with a start, shirt sodden with sweat as he took in long, heavy breaths. Was that a nightmare? Maybe, but he had no recollection he was even dreaming. His wife Vivian always knew when he was having a nightmare, and she was always ready to tell him it was alright. But not tonight.
Ricky looked at his wife’s side of the bed, but she wasn’t there. Probably went for some water. Ricky thought. 4:15am shone in big green digital writings on the clock that sat on the nightstand. It was still dark.
Ricky put on the lamp. The room lit up with a golden-yellow hue. That was when Ricky saw it.
“Blood? Is that blood?” Ricky whispered to himself, as though he was being monitored. He flung the blanket off the bed. There was more, more blood. “Oh God.”
He flew out of the bed and fell to the floor, crawling as far away from the bed as possible on his rear, supported by his hands. He hit the wall next to the door then he tried to calm himself. I’ve seen blood on a countless number of occasions. He told himself.
But not my wife’s blood. A conflicting voice said.
Ricky opened the bedroom door, he ran for the kitchen screaming his wife’s name. “Vivian! Vivian!” He ran past his daughter’s door. Through the hall, through the dark living room, and into the kitchen. It was bare. His heart pumped blood up his neck, more from fear than from the running. Then he realized he ran past his daughter’s room.
“Nicky!” He ran back. Threw the door open. Her bed was empty, but her pillow and blanket were still in place. With the flip of a switch the room was illuminated. He angled for Nicky’s bed, and took a hold of her pink fluffy blanket. Neither the color nor the flowery designs made this any better. He froze in his steps.
“What am I doing? I have to call the office.” Don’t want to contaminate the scene before they arrive. Was this right? His wife and daughter were missing, possibly even killed and he was still thinking like a detective. But thinking like a detective would let him know what was going on.
He headed back to his room. Taking his cell off the nightstand, he dialed the Armston Police emergency phone number. Stay calm, Ricky. Stay calm. His head swam. Stay calm. The more he tried to control himself, the worse his condition became. He began to fill a slight chill wrap around his body. His fingers failed to dial the station’s number at the first try, they were shaking. He got it on his second try and pressed the cell hard on his ear, pulse racing.
An officer picked up on the first ring. “Armston Police emergency service. What’s your emergency?”
“Eh…this is Detective Ricky— ”
“Ricky, what’s the situation?”
“I…I…I think my wife and daughter have been…kidnapped.” Telling the officer on the other end of the phone that he suspected they were dead just didn’t seem right. After all, there were no bodies to prove it. But there was a whole lot of blood in his bed. Too much, for just a little struggle to cause.
“Hold on, Ricky. A unit will be dispatched to your location ASAP.”
Click!
The line went dead and Ricky’s hand went limp. The cell clattered to the floor. Ricky left the room and sat on a couch in the living room. He was too disoriented to realize that the lights were still off. He chose not to stay in the room as a means of controlling his curious nature. He needed the scene as clean as possible by the time the police got there.
His hands trembled in his weltered brown hair. His breaths were now drawn in short bursts.
Who was responsible? All the criminal cases Ricky had taken had ended with the perpetrator behind bars. All forty, and counting. Unless this was someone with ties to one of the criminals. He had put nothing less than twenty killers behind bars within the first forty-eight hours of their killings.
Vivian…Nicky. He wasn’t even sure if there was any blood in Nicky’s bed. He couldn’t be sure, not until the police arrived.
The four minutes, thirty-two seconds it took for the police to arrive—and Ricky timed it—was the longest wait Ricky had ever endured. But now he could hear sirens approaching. They were still at a distance, from the sound of it, but at least they were coming.
Oh no! Sirens. Surely the neighbors would be woken from sleep. Everybody will want to know what was going down at the friendly Platt residence. He walked over to the window and pulled back the curtain a little. The street lit up in red and blue. The sirens blared, cutting through the night. The light of a house at the end of the street came on. Then a second closer to his.
He spotted two Armston Police cruisers before he let the curtain fall.
The tires of the two cruisers squealed as they came to a halt at Ricky’s house. Three uniformed officers emerged and approached the family sized house through the driveway. Ricky didn’t wait for a knock on the door before he had it opened.
“Ricky! Hear you’ve got an emergency of some sort.” Officer Chris Baines said, adjusting his belt. The other two officers stood on either side of Baines. Another officer stood casually by one of the cruisers, he wouldn’t be coming in.
“This way.” Ricky let the three officers in.
They all angled into the hall when Baines said, “What exactly happened?” He was studying the house.
“I..eh, I woke up after I had a nightmare, I think, and Vivian was gone. She just wasn’t in bed. I thought she went for a drink of water or something, I turned on the lights,” he opened the door to his room, “that’s when I saw this.”
Baines walked in, eyes fixated on the bed. The ruffled blanket lay on the floor. He walked behind the bed all the while keeping a fixed gaze on the pool of blood now soaking the white sheets. “Hmm. What time did you wake up?”
“Four fifteen,” Ricky answered.
“And your daughter?”
“She’s missing as well. Don’t know if there’s any blood on her sheets.”
Baines stood. “Murphy, take some shots please.” It sounded like a question.
Officer Dan Murphy fiddled with the camera, before it clicked and the room went white for half a second. A few more clicks from every possible angle was enough for Baines.
“Doesn’t look like there was much of a struggle.” Baines said.
“Doesn’t look like there was any struggle.” Ricky’s voice was a little above a whisper. His heart was still pounding away.
“Let’s see your daughter’s room.” Baines headed for the door, and so did everyone else.
