The International Literacy Day is celebrated on 8th September annually. It’s a reminder of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights. This year, it happened to fall on Tuesday which means this post is somewhat late. Okay, it’s really late but it’s here, so that should count for something. No?
As a teacher of English and Literature, I play a huge role in advancing the literacy agenda. A role that was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic so I decided to use my idle time, which is a whole lot, to read and write more. Reading helps distract me from real life while writing is my way of processing the many surprises of life. If we are counting, I’ve written 41 blog posts and read and completed 26 books. It may seem like a small number but I’ve never come this far so it’s a big deal. And it has been such a refreshingly fulfilling journey; I feel like Lebron. Lebron the baller, not the one whom people claim only reads page 1 of books. 🙈
In honor of International literacy day, and to celebrate my achievement, I did a thing. A risky thing. I borrowed a line or two from page 24 of some of the books and tried to build a coherent story. I tweaked tenses and pronouns here and there, threw in a few conjunctions and some of my own words and a girl got something of a story. Take a look, and let me know what you think.
She walked like a ghost, only God heard her footfalls treading on quilted floors as she entered rooms that did not speak her sounds. She exhaled a sigh of relief when she stepped in and felt a little air move across her face. Vivek’s voice broke into the silence, low and rusty. “When your opponent has no honor, you must fight in different ways, smarter ways.”
“I said I’m fine.” Though the fearful flutter in her chest was distracting.
His other brow shot up to join the first one. “Very well.”
She didn’t mean to put that much bass in her voice, but she had to hold on to this. But what if she didn’t come back? No. No, she had to do this. But her body wouldn’t listen to her. She just stood there, frozen.
Wasn’t the love of a family supposed to be unconditional? Unbreakable? What she was thinking left her heart and started coming out of her mouth, goosebumps were all over her arms and she was shaking like she had a fever. “I have lived here for so long. Here, and not here,” she mumbled between sobs. Vivek rose to his feet, not sure what to do. Her pain pulled him to her. When he wrapped his arms around her, she didn’t push him away. There was such finality. Sally didn’t know whether to smile or beg forgiveness.
“You are a hero for living from that moment to this one. You never need to apologize for how you chose to survive.” He whispered
She bit her lips to lock the tears inside her eyes.
Here’s a list of my 2020 books so far:
- Gay Girl Good God – Jackie Hill Perry
- A Woman’s body is a country – Dami Ajayi
- Children of Virtue and Vengeance – Tomi Adeyemi
- A blade so black – L. L McKinney
- Love her wild – Atticus
- Pillow thoughts – Courtney Peppernell
- Everybody, Always – Bob Goff
- Teaching my mother how to give birth – Warsan Shire
- The Grammarians – Cathleen Schine
- For my negativity – Kagayi Ngobi
- The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl – Issa Rae
- Sing to it – Amy Hempel
- Yesterday I was the moon – Noor Unnahar
- The sun and her flowers – Rupi Kaur
- Relationship goals – Pastor Michael Todd
- The girl with the louding voice – Abi Daré
- Saint Joan – George Bernard Shaw
- Mouthful of forevers – Clementine von Radics
- Born on a Tuesday – Elnathan John
- Daddy loves his girls – Bishop T.D Jakes
- Unscrambled Eggs – Nadia Janice Brown
- Tumaini – Jade Novelist
- The GOD Players – Patience Itah Mbekhi
- Break your glass slippers – Amanda Lovelace
- The Hairdresser of Harare – Tendai Huchu
- You’re not enough (and that’s okay) – Allie Beth Stuckey
So…which books are you reading?