Sunday, December 29, 2013

The New Year Hype- The Tagline

I am exceedingly grateful to God  for the end if this year and the beginning of the next year, looking forward to publishing my book!!!. God has been good.

Its the end of the year again and honestly I try to keep from rolling my eyes . Keeping in mind that I have made a promise to myself and God to keep this blog positive, I cant help be authentic and throw out a question that ignites discussion and personal growth. Even putting my thoughts on the blog helps me analyze the situation and discover areas I may need to grow. Or areas where I have thought wrongly.

I have been entrenched in the Nigerian church culture all my life  though my relationship with God has not mirrored that consistency. I am at a point where I am tired of the cliché.

I wonder does every new year need a tag line? Does every year need resolutions that will be forgotten by February? Can I discover that I am deficient in a certain area of my life in November and take steps to correct it  right then?

I look at my walk with God as a marathon, its not the same for everyone but in my case, undergoing Gods processing has taken dogged resilience, determination, patience, shutting down of my feelings and perseverance.  I have come to the conclusion that I  trust God regardless whether its 2013 or 2014 or 2015 and I feel these taglines place unrealistic expectations on the next year. If the goal is to make the brethren expectant for the new year then I guess a tagline serves it purpose that way.

In the context of Proverbs 23:18 - Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long. For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.
There has to be some expectation to be able to receive from God. But I wonder shouldn't that be the life of a believer regardless of whether its a new year or not?

Personally, I used to buy into the hype when I was younger  and I have left the year feeling a little let down. I wonder if its because of my lack of understanding of what exactly God was trying to tell me through his prophets. I have learned the hard way that the new year is what you make of it, make a personal tagline for your own  year and keep it. Admittedly,  I am a little cynical ( I am trying everyday to be less so) , but to me a new year is just that...a new year,with new blessings, new challenges, changes, growth, new friends, old friends  etc. In the same token,  I cannot take God's blessing of another year for granted.

I am at a point where I would like to strike a balance between being expectant for the new year, understanding the real purpose of the tag line and even realizing that GASP its not all about me. Someone in church may have had a really bad 2013 and needs encouragement for a better 2014, someone may have lost all in 2013 and that tagline I scoff  at may be the words they need to not give up on God the next year.

I am writing this post organically and my own AHA moment is that "its not always about me." I may be a gangsta and be able to roll with the punches life gives by the grace of God but that tag line may be an anchor for another person that isn't built like me. Or these tag lines actually mean something to God and its a spiritual deposit for the year. I lack understanding yall but the day I know all things is the day I stop growing.

Anyway tagline or not I wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

PS for non Nigerian readers examples of new year tag lines include
2010 Year of greatness
2011 Year of the servant
2012 Year of wealth

Monday, December 23, 2013

Things I am thankful for-Med school/Work boos

There's always that one person that will always have your heart
You'll never see it comin', 'cause you're blinded from the start
Know that you're that one for me, it's clear for everyone to see
Ooh baby, oh, you will always be my boo (Work boo that is)
Usher - My Boo Lyrics

Those lyrics are dedicated to my one and only  med school boo, Thomas Jacob who is in India right now.  When I told him he was featured in Still, my novel he said and I quote " I hope the character is hot and toasted like me."
 BLANK STARE. My darling Thomas is funny.
Anyway when we were in medical school Thomas was Chief  Webber to my  Bailey from Greys Anatomy. I never had to pay attention to anything! He listened to all the instructions, all the deadlines etc.  He screamed at me to fill out my financial aid forms and urged me to be  more responsible about spending my money. When things got complicated I would basically tune off and say to myself  "I will just do it when Thomas is doing it." When we graduated I actually had to GASP listen to announcements. You don't know how many announcements I have missed since he left.

I realized we all have work boos, someone at work not necessarily of the opposite sex who has your  back,  will look out for you, fight for you and even admonish you when its needed. Work boos are especially important in medical training because it can be difficult and isolating spending the majority of  your time in an environment where you have no friends and you don't feel supported. After my extensive interview season, the most sincere advice I got was, " Go to the program, you feel  the most comfortable and connect with the people. Don't look at the name, prestige or reputation of the program these are all important but equally as important are the people you go to work with everyday.

Even married people have work boos of the opposite sex. Bailey and Chief Webber were pretty close to one another and never crossed professional and personal lines though there's another little show named Scandal written by the same writer so...
Now since I lost Thomas to the west coast, I have two female work boos that look out for me.
Of course no one is comparable to  Thomas

This season instead of being excited about the sniper  sales in express and h&;m that have drained my bank account,  I choose to be  thankful to God for  little things I take for granted.
Jesus  blessed me with the best work boo!
Merry Christmas and happy new year yall!
Be thankful for life and God's sacrifice of his son this season!
Until next time remain B. A. D. D. like that!