Nicky’s door creaked open, as Ricky walked into the room. The officers were directly behind. This was what Ricky had been waiting for. He would find out if Nicky was harmed as well.
Baines looked around the room. Everything was neatly packaged. A really large and brown teddy bear sat on a short bureau. The pink and blue striped wallpaper matched it in a unique manner. Nicky’s flip-flops lay at the foot of the bed undisturbed. Everything seemed to be in place. A little too in place.
A tear broke loose from Ricky’s eye. The bright colors, the blue teddy, the fluffy flip-flops. None of these items brought him joy—instead they did just the opposite.
Baines edged for Nicky’s bed. Ricky watched.
“Murphy, do your stuff before I proceed.”
Some five snaps shots from a good range of angles was all Baines needed. He went a bit low, placed his hand on the pink fluffy bed spread with caution, like it was rigged with a bomb or something, and dragged it off, letting it fall to the ground.
It was as Ricky suspected. Blood. And much of it. The stain on Nicky’s bed made Ricky’s body, quiver. “No…No. She was just a child…she…”
“Pull yourself together Ricky, we still don’t know if they were killed. As long as we haven’t seen any bodies yet there’s no proof of death.”
“Sir,” Officer Ed Milner was pointing to the floor.
“What is it?” Baines turned to face Milner.
For a moment the quiver in Ricky’s body totally ceased. He was in anticipation. He was ready for anything that might give him a clue to what the heck was going on.
Milner prodded. “You really have got to see this.”
Baines walked up to Milner’s side. There was a white piece of paper on the floor. Writings had been scribbled on it in red lettering. Baines pulled out a pair of surgical gloves and put them on before squatting and picking the paper from the bedroom floor. His face spaced out in horror.
“What’s the matter?” Ricky asked, but Baines didn’t give Ricky a reply. So Ricky inched bit by bit toward him, his eyes fixed on the white piece of paper, and only now did he notice the red markings. He could see it now, very clearly. He could read it.
It read simply and succinctly:
Enjoy the rest of the Journey.
Cutter
Ricky felt sweat begin to exude from all over his body. His head began to swim. Journey? What Journey? Should he be preparing for more of this? Evidently. That’s what Cutter was saying. And who is this Cutter? All these questions barraged Ricky’s mind at once like a meteor shower, but he had no answer to any one of them.
What Cutter didn’t say was whether he had custody of his wife and his daughter. Did he want to keep him guessing? Did he want him trying to maintain some kind of hope, when the very thing he was hoping for wasn’t in existence anymore? But one question cried out in a higher decibel than any of the others; what was going on?
Ricky’s journey was truly just beginning and Officer Baines was just about to prove that. Unintentionally though.
Ricky watched Baines flip the card to the other side. He probably wanted to see if there was anymore detail that could prove vital to the whereabouts of Ricky’s wife, and Ricky’s daughter, maybe even this Cutter himself. He flipped the card back with such swift hand motion.
“Hold on, what was that?” Ricky tried to confirm. He thought he saw a picture.
“Eh…it’s nothing. Milner, get this to the lab. Have it tested for finger prints.” Baines held the card out to officer Milner.
“No! I wanna see that.” Ricky was quick enough to get to the card before Milner could receive it from Officer Baines.
Baines cursed.
Ricky flipped it over to see exactly what it was that Baines didn’t want him to see. His heart skipped a few beats. His hands began to tremble again. His lips dropped open, unconsciously. They quivered in their open state before he let the picture fall to the ground.
“Ricky…” Baines was trying to be comforting, but surely he knew there was no amount of words that would do any comforting now.
Ricky stared at the picture which was now on the floor. It was a picture of Vivian and Nicky. Dead. Lying down on what looked like a concrete surface on their left side. Both had their throats slashed. The word ‘Cutter’ was brutally etched on their right cheek. They might have been dead but they looked anything but at peace.
Ricky went week at the knees. His right leg began to fail him and he began to drop to the floor.
“Whoa!” Milner was on hand to catch him. He led him to a small chest Nicky used to store her toys and made him sit.
Ricky stared on, to a great beyond. To nothingness. He seemed not to see the others in the room anymore. The trembles in his hands had spread to his entire body now. He couldn’t even try to contain it. It was useless.
Baines walked up to Ricky and gave his cheek a couple of gentle taps. Then placed his hands on his shoulder and rocked him gently. “Ricky! Ricky! We need you to be strong, okay? For them. For Vivian and Nicky. Can you do that?” Ricky raised his head and their eyes met. “Can you do that?” He repeated.
Ricky managed to nod his head. Slowly. But at least that showed him he still had control of himself.
“Gimme a minute.” Baines said before walking away from Ricky to join his partners.
Ricky watched him join the other officers at a corner of Nicky’s room. Nicky’s room. Ricky would have never thought his six year old daughter’s room would one day be a crime scene. He shuddered. This was too much. Much too much.
After a series of nods, belt adjustments, and off-shoulder glances at Ricky, Baines approached him again. Ricky knew what he was going to request. He was a detective, he had done this on scores of occasions.
“I know this is hard for you,” Baines started. Ricky already knew where he was going. He continued, “but this is one case Chief Delay would want to look into.”
They wanted him to be at the station. Chief Delay would definitely interview at the station.
“If you think you can handle —”
“I’ll be there.” A succinct response from a despondent Ricky. His wife and daughter—whom he loved more than life itself—had just been brutally murdered. He would do anything to make sure this Cutter guy was caught before he thought he had the advantage over him.
A killer with so much skill, who was able to sneak into the house of a detective, kill his daughter, and kill his wife whilst she lay next to him as he slept wasn’t one to present a weak character to. He had to look strong. He had to be strong. For their sake.


