I’m sitting on the fourth floor balcony of the Cape Hotel in Monrovia in shorts and t-shirt listening to a mixture of surf and hotel generators, and the occasional honking of a motorcycle horn. It’s just after nine o’clock at night. African music has been added to the surf/generator mix as I type this. Who knew that sitting at my dining room table 28 years ago, writing about a girl who likes red best, would lead to this?!
It probably sounds like a holiday, especially to people back home experiencing some of the coldest days of winter so far this year. But I’m working hard here in Liberia, sharing some of what I’ve learned about writing and editing over the years with people keen to write, even though it may not sound much like work. And it is, after all, a pretty fine kind of hard work to be given the chance to do.
This year I’m working with writers who have stories nearing publication and writers who hope the stories they’re working on might be chosen for the next publishing season. Some I worked with last year and they quickly became like friends. There are new faces and new voices in the group, too, and we spent part of our first hour together getting introduced and making sure I could pronounce their names correctly: Ovie, Cherue, Akoi.
More later, but for now I have more stories to read, more work to prepare for tomorrow…