#News.1: Accepted For Creative Writing Masters degree At Edinburgh University

Dear all,

I have received great news as I am sure you have understood by the title, I have been accepted for a Masters degree in Creative Writing. My hopes are that this will allow me to perfect my writing and become by tenfolds a better writer!

Furthermore, at the end of this degree, alumni are published in a literary magazine. This would be spectacular and could help get my name out there which would by extension enhance my chances of getting a literary agent and being published!

I will continue to post as regularly as possible and keep practicing my style which undoubtedly will improve dramatically throughout the year as I plan on working very hard on bettering my writing.

Kind regards,

Issa Dioume

Style Training With Ursula K. Le Guin, Exercise.2: Am I Saramago {1st attempt}

The instructions for this 3rd piece of writing practice are as follows:

“Write a paragraph to a page 150-350 words of narrative with no punctuation (and no paragraphs or other breaking devices).”

As always, here is my 1st attempt at this exercise, ENJOY! :

“The birds were falling in mass from the sky and people were rushing and running about all over the streets as though red ants had crawled down their trousers they clamoured about and elbowed their ways across the stream of people outside desperate to avoid getting hit and some were seeking shelter in cafés and bars while others just ran desperately with bags or briefcases over their heads as they hurried to work or wherever it was that they had to be and I stood there simply looking up at the sky wondering why this was happening at all as I recall it had started off a couple of weeks ago when suddenly a hailstorm of lifeless birds had been observed falling off the edges of the sky in gallops around some beaches of Spain close to Santander and very soon the phenomenon was reported happening all across the globe the experts naturally claimed it was some sort of flu or something to do with the pollution in the air but I knew as I stood there watching men bumping into one another violently I knew as they hurried about still trying to maintain a semblance of  civility amidst this catastrophic event as they continued to head to their jobs despite the horrible forecast weather of well bird rain that had laster for so long already obviously it was perfectly normal as this had never happened before everything had remained perfectly sensible and logical and controllable but suddenly chaos had erupted and nobody had any idea how to carry on with their lives with this weather  and cars could no longer drive calmly down the streets as they would undoubtedly get pierced by a falling pigeon or falcon should the schools be closed down was what questioned one political figure on some tv show I saw last night he did not have an answers for why this was happening and seemed very reluctant to admit the reality of what was happening but I do yes I know now as I did then on the very first day all this began taking place that there was no explaining it the world had simply gone mad and that the weather and seasons we had for so long been able to trust and take for granted had all been completely spun around on their heads my theory was proved a few months later when came what would be remembered as the moowinter when cows began spouting out of the clouds overhead in hoards but sadly that was only the begining”

I had a lot of fun writing this one hahaha. I hope it will prove as enjoyable as it was to write. The aim is to understand where punctuation is necessary for one’s punctuation style and what does a lack of said punctuation bring to one’s work for one it can bring a certain style or a feeling of a rush or speed all of which are stylistic attributes which can be used to elevates one’s style depending on the story one is attempting to write. I recommend testing out this exercise writing a scene where something hectic is happening, I think it truly helps translate that feeling onto paper.

– Issa Dioume

The Fall [Short-Story] by Issa Dioume

…I’ve been falling for a while now – uncontrollably tumbling downwards. I’m certain I have already seen this very same scene before, somewhere deep within the misty forests of my memory. Surrounded by grand blue skies as I ride the gusts of winds leading me earthward, to the ground. There’s no use resisting, of course, so I simply let myself be guided without insisting; gliding in a whimsical sea of air-currents rocking me to and fro as though I were the ball in a prolonged ping-pong match between two great invisible beings.

Time stretches out differently up here. At the confluence of sugary heaps of clouds and the brown delicious earth, one sort of loses that sense of belonging one has when seeping into earth’s soil or assembling in sweating cotton skies. Gravity can make one feel overly heavy and confined, sometimes. And, in clouds, one is just waiting – anticipating the inevitable fall. So, out here a considerable weight is lifted off one’s shoulders.

I am falling – still. Of course. Closing in on the awaiting ground. Nonetheless, I am not worried. It is natural, after all – that I should fall. Don’t we all? I half-expect to see flashes of past events traverse my mind’s eye. It’s what one would expect, right? Unsurprisingly, nothing happens, it’s far too clouded for thoughts to pierce through. The sound produced by my body rushing through space is mellifluous, and the rays from above – oh! Those elegant rays! Carrying warm caresses from the sun which bounce off my coating; in sum creating a sort of ethereal dazzling molten light. Making me into liquid-sunshine. What a sight to witness and experience!

