Friday, July 14, 2006

The Hidden Peace

My novel is called the Hidden Peace. It's been coming alive for 3 or 4 years now and I'd hoped it would have achieved print life in a bookshop by now. I'm not going to reveal the plot except it is set in precolonial Africa. I have sent it around a few friends and acquaintances and I have received a set of different reviews, ranging from gushing praise to radical criticism. Through the process I have discovered so much more about writing than I ever knew and I have new respect for writers.

What I really want is to take some months off to refocus and concentrate on this work but that time remains elusive and my space at the moment is shared almost completely with my family. My mind feels crowded but I still have enough time to write poetry. I think my poems may cross the publishing line first. Let's wait and see.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Guiding Mosaic

At the Guelph Lake, there are 2700 Guides from Canada and around the world discovering the world and challenging themselves. It is a bustling, energetic camp with all kinds of activities, from kayaking to fencing and Crime Scene Investigation. There are acitivities off site and actvities on site. The girls are sewing, painting picture frames, learning digital scrap book making and a host of other activities. Of course Fule and I were there for 4 days representing Readers and Rhythms and teaching the most energetic drum and dance workshops. It was a blast to introduce the probable future leaders of Canada and twenty other countries to the awe inspiring polyrhythms and dance moves of West Africa. I was pleased to have students from Nigeria, Grenada, Dominican Republic, the USA and Scotland and all the provinces in Canada participate. I hope the message spreads all over the world that there is nothing more welcoming than the passion of the Drum! So we appeared on Rogers TV Roger's local- just bits and pieces of our workshop and interview. Watchout as it will be showing all week. So shimmy-shimmy.


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Marketing Brainstorm

I was considering strategies for distributing The Griot's Journey and although I had some ideas I had no energy to commit to the process today. I did not give in to the urge of creating. It is such an escape at times like this. I held out. I went shopping instead with my daughter. I cooked a Ghanaian meal, a version of garden egg stew with rice. It wasn't bad but it was still only a version, a contemporization of an old ethnic meal. It was better than nothing but the pieces of smoked salmon were strangely too sweet.

So tonight, I watch TV and grow stronger so that tomorrow I can start effectively working out my strategies. Some of the ideas will demand creativity, (which concept I had put on hold) the others have to do with finding a distributor and aggressively contacting and pitching several bookstore owners. My marketing will be creative and must impact my advertising. If I have ever had to plan ahead, the time is now. How do I get the attention of multitudes? Will this blog help? You tell me.


Monday, July 03, 2006


We watched a DVD today on drumming in Burkina Faso. It was fascinating, to say the least, how complex and developed is drumming in Africa. I think West Africa has the lion's share of this complex polyrhythmic drum music but I have no real proof or statistic for this statement and may be completely wrong. It is amazing how the styles of playing and the rhythmic patterns are changing as the village youth arrive in town. There seems to be a revolution as the drum reaches beyond the traditional djembefola families to the youth now influenced by radio music and tv music from the culture and out of it. I was amazed to see how the women of Burkina Faso in response to drum solos dance remarkably like the dancers of renowned Guinean ballets. The drum is alive and well in West Africa in old classical forms and in modern new polyrhythmic patterns which I hope the world at large will receive with joy instead of wanting Africa and her gifts only at their most ancient, exotic and other worldly forms. Nothing cheesy about this at all. Long live the DRUM!


Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Griot's Journey unfolds

I still haven't figured out everything about blogging. My son thinks he can help me figure out stuff such as posting photos etc. I bet he can too! Today I've been working on a book to go with my Performance DVD , 'The Griot's Journey'. I'm thinking of including lesson plans for teachers. But it's Sunday and I don't like to work hard on Sunday. On the other hand I like to do bits and pieces and set my thoughts up for Monday.

You should check my website out
Have a look at my DVD and perhaps order one
The Griot's Journey is a storytelling experience like no other! Says who? Says me!


Saturday, July 01, 2006

Canada Day at Frankiln Children's Garden

So today I was at Franklin Children's Garden, Centre Island with Fulé. It was exciting to ride the ferry again. I was there to tell stories to all the holiday makers celebrating Canada day at the Island. Not true! I told stories to a group of story lovers mainly, kids under 6 years old and their parents. So we sang and danced and told stories for about an hour under a shaded pavilion. The kids loved singing and dancing to the drum. What can I say ? We brought a bit of Africa into Canada day. It was good to see Jerry Silverberg again.