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Day 5. Yes Aretha. Respect.

I’m five days into this road trip, and yesterday one of my personal heroes died. Aretha Franklin was lots of people’s hero, and today the media is filled with tributes to her and snippets of her music.

I’m also into day three of a visit with my only sister. We live nearly a thousand miles apart, both of us in small towns not easily reached, We try to see each other once a year. The first couple of days are always of flurry of missing each other and getting caught up and then by day three we rediscover the many ways we are different.

We’ve gotten better at smoothing over those inevitable rough edges, I think, and it all boils down to a single word. I respect the person she is, and vice versa. She respects my beliefs even when she doesn’t share them. I respect her right to have different tastes. She respects my right to have different priorities. She gets to be her, I get to be me. And we both treat each other with — let’s spell it now — R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

It does wonders for us and I swear it would do wonders for the rest of the world too, especially in those areas where it is sorely lacking. I’m going to make it my personal Rule of the Road #5.

Thank you, Aretha Franklin, for all the music you gave us, and for all the inspiration. Tomorrow, I’m heading southwest into Nebraska, seeking song #6, and my sixth rule of the road. Tonight, I’m just going to enjoy the music.

If you’d like to read a short blurb from each day of my journey, check out
Day 1. The Journey of 6000 miles
Day 2. Rules of the Road
Day 3. Just Don’t
Day 4. Bloom Here.
Day 5. Yes Aretha. Respect.
Day 6. No Trucks. Just Corn.
Day 7. Cry
Day 8. There’s No Place Like Home
Day 9. It’s Okay to Ask a Human for Help
Day 10. Always Bring an Onion
Day 11. Gimme Three Steps Towards Nevada
Day 12. I Want to Scream.
Day 13. Dusty Virgin
Day 14: Magical ride
Day 15. As Nice as I Want to Be
Day 16. What Rules? What Road?
Day 17. If you get interrupted by a parade …
Day 18. I, Human
Day 19. A Border Crossing
Day 20. Someone to Help Me Get Home
Day 21. Time flies like an arrow and ….
Day 22. Stop, or Else …
Day 23. What’s Your Reality?
Day 24. If it seems ridiculous …
Day 25. Backing Up
Day 26. To Stop a Hurricane
Day 27. Lights Along My Path
Day 28. Grateful

 

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2018 in being better, music for peace

 

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Happy 53rd Birthday Nigeria!

My novel x0 was supposed to take place in Saudi Arabia because I wanted my oil industry protagonist to develop a telepathic link with a Saudi woman. It was going to be a story of two outwardly different people who bonded over similar concerns for their younger sisters. Except that every time I started to write, it just didn’t feel right.

http://www.unfpa.org/public/global/pid/1050Meanwhile, I began a new job as a consultant for a company exploring for oil in the Niger Delta. There are many cool things about my current employer, but one of the best is that they are a very African centric company. I found myself sharing an office with three Nigerians, and learning about a country and a blend of cultures that was far more intriguing than I had ever imagined. I am endlessly curious about places far away from Texas anyway, and my patient office mates never stopped answering my questions.

http://nollywoodonline.info/?p=5 This went on for months. Working late one evening, I had to shut out a conversation between a Nigerian geologist at a desk three feet away from me and his younger brother back home.  Apparently little brother had a big test in chemistry the next day and my co-worker was trying to both tutor and encourage him. I used to do that for my sister. “We are so much alike the world over,” I thought. And it clicked into place.

About eight months later I finished my first novel. It tells the story of an American woman who befriends a Nigerian telepath who is trying to help her younger sister. While writing the book I got to learn even more about Nigeria and how it was created by the British and “given independence”  October 1, 1960. These outsiders lumped together millions of people with strong tribal affinities of their own, but with no common language and a great deal of mistrust  of the customs and cultures of the other tribes with which they were forced to share a country. Not surprisingly, Nigeria has had its share of troubles and bloodshed as the individuals within its borders struggled with the structure that had been imposed on them.

http://www.everyculture.com/Ma-Ni/Nigeria.htmlThe Nigerians I know are without exception resourceful and hopeful, and I see this in the country’s history as well. They are now fifty-three years into trying to make Nigeria as well-functioning and peaceful as most Nigerians would like it to be. I applaud them for how far they have come under difficult circumstances and I wish the country and its people the very best. Happy Birthday Nigeria.  As your national motto says, may “Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress” fill your future.

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2013 in Nigeria

 

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Welcome to the World of x0

Somewhere between fanciful places and the world one knows is the universe of x0, where an ancient organization prefers to stay hidden while seven billion people lead normal lives and seven hundred or so do not. This latter group includes Lola, a Texan geophysicist who doesn’t believe in nonsense, and Somadina, a young Nigerian who thinks her abilities are perfectly normal. These women have at least two important things in common, and they are about to learn how well that will forge a powerful link.

When Somadina’s sister becomes a captive, the young Igbo woman draws upon her power to find an ally.  Across an ocean, an unexpected lay-off and a near fatal accident combine to reintroduce into Lola’s mind a rather disturbing phenomenon. Lola disregards it. Medicates it. Analyzes it. Sips more wine on her porch. However, the changes taking place inside her will not be ignored.

While the rest of the world lives out a perfectly normal 2009, Somadina accepts that her sister has become a strategic pawn in a larger and more dangerous game and that she must get the attention of this kindred, uncooperative lady.

x0 reluctantly emerges from the shadows, because somebody really needs to intervene. Both women are far more powerful than they realize, and to make matters worse, a fringe fanatic may be on the verge of altering a nation’s future.

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Posted by on June 7, 2012 in x0

 

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Welcome to the World of x0

Somewhere between fanciful places and the world one knows is the universe of x0, where an ancient organization prefers to stay hidden while seven billion people lead normal lives and seven hundred or so do not. This latter group includes Lola, a Texan geophysicist who doesn’t believe in nonsense, and Somadina, a young Nigerian who thinks her abilities are perfectly normal. These women have at least two important things in common, and they are about to learn how well that will forge a powerful link.

When Somadina’s sister becomes a captive, the young Igbo woman draws upon her power to find an ally.  Across an ocean, an unexpected lay-off and a near fatal accident combine to reintroduce into Lola’s mind a rather disturbing phenomenon. Lola disregards it. Medicates it. Analyzes it. Sips more wine on her porch. However, the changes taking place inside her will not be ignored.

While the rest of the world lives out a perfectly normal 2009, Somadina accepts that her sister has become a strategic pawn in a larger and more dangerous game and that she must get the attention of this kindred, uncooperative lady.

x0 reluctantly emerges from the shadows, because somebody really needs to intervene. Both women are far more powerful than they realize, and to make matters worse, a fringe fanatic may be on the verge of altering a nation’s future.

.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 2, 2012 in x0

 

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