I’m…Aliiiiive!

Yes, I’m still alive. Not dead as some might have presumed. Though I was dead to the world, locked up in my Vault all through November, clicking at my keyboard with a hunched back, trying to conquer my first ever NaNoWriMo.

The sad news: I failed, peaking at about 26,000 words only, not hitting the targeted 50,000.

The awesome news: I did learn a few things. And here they are:

  1. A truly passionate person can’t look sane to the passive: I know this because of those second glances I got throughout the November when people asked me what I was up to, and I went, “Trying to finish a novel in one month.”
  2. Art might not be seen as a discipline, but it requires major discipline: A person without discipline cannot commit to writing at least 1,600 words daily consistently for thirty days straight (Hey, call my indisciplined, but I’ll try again next year).
  3. The best motivation (not inspiration) comes from with-out, not within: When several people want to know whether your goal is being achieved or not, it puts you on your toes to deliver.
  4. We are often our own impossibility: Impossibility, though, comes from within. Most times, our not achieving set goals (especially in writing) is not to be blamed on external forces, but very present, snickering inside ones. The sooner we come to terms with this truth, the more we’ll see our dreams made reality.

So, December is still a writing month for me. I am excited to share with you my plans come 2014. It’s gonna be a great year for Mich fiction with some pretty big announcements.

…27 Days to go.


After Thr3e Years

Notice my spelling of the word “three” in my title? That’s my tribute to the author (and the book) that got me writing. Three years in the writing career, and I’m only just getting started. Every year, I post new things I’ve learned about the craft that is writing, and this year, being my third year in the craft, I’ve decided to share with my readers, fans, and followers, three things I’ve learned about writing in this short while.

