Something that not many people know, is that most of my write-ups here are done on Sundays. I don’t know why, but I think on Sundays, creativity slaps differently. Am writing this one in my small hiding place, somewhere in the concrete jungle that is Nairobi, and outside I can hear some kids running around. Just a little louder and they will start getting into my nerves. They are from the next apartment, somehow our plot is full of people who have no kids, so it’s often silent. From a distance, an Akurino church (are these usually the Biblical Corinthians by any chance, or is my mind twisted?) They are playing some good classics, and the person on the drum is quite psyched up. Them I like.

My first book, the one I promised some moons back, is done. The crazy time is past, and it’s now with Harry’s Publication for printing. This is where I start biting my nails, not knowing how the end result will look like. I have really been a pain in Kingdom Come to Nahashon from the printing firm, with my nagging…

‘Hey, bro!’ I whatsapped him the other day. I call people bro when I’m freaking out and want their help. Male people, otherwise it would be creepy if I called a Waceke bro.

‘Hello, Wamugi. How are you?’

‘I am good, how is the book? Have you gone through it?’ I was frantic.

‘I haven’t read, but the layout looks good. I will sure keep one copy for my library.’

‘Okey, thanks.’ I was not okay.

A day later, I called him.

‘Hey, bro…’

‘Hello, Wamugi.’ I could hear he was chewing something. Maybe mandazis or a piece of cassava. Then there were paper noises, and I assumed it was mandazis since cassavas don’t come wrapped in paper.

‘Have you started the printing? There is something I wanted to change.’

He laughed. A bit, then I stopped hearing the paper noises, maybe he had finished with the mandazis. Instead, I could hear noises, like wind passing past him. Maybe he had boarded a bodaboda and was desperate to hang up.

‘We have not yet started on the printing. What did you want to change?’

‘There is someone I forgot to add to the appreciation page… Can we squeeze in a name? I swear it’s a tiny name, you won’t even notice the difference.’

He goes silent for a second, and all I can hear now is the noises of the wind. I thought he has not heard me, so as am about to go again, he goes first. ‘Actually, the printing part is done, all that remains is the binding, so we cannot make any changes.’

I felt my bladder threaten to give in, and this deep urge to squat came. My book was already printed and was heading to binding.

‘Calm down Wamugi, you are going to be okay.’

‘Okey, thanks.’ I was not okay.

He hangs up, quite hurriedly, like something he had wanted to do all day. That has been me ever since I submitted my manuscript.

Someone asked me why I chose writing, and why I decided to write my first book, and my answer was not really convincing. I told her writing chose me, which is true, since if I was the one to choose, I would still be catching fish by hook in the noisy waters of the Gikira river. About why I choose to write my first book, I told her because I wanted to have the thrill of knowing that people are actually giving me their hard-earned money to read something I have created. It is true because it will assure me that what I have been doing is impacting and that people have been watching my small steps, but still it’s not the main reason why I have written this book. Why, did you ask?

Well, I don’t think there is any need to be an athlete if you are not ready to take on other athletes on the tracks. No need to be a chef, if you won’t let people taste your food. Why be a writer if I can’t take the ultimate test of becoming a published author? I feel like being an author, like any other art, is our chance of exposing our dirty linen in public. Opening up your mind for people to explore and judge you on how twisted you can be. It is, however, very fulfilling. It was more fulfilling when my Primary school teacher came to my Facebook inbox and pointed out a grammatical error on my book’s blurb. That was a sweet moment. It took me back to where it all started, back when I and a girl called Brenda used to fight for the number one composition spot. Damn am old!

Now that my first book, Wema, is almost out, you can pre-order your signed copy by yours truly. It will be retailing at Ksh. 900 ($9). For the first month, I will only be doing paperback and will start selling the book on online platforms from October (Amazon).

I will tell you more about my book in the next post.

To pre-order a copy:

WhatsApp – 0759502075

Mpesa Till Number – 9098439

PayPal – gichurijnr@gmail.com

Wamugi Gichuri.

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