Not really doing well in my one blog a month target, but here it goes.
It’s been a roller coaster ride, but This is After the End is finally reaching the end stage. Now I won’t lie, I have always had a problem when it comes to finishing things I said I would do; whether it’s with school, work or a creative project, finishing stuff by my own will power and not out of compulsion has never really been a strong point. So, when I ditched The Dark Horses (it’s still a work in progress though) and jumped onto the Tate (This is After The End) series, I did so because I thought it would be easier, and boy, was I wrong.
For those of you who aren’t caught up, Tate is a novel that looks into the lives of the African survivors of both a nuclear war and the mess that followed. The journey started almost two years ago with a story titled Clear Skies of Rain, although many will be more familiar with the one that followed after it, Johannesburg Lost. I’ve had ridiculous fun creating these adventures, many of which are set in what I call my adoptive city of Johannesburg, but by the time I was reaching the fifth one, I started running out of steam. Anyone who has done some extensive form of creative writing will know how taxing it is to create characters, a world to put them in and craft a coherent plot for them to follow. Now imagine creating multiple characters and conjuring multiple settings for each of them, as well as multiple unique plots, all with their multiple distinctive twists and surprises. I look at all this at times and think to myself, ‘What the hell have you gotten yourself into, Jack?’ All this happening with what’s been going on in my life, finishing up my internship research at the National Institute for Science and Industrial Research, my involvement at Miracle Life Family Church, as well as my musical journey with Julian Roberts and the HOG team, let’s just say it’s been something else. And to make it worse, I recently lost my college roommate, James Ordu, just when it was settled that I would be heading back to South Africa to try and finish school. It’s only a postponed reunion, I would like to think, but it’s a bummer to be going back and doing life without him there.
Inasmuch as high winds normally motivate me to write up a storm, this time, I had to call in reinforcements in the form of my best writing mate, Mutinta Nanchengwa, my brother Gibson Chitunda, my coach Lukundo Namusamba, Sam Chitundu, Maria Joy and a bunch of others who have been involved in either the creative process or who have taken up encouragement roles. A workshop which I visited in May which featured the talents of Luka Mwango, Peter Nawa, Dario Chongolo and Mukandi Siame was also very insightful in what it means to have an African Novel, Sam Chitundu also weighing in personally on that topic. Long story short, the novel has taken shape and is in the closing stages now. The post-completion process is a whole new journey on its own, but it’s one that I am looking forward to and will keep you updated on. In the meantime, I will be working on the last three chapters and pouring all of myself into them so they can be as relatable and as wholehearted as I possible. And another series, the Clandestine World of Tamara Lu, is also gaining momentum, but I will speak more of it in the next blog.
So, till then, which I hope will be in a month, deuces!!!!