1. Everyone believes they understand the craft.

By everyone, I mean everyone. If you are an upcoming writer, you’ve probably already had your works criticized by non-writers, and even non-readers alike. They try to analyze why you should do this, and why you shouldn’t do that. While most of them actually mean good, taking medical advice from an IT specialist probably isn’t the wisest thing to do. It spurs from a need to tell a story, because in the end non-writers and non-readers are telling a story one way or the other…just let me tell mine my way.

2. The blank page really is terrifying.

No, really, it is. When I first picked up the trade, it seemed that the one thing that was common with the opinions of all writers was, “The blank page is terrifying.” Flip forward three years later, and I still dread starting a book or a story. It’s really exciting, having a fresh tale to tell, but it’s dreadfully frightening when you open your text editor and watch that black cursor blink and mock you amid all that impossible white space. “How do I fill it?” You ask yourself. One word at a time. Something tells you…yet it’s never that easy. Never.

3. You don’t pick your genre, your genre picks you.

You don’t just wake up one morning and decide you want to write Steampunk Romance…ok, for a genre that weird, you probably get to choose. But I’ve discovered that the kinds of tales you tell are deep within you already. I think this affects readers too. You just find yourself drawn to a certain genre. Perhaps this is why it’s always hard to provide a definite answer when asked, “why do you write/read this kinda stuff?” Your genre calls you to the craft. Make no mistake about it.

@chosenmich


After 2 Years

The ending months of the year 2012 makes it two years since I became a writer. Though it’s only been a couple of years, it’s been one heck of a ride consisting of rise and falls, successes and failures, elations and let downs. In these two years, however, I’ve learned a whole lot of things about the writing process, which I outline below. There are many other things about writing, no doubt, but here are a few vitals:

No one can write your Idea as well as you

It’s how I started writing, really. That concept or idea, I always feel, dropped in your mind for a reason. I have also found out that no matter what tiny bit of an idea you get, it comes with some sort of vague idea as to who some of the characters might be. You are already bonding with the characters even before the first word is penned (whether you’re a pantser or an outliner). It’s like a soon-to-be mother in labor. The second the baby emerges, the connection between the mother and child is the strongest. Sorry, dads! It’s the plain truth. She did carry the kid for nine months, after all.

Inspiration and Passion isn’t nearly enough, discipline is required

In today’s world, everyone is teaching that you should follow your passion. Good and fine, but I found out that especially in writing, inspiration and passion aren’t nearly adequate driving forces for seeing you through to the final period. Discipline is required. If you cannot sit down at your work for protracted hours and write, your story can be likened to chasing a rainbow; you see it after the rain, but really there is no “end of the rainbow”, and there’s certainly no pot of gold there. Discipline is the transportation to the end of your manuscript.

Discipline isn’t enough, you need patience

Discipline might certainly be the transportation to the end of your manuscript, but it is a rickety way of getting there. Oil up discipline’s joints with patience. Patience is what ensures a smooth sailing all through the writing process. Writing is a brutally remorseless process, and if you’re doing it the right way, it’s a lonely one, too. Where discipline might falter, patience stands firm. You just gostta keep pressing till you see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Set goals, but start small

No one is disputing the fact that setting goals is almost the only way to achieve things, but many times we tend to get overtaken by our goals of becoming a New York Times #1 Bestseller, that we forget the number one thing writing is; a process. Have those goals—I have them, too—but instead of making your first work am epic 600 page tale, why not try your hands on writing short stories first, getting the hang of the art that is writing. I learned this the hard way.

Characters aren’t just that, they are people

Your characters aren’t just characters that help take your readers to the end of a story; they are living, breathing people with a past, a present, and a future. Like you, they have ambitions and goals, which may or may not be becoming a New York Times #1 Bestseller. If all your characters take decisions the way you would, they are nothing but clones…of you. It’s back to the drawing board, then. Sorry.

Writing should be fun, inasmuch as it is work

I did say that writing is “a brutally remorseless process” earlier. Though a hundred and ten percent true, it should be fun. If you don’t have fun writing, perhaps you should think of another career path. There is nothing worse than working in misery, trust me, I know. Above all else, you need to love writing. You need to breathe, eat, and sleep writing. Nothing, for me, comes remotely close to writing. I love it.