Everything appears so much more beautiful from up here. I can probably see everything, surely. But, I am falling. At such a speed and from such a high place that I could have been thrown from the very heavens themselves. One could surmise that I would be burning up right now. Like crashing meteorites do when seduced by earth’s charm. Strangely, I feel fresh, fresher and more alive than I can recall ever feeling.
I know this moment is short-lived, but I also know it is worth a lot on the scale of things this biosphere has to offer.  And, I am a part of it. Under my belly, humans are occupied – scurrying about, always in a hurry, always busy, occupied with their well-recited day-to-day routines, never truly taking the time to look above their own heights, at the looming skyline and, at me. Comparatively the sky gives off the impression of moving in slow motion, impervious to the commotion of those gravity-chained creatures.
Yet, some of those beings, like me, are in the sky. On that aircraft, over there, leaving noxious imprints of white over softly lapping sapphire oceans – spreading its great dead wings which reflect sweltering rays at me.
I can see their fleshy faces behind bizarre transparent discs. Do they take the time to look out their windows and let the view sink in?  I wonder. A view so resplendent and breath-taking it would take years for one to describe fully. A view composed of a deep blue sky and, with a radiantly blinding sun illuminating everything in its path, and birds chirping and soaring through the sky like tiny little arrows piercing through clouds; those magnificent clouds rolling and roaring like the rushing waves pounding the shores. Sometimes puffy, or, at times no more than mere wisps of all shapes and sizes dashing across our azure ceilings’ tapestry, as if guided by the hand of a painter ceaselessly accomplishing his masterpiece. This view is priceless when compared to all million-dollar paintings, the spectacles that can be seen on this little planet are jaw-dropping. One might even say ineffable, you must see it in order to understand it. At times, our emotions speak of what our minds’ dictionary cannot.
I only just dodge the plane. Had I hit it, my course would have undoubtedly met a violent end. As with every race, there must be a start a middle and, naturally, an end. In this world all of us tend to hope that dreaded expiration date never comes knocking at our doorsteps, but, it never fails to do so and, always will. Despite everything, we might tell ourselves. Just like proud petals gliding off the summit of roses – one day or another, we must all fall. It is vital to the very cycle of nature and life we so avidly safeguard.
Below, the houses which used to be, but, vast fields of dots spread across a wide plane have morphed into big square cement blocks. I am sailing directly to a tree surrounded by greenery lazing like lizards in the sun. It seems the time to play my part in the natural cycle of life has arrived. I only hope that……..

I am in a park, standing there, fairly vertically and doing nothing. I could probably move, run, or, even dance but, I see no need to do so. All that I require is already here, around me is the beauty of life. I feel the wind rustling my skin causing me to shudder. It is so powerful that, sometimes, I need to bend and twist my body in order to not be uprooted. However, today it is not so robust. So, I stand there, sturdy and disinclined to move, merely observing the pedestrians pass by. Some solitary, some coupled in twos or threes, sometimes reading books next to me, or, running or walking those four-legged creatures called ‘good dog’, or ‘Rex’, or ‘Max’ or, ‘Cookie’ on leashes. I wonder if they see me. None has ever come to say hello. But their four-legged creatures do sometimes. In their own, bizarre, fluid ways.

I feel the veins of my body beckoning me: I am thirsty. And, this thirst cannot be quenched by what I find around me. I think to myself that, I may have to break my vow to never move. But, suddenly, my worries are stifled as onto me the first droplet of the day hits one of my leaves. And, I know that unfailingly more will soon follow, pouring down like little beads of crystal spouting out from the mouths of clouds, a place I can never see. Once more, I must thank them for what they bring me: Life. For they are what helps me to stay as strong and as long as I am. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to shelter all the pedestrians who are now hiding beneath my leaves from this deluge from another world that is, to them, cumbersome.

…it helps.

–  ISSA DIOUME

Little Brother [Short-Story] by Issa Dioume

“Run! Zeenat! RUN!” He screamed.
And so, I ran.
But Grazta, the void took you. And, I miss you. Thank you Grazta. Thanks to you, I
escaped…

….my family and their suffocating pressures.
It had become a daily routine for father to bring me down. Every time I opened my lips to
reveal a dream or goal I wanted to set for myself, he would simply look at me, smile and tell
me how ridiculous or absurd the idea was: “You will never [insert dream]”; “You are not
[insert quality] enough!”.

