Eureka: Creating an urban cocoa princess
When I was a child, I wanted to be a princess. My thoughts would drift, ever so enthusiastically to a place of magic and beauty. A lot like the Disney fairy-tales I would binge watch with my sisters. Not only was I fascinated by the art of animation and storytelling, the little girl in me was also captivated by books. I would read and read and read hoping my mind wouldn’t detonate from all the visuals playing a dance in my wild imagination. I would dream of what I would see through the narratives.
And so I dreamt – of milk-skinned pale beauties with honey golden locks, silky dark curls and eyes like the ocean, eyes like sparkling emerald stones and eyes like hazel sands. I would dream of their beauty and how much I wished to be like them. I loved everything about storytelling, especially the fairy-tale elements of the trinkets of jewellery, flowing ball gowns and the diamond crowns. I was fascinated by the little elements that made a story glow. Be it the golden slippers, the poisonous apple, dwarfs, god-mothers turning pumpkins into carriages, ornaments of magic and even the Prince who slayed the dragon. It all intrigued my young mind into curiosity.
I imagined what it would be like to be a character in one of those ever so popular Disney stories that have stayed with not just me but young kids all around the world for so many generations. I’m talking Cinderella, Sleeping beauty, Alice in wonder land, Snow White and even Princess Jasmine from Aladdin who was at least some sort of Indian Asian beauty. Princess Jasmine and my all time favourite Pocahontas really stood out the most to me.
It was Princess Jasmine and Pocahontas’s physical attributes that made my mind snap. It was like a moment of truth – a moment of realization for a young ‘wanna-be’ princess like me at the time.
A Eureka moment.
For the first time in my life, I truly grasped the human traits and elements that these ‘made-belief’ characters actually possessed.
Princess Jasmine and Pocahontas were not…WHITE.
The child in me realized for the first time that as human beings…even those in fiction and animation, we’re all different somehow.
And as I got older, my childhood books, cartoons, movies and dreams stayed with me. They found a place deep in my soul to bury themselves as parts of my most treasured memories. The narratives of the stories I read as a child stayed with me and collided with new ones from the novels I would read as a grown up. Mills and Boon Titles, The Circle Trilogy, The Twilight Saga, The Hunger Games, The Fifty Shades Trilogy, The Chronicles of Narnia and the recent indie published titles like Callie Hart’s Blood and Roses Series or even Brenna Aubrey’s Gaming the system series. I loved them all and still do.
I was an avid reader all throughout High School and Varsity and even now. I am a self-proclaimed addict. In all honesty, I guess you could truly say that I’m a romance book whore.
I’ve found many relatable insights and attributes of strength from the heroines in the books I’ve read. I’ve found the female leads really strong in heart and mind but it’s never gone further than that in the physical sense.
There’s been a hole in the commercial storytelling voice that I’ve been struggling to accept because I want to believe that the world can’t possibly be such a shallow place. There’s been a hole that has been growing, wider and wider over generations because Africa lacks enthusiasm for commercial fiction. Little black girls from Africa grow up admiring every form of voice but their own. Little black girls from Africa grow up seeking every form of beauty but their own because the world is a shallow place.
Nobody is going to give you what you think you don’t have. Nobody is going to write the stories that you think need to be told too. As an individual, you have to take a stand. Find something to fight for or it’s like you’re not really living at all.
There’s so much to be told. There’s so much to be discovered and made right in an era full of contamination and hate. Love is a fire and in order to keep it burning, we need to set our souls alight. Burn for something and in turn let the world feel the flames of our fire.
My fire happens to be storytelling.
Creating Ayanda Miya (The lead heroine in my book Crimson Muse) was emancipation, like rain showers after an immaculate drought. It was a birth – The coming of a new voice full of culture, anxiety, insecurities, pain, joy, honesty, love and most importantly (at least to me) brown skin and thick coarse hair. Finding Ayanda’s voice and giving justice to the unique, confused and somewhat strange young woman that I wanted her to be was also a challenge – One that I found pretty enjoyable. I got to be someone else for at least the duration of 80 000 words. I have grown pretty fond of Ayanda and all that she has to offer. I love her voice and I hope that my readers find her as beautiful as I do.
Get to know Ayanda Miya – my version of an urban cocoa princess. Ayanda Miya is a varsity drop out and struggling artist who wants to paint the world in colour even though it keeps giving her black and white. She also claims to know how to decipher people’s aura’s…like how weird is that, right?
Extract from Crimson Muse:
Colour over colour, shapes and curves creating intensity with every stroke. I see rainbows dancing in my mind as I paint. An avocado shade of green, over many flows of brown, I’m layering, stroke after stroke, line after line. My brush smudges over plastered clay paper.
Suffocation – I’m calling this one, suffocation. Today, after many years, I’ve finally worked on a new painting, something I haven’t done ever since my dad made a remark, about me wanting to draw cartoons for a living. I laugh at this as I finish off the final shade. Now, here I am. With a mirage of wild colours that reflect exactly how I’ve been feeling lately.
Suffocated – I’ve been feeling trapped in a life with no real purpose, no inspiration and nothing great to offer to the world. Over these past two days, like a fool, all I’ve been able to think about is that, weird pull of energy between Zak and I. Ok, maybe I’m just imagining it – my imagination is crazy these days especially now that I’ve started painting again. It’s all over the place. That energy can’t possibly be real. His aura must be lying to me because, I’m no fool – I know guys like Zak. Guys like that don’t notice strange girls like me, so there’s no way in hell that, that was possibly some kind of surreal connection. Like soul mates and shit.
Yes, I’m gullible like that and damnit, all I know is that I’ve never felt anything like it in my entire life. The power of it – the power of his aura is something I want to puzzle out and solve. I want to paint it, the colours of his aura and the strokes of his energy. I want to capture it in art. Silly, I know – sometimes my mind is a foolish childish palace. Soul mates – I mean seriously, I don’t believe in that crap anyway. Not that I want Zak’s advances or anything. I’m a loyal friend, so that means that, Khaya’s enemies are automatically my enemies too.
Download Crimson Muse for free on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/607939
But it on Amazon for as little as $1: http://www.amazon.com/Crimson-Muse-The-Book-ebook/dp/B01ANW5C8O/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_img_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0PF7X0E31N24DQR5RND3