Hello friends and foes alike, readers of Fifty Shades of me,

HAPPY NEW YEAR.

I want to begin by thanking you all for your love, kindness and support. It has been awesome since May 27, 2013 when this blog started. The numbers of hits, shares, follows and comments say so. Many of you have ensured that you not only read consistently but shared. Not only read and shared but extended your love, support and appreciation by sending me private messages and posting comments that boosted my spirits and made me feel like it was worth it all. Sometimes we disagreed. But we never fought. Okay okay, we probably did but nobody got wounded. Bleeding. Okay, i’m tripping. Just, thank you.

I thank Micheal Nwah for building this beautiful home for my random thoughts and ramblings. And for always being there to troubleshoot. I thank Chikezie Emeruem, this blog is his personal project. he even shares on Google+. I thank Pa. Ikhide who ensured that my name/this blog resounded farther than i’d have dreamed. I thank my sister Racheal, she signs everyone up and tells me all the wonderful things they say. I thank Nkem Ivara for the insight, and for pulling me from the brink time and again with impeccable instinct without knowing it. Thank you for making me smile. There are so many others of course. please don’t murder me.

In this new year, i have two things to say, one a pronouncement, and the other a question. The first is something i posted months ago on facebook. Here it is.

I sit staring hard at my computer screen. Mike looks over my shoulder and I move slightly to block his unwanted perusal. He shrugs and says, “Pearl, I dey fear you.”

Why I ask innocently.

“Ah, I don’t want to show up in your work.” I tell him he doesn’t have a choice!

“These people take up so much space in our lives, the least they can do is submit themselves to being the subjects of our creative endeavours” Richard Ali (not ad verbum)

What is fiction if it is not the cowardly rendition of our ability at Adaptive Reuse and Simulated Reality. Mr. Ikhide Ikheloa will know all about this.

“Before I came to Nigeria, I never hung out with fiction writers. You can imagine my surprise when I got here and made friends in the writers’ community, and before I knew it, I started showing up in Mr. X’s work!” I smiled at her, admired the glint of her nose ring as the flickering neon lights of the dancehall struck her face and glanced off. Soon, my darling, I thought with a wicked private gleam, soon and you will recognize yourself in my writing. And I am afraid I may not extend you the courtesy you did me when you called to ask if you may quote me in an article weeks later. I thanked you for the civility.

You realize of course, my dear friend, that if we went about asking permission and seeking the consent of the people of whom we wrote, why, fiction writers would spend half the time on the phone, and the other half twiddling their thumbs and wondering quite ineffectually how we may contrive to make you a vanguard of all that is good and pure and beautiful and enviable. We have no such concerns.

So we steal you and morph you, we mix you and voila, a hybrid of friends, enemies, family and the occasional passerby emerges in an unrecognizable pantheon, an amalgam in which you may only hope to isolate and recognize yourself –  a crossbreed so incongruous with yourself that it would seem conceited of you to imagine, assume that it is you.

But I assure you most solemnly, it is YOU.

So I ask permission now for all the times you will recognize your dress described in my work, your manner of speech, an incident in your life. I hereby promise you that I will swear on my mother’s grave, (convenient since she’s dead and all) that it is not you. But make reference to this on that day and remember that I promised you I will lie. I will borrow your story with impunity and the only other promise I make you here and now is that I will make you so unrecognizable to even yourself that laying claim to my character will be a show of hubris as I won’t, cannot be accountable for. But it is you.

Disclaimer; this is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and/or incidents either are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead (straight face) events or locales is entirely coincidental.

Now the question.

First, a little preamble.

I wrote an article titled, “How we are like them,” a few months ago. I was going through my blog some days ago and came across the article. In a brief moment of temptation, I was about to add something that ended with the now familiar ‘Go and Die’ Adam’s Oshiomole slogan.

But then, I had a strange thought. That idle action alone could have repercussions I would not have anticipated. Imagine an exacting reader in a few years coming across the article, chuckling at the ‘go and die’ bit, then referring to the date of the publication of the article and comparing that with the time of the Oshiomole episode; and realizing that it does not compute. I would have created a problem with chronology; I would have distorted history.

Just thought I should say that. The future will be reading us tomorrow to reconstruct the past, to get a feel of our lives. Let’s give them as close to the truth, our versions of the truth as we can.

That’s why we must write about sex. God forbid that future generations think we were prudes. Are you a prude? That said, i have been thinking I should create a separate category for erotica, right on this blog. I will not be the writer. Many people have kindly sent me nice writeups and i have been wondering what to do with them. What do you, my friends and readers think? To create a category right here on fifty shades, or to. . .i’m not sure what the options are. I doubt i can manage two blogs.

I’m waiting.

Much love.

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