Monday, December 9, 2013

E' Day BABY -A walk down memory lane

It was my birthday yesterday!  I was born twenty or so some years ago and I am thankful to God!

 I am always slightly excited about my birthday and I am exceedingly thankful this year. Not because I get to celebrate one year of life  a gift or privilege not everyone was given but because God has been good to me.  My birthday celebration is usually a low key event, I forced myself to throw a graduation party last year because I thought I had to mark my graduation from medical school somehow. It was only by Gods grace I made it through. As my friend always says, Jesus dragged some of us to the end of medical school with us clinging to the hem of his garment. Because " I is gotta tell ya, sometimes it was rough.  

 As I get closer to the dirty thirty. I am unnaturally calm and content with my life. This unnatural calmness scares me  because I am NEVER calm about personal goals for my life. I am usually a drama queen.  I usually fret about everything then throw a spiritual tantrum when I feel God has not delivered on his promises to me.  I tell you , God has suffered  in my hand. The only  conceivable reason I think he takes it is because  he loves me. I really wouldn't tolerate a lot of the stuff I do if I were God. But thank God I am not.
Its weird  to think I am actually changing and maybe growing up GASP.  Since I am a little  fickle.
 Sometimes I am all like “God how did I get so old!!! I thought it would never happen!!! I thought I would be Peter Pan and never grow up!!  Then I envision the Holy spirit calmly walking into the room and giving me a hot slap then I calm down and then I am all thankful again.
 But I am really thankful to God for all He has done for me and continues to do for me. He's' my homeboy. Without His intervention and patience I don’t know where I would be. 
Since its my birthday I decided to take a trip down memory  lane cataloging my life in a mixture of pop culture and personal milestones.
 So sit back and relax this one is going to be a long one.
I am an 80's baby. I don't remember much from then but I choose to share a cute pic of mine
Didn't I look all cute and innocent? Sigh. The good old days....The interesting thing is I remember when this picture was taken. I remember I was in an unfamiliar house ( my moms friends house) and she coaxed me to take the pic.  Even from a young age I remember I had a powerful imagination. I was a shy quiet child and could retreat into the worlds I created for myself. I thought it was my child like imagination and I would lose it when I grew up  but I still had the ability when I was older.  Then one day I realized it was a gift and began to appreciate the fact I could be whoever I wanted to be ( in my head anyway.) 
My first imaginary friend was Shaddy Edison and her best friend was Hardy. She was an actress in Hollywood. I actually had a lot of fun with her. In a weird way I still  believe she is a real person that existed.
Random fact of the 80's to 90's. I went to a Lebanese school in Lagos, Nigeria.
When I think of this, all I can ask is why! I wish I could stop my mom and tell her no. Don't get me wrong I had fun there and  made a few friends there, however I was a MINORITY in Nigeria. I remember even my young self thinking this wasn't right. The black kids always stuck together and we were all  friends. One thing I got out of there was learning to sing the Lebanese national anthem ( because we used to sing both the Nigerian and Lebanese national anthem) and I got to eat zeta which was a bread type of thingy. It was delicious.
Then sometime  in the 90's I was introduced to the beloved and delicious ...