Reality vs. Fiction

I sat down one afternoon and began thinking about the power of a story. The power of fiction—guess that could also be the title of this post.

I sat on this day and thought to myself, If it’s impossible in real life, it’s possible in a story. If it’s impossible in a story, it’s impossible in real life.

To put it in a simpler form, fiction makes the impossible possible. I’m one of those folks that believe in the supernatural and the paranormal, you can’t convince me otherwise. I seen, and heard, of some pretty bizarre stuff because of my background. But even with the existence of the supernatural, some things are without a doubt farfetched. For example, a man not being able to distinguish the real world from a dream world (Ted Dekker’s Circle Series), or a writer’s pseudonym—who might have as well been a potential twin he gobbled up in his mother’s womb—coming to life to haunt him (Stephen King’s The Dark Half). These are all impossible scenarios in the real world.

Even though I did mention that what is impossible in fiction is definitely impossible in real life, I’m yet to find a scenario that is totally impossible to tell in a story. In a story I can single handedly amass a great following and become the president of Africa, yes, the entire continent. Nothing’s impossible in a story.

I dare say that even Jesus knew the power of a good story which is why he spoke in parables, an archaic word for fiction if you ask me.

No one wants to see reality being mimicked event-for-event in a story. It is why I say “The world is not enough, so I create an alternate.”


All in My Head

“Hi, Mich!” Mich said as he entered the room, closing the door behind him.

“Oh! Hi, Mich!” Mich responded as Mich ambled across the room, taking a seat at the far corner.

“How’s the story coming?” Mich asked, sinking into the chair.

“Great!” Mich quipped. “Bob just realized he’s been living in an alternate world!”

 

Yep! That’s how it often is in my head. Okay, it isn’t quite that vivid. But since I was little I can remember having conversations in my head. I dared not tell anyone, for multitudes might have considered me crazed. Heck, I told myself, and myself considered me weird.

I feel that most people do converse with themselves in their heads, they just don’t let us know. While some others might not have a well played out dialog going on in their head, some of us do.

This is a concept I never really understood about myself while growing up. Not until I started writing. A concept I once thought crazy suddenly became a powerful tool for bringing my characters to life on paper—be it physical or electronic. I find it easier to put down my characters’ thoughts, and also to construct dialog between them since I’m constantly chatting with myself.

Drop a comment. Do you ever chat with yourself?


One Small Step

Shocked by the news of the death of one of my childhood heroes, Neil Armstrong, I write this post in honor of his tremendous work to humanity. As a little kid, I don’t think there was any profession I didn’t consider going into, but on the top of my list at a point was being an astronaut. What can I say, every child dreams. Today, however, I’m freaked by the concept of airplanes, not to talk of space shuttles.

So how does Neil Armstrong, Man On the Moon, link with writing? Actually, I’m linking him with reading in my own small way. Neil Armstrong to me is the human representation of the word “Discovery.” 

“That’s one small step for man, and a giant leap for mankind.” Armstrong said, having taken his first steps on the moon.

Alright. Enough jabbering. What’s my point? Apart from a means of escape, I feel reading is also a means of discovery. One small step, for the reader, might be walking into a bookstore and picking up a book by their favorite author. But your giant leap comes when you leap into the pages of that book and discover a whole new world. Books have the capability to make you discover more about everything, even yourself. It unearths secrets you never knew about you, and about your world.

Image

 Our job is to take you to the moon and back.

@chosenmich


Psychic Chemo

I was waiting in a vestibule on this morning, face stabbed in the pages of my current read, Dean Koontz Odd Thomas, when I stumbled against the words of a character in the story who’s a writer.

His words were, “Writing isn’t a source of pain. It’s psychic chemotherapy. It reduces your psychological tumors and relieves your pain.”

This was a “Selah”—pause-and-think—moment for me.

I’ve heard writing being referred to as thinking through fingers, that’s Isaac Asimov. To me it’s creating an alternate world of escape. But never have I seen it as “Psychic Chemo.”

But in a sense that is what writing is to the writer. Writing can be seen as an activity of healing for the writer. The activity of writing brings us healing. So, writing is to the writer first, before the reader, a source of escape. And completing a piece brings the biggest healing. It is our treatment.

Mich