Thank you father, for killing the dreams of my childhood. You pierced my dreams like cupid
ruthlessly pierces hearts with arrows. I know why you did it, even though you may deny it.
Your parents did not believe in you when you told them you wanted to become a lawyer. The
words you speak are only the result of your parents’ teachings.
Knowing why does not mean it can no longer hurt you. Each word cut through me like a
knife cutting through butter. My dreams melted away. I was left a nothing with no dream, and
so I did nothing.

“Go outside! clean your room! Why don’t you act like other kids?” Father would scream. I
looked at him, and, wanted to tell him: you’re the reason. No use, just another fight. I had
already told him several times, he doesn’t care, nor does he want to care. He knows it would
mean me being right about him, something he would not tolerate.

One day, I surprised my six-year- old brother sobbing in his room and asked what had
happened. “Father said I could never become a lawyer. He said, I wasn’t smart enough!”. My
heart boiled with rage, I immediately went to confront him. To ask him: why?

He calmly explained, it was a necessity. “So, he doesn’t dream too big later on. Trust me, it
will help him in life. Look at how it helped you”, he said. I wanted to puke. It suddenly hit
me. A six-year- old, was already destined to be a nothing, because he was his son. That’s how
he saw it. Age did not matter, it wasn’t that we were too old to learn new things. Why
couldn’t my brother become what he wants? “Look at how old he is, I said. Everything is
possible at this age!” For me… it is too late, I thought. He stole my future away through
selfishness, he had to hand us his legacy of being nothing or he would not be satisfied with
our education.
I hate him. I shouldn’t. He does not beat me, does not abuse me, does not scream, but I hate
him all the same. His words are water to the flames of my dreams; extinguished.
Time passed, around four years, I believe. I am eighteen, now. Still nothing. Little brother’s
dreams have died, now. He no longer goes outside. He stays inside, doing nothing. Father
says: “Go outside! clean your room! Why don’t you act like other kids?” and little brother
smiles thinking: you’re the reason. He spends his days staring into the void and playing video
games. Not a normal life of a ten-year- old. He reads sometimes. Fiction, fantasy, sci-fi, etc.
Worlds which take him away from his own. Worlds where he can be anything.

Today, father died, I think.
Mother cries. Perhaps from joy? Me and my brother say nothing, do nothing, staring
into the void. “Why don’t they act like others?” Onlookers say, observing us. “How cold can
one be?”. We look at each other, smile and, point to father’s listless body.
Back at home.
A month later, I have started trying to do things. I want to paint. I realised I could do
what I wanted now. I no longer care to fail. My life is mine once more. I wish to go to an art

school. “You know, it’s quite hard to go to an art school…” says mother’s new boyfriend. He
reminds me of father. It scared me. And so, I made a choice. That same evening, I packed my
things in a suitcase. Tomorrow morning, I will leave this place, forever, I thought. Little
brother, saw me pack. He stood there, so anchored in darkness, I did not notice him.

This morning, I finally left, at the first light of dawn. Little brother was awake. He saw
me, walking towards the door and, called out to me from the darkness. As I approached him
to respond, I saw tears rolling down his cheeks, cascading to his shoulders. He looked at me
and screamed, it felt like I hadn’t heard his voice in a long while, “Run Zeenat! RUUUN!”

… And run I did.
Promising to come back to take him with me once I had found a place.
Goodbye little brother. Goodbye Grazta.

Early morning delights

Written by Issa Dioume

The familiar aroma of the roasted coffee beans pervading the café’s air. Taking you back to innocent moments of your childhood. The ambient soothing rock music playing on the speakers ‘ oooh pretty little baby! I love you baby’!

Waiters rushing in all directions. Always gleaming with radiant smiles plastered on their faces. Cleaning and waiting tables, talking amongst themselves. Some looking slightly tired but energetic all the same.

And then there’s You. You, sitting with the salt, pepper and sugar at your small rectangular dining table. Cup of coffee in one hand, spoon in the other; melting your sugar cube in the hot beverage and evenly mixing your coffee so the sugar can be tasted in every gulp you take. Slowly sipping on that drink admiring the decorations of the room. A framed yellow blue-dotted women’s swimwear. Paintings of beaches and nature. Loud voices and satisfied fresh out of the shower looks of your fellow happy customers. Some smoking outside enjoying the morning’s fresh air warmed their coffee. Plants in pots decorating the room. Giving life to it. The silence filled of noise, smiles and newspaper reading. An invigorating atmosphere galvanising you to have an amazing day. Making you hopeful for the rest of your waking hours. It is those small fleeting precious moments that make up the early morning delights.

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