Indomie. Indome was/is the All the kids loved it but adults always hated it. I remember when I told my uncle all about it and made him taste it, he threw up. I was so confused! As far as I was concerned this was the best invention since slice bread! When it first came out it was delicious and pepperish then it became watered down. Nigerians get crazy with indomie, Some people eat it with chicken, shrimp, veggies, corned beef  you name the food, a Nigerian has probably added that to indomie I like mine plain and I still get it from the local Giant store for 59 cents.
My first nickname was
Frank Spencer! For you guys who may not  know him, he was  the accident prone  main character of an old British show " some mothers do 'ave them . The show was on all the time on local Nigerian television. I was very clumsy, absent minded and  forgetful ( Lord my family used to call me Forgetful Jones too!, a character from Sesame street). I used to lose every thing! Every earring my mom gave me,  every pencil, every toy! I mean everything. I   think it was because of my imagination. I was never present. If I wasn't happy, I would just retreat into the world in myself then forget everything else. Frank Spencer was soooo annoying, I really don't think I was that bad. His longsuffering wife, Betty taught me about marriage because she stuck my him through his many accidents. It was amazing to watch Frank Spencer enter a room and then level it to the ground because of his clumsiness. You have to watch the show to understand.
My absolute favorite author was
Enid Blyton! Before a certain British author influenced the hearts and minds of young children there was Enid Blyton. Enid Blyton's books was responsible for helping me develop my imagination. I wanted to go to a British boarding school when I read her books. I wanted a midnight feast like the girls in St Clares and Mallory Towers, I wanted to travel on a wishing chair and be transported to a different world every night, I absolutely loved the fact that Georgina was a tomboy in the famous five and they solved ALL the mysteries!! She is one of the most prolific writes of all time and my "young self has idealized all her books. I cant read the books again because in my mind there are all perfect!
I wrote my first original  novel when I was twelve or thirteen it was called Dark Shadows. It was about  a set of  twin girls, one was bad and the other was good. The good one watches her mother have an epileptic episode and die then she panics and runs. The wicked one blames her for their mothers death. I don't remember the rest of the story but I wish I could find the manuscript just for the laughs. I also wrote a play when I was fifteen. Yeah I had a lot of time on my hands....
My first two unoriginal novels were based on
Sweet Valley High (SVH)  and Baby Sitters club. I loved these series. SVH more than baby sitters club, because sweet valley was everywhere. The series went from  sweet valley kids to sweet valley university. I hated the fact that Elizabeth was so passive and let Jessica get away with everything! I wanted to go into the books and shake some sense into her. I read a baby sitters club where they had a summer camp babysitters club. I loved it so much that I basically wrote my own version when I was in secondary school or high school for American readers.
Then I had a gap year in between secondary school and starting University. In that year I discovered CDs
I played and overplayed some cds. Aaliyah's Aaliyah cd, Destiny's Child's The writings on the wall  CD and Ushers 8701 cd. I overplayed this cd! As in every single night and every single day. I memorized the lyrics of Can you help me by Usher by pausing then  playing then writing down the words. Yes I was that desperate to learn the words. Lord!!! Those lyrics and Ushers voice screaming , Can you help me!!!!!  I was like Gad!! I wish he was singing to me! 
Then I moved to Chicago and was introduced to
Michigan Avenue and downtown Chicago. I had so much fun in Chicago. That city was my baby, my first love. From shopping on State Street to catching trips on Michigan Avenue, summers were so much fun. All my memories in Chicago are not honky dorey, however I cannot deny that living in that city for five years was fun. There was always something to do. 
Then I got my first library card, shortly after I moved
The first time I went to the library straight from Nigeria, I wondered what the catch was in the library. SO I got to borrow limitless amounts of books and I just had to return it before a certain time. I didn't understand why the library wasn't filled with more people.  So then I read and read and read  then read some more then and I grew. I commuted to campus so I would read during the train ride. I never went to one  world history class but I can talk about Versailles, Marie Antoinette and the guillotine , Henry the eighth and his many wives, the war of the roses,  the betrayal of Julius Caesar, Cleopatra and Grecian civilization because I read. I would never pick up a history book about these subjects but I would read a fictional book based on it. I have made up my mind to make my children read and not stare into an iPad because its so important to learn  about the world. I didn't limit myself to libraries. I spent my free time in borders and Barnes and nobles. Its a pity that Borders closed down. I know I wasn't always happy then in my life but books were my escape. I always say I didn't dream in Chicago.  I did not imagine.Things were too dark in my life. I cant imagine when I am down but I could escape and escape I did, into my books.
Then I packed up my bags and moved to Washington DC for medical school. Here, I met the crew

 the studying crew aka room 210 studying group crew! I don't remember how we came together but it started with hustling for studying rooms on the second floor in the medical school. We were all in our little groups for the first few month of medical school but because we were always competing with the dental students for study rooms we always ended up together  in room 210. Soon we became known as the loud Nigerian 210 group and Thomas Jacob( the only non Nigerian in the group aka Oluwathomas Babatunde). God blessed me with a people, with friends , with a support system in medical school. I can never take it for granted and I really appreciate it. A lot of getting through medical school was your support system and I couldn't wish for a better support system. These ones enter the life time friends category. I feature a lot of my friends in the book as minor characters. I wanted my book to be a memorial to that snapshot in time of our lives for us, I didn't want it to turn into anything negative a la Best man part one where some of my friends didn't like how they are portrayed so I kept them as very minor characters.   

Though medical school was the best of times and sometimes the worst of times. I made it through by the grace of God cue I made it through by Tye Tribett. 
My transition to real life adult hood was rough to say the least but in that time I got my first car,

I call her Anastasia Beaverhausan! My beautiful 2002 Honda accord. I love my baby! Shes so fierce and fabulous. I especially love her color! Sometimes its best to wait for milestones in life because if I had started driving at sixteen like most people I wouldn't appreciate her as much as I do now. I love this car! Shes mine!! Raises hands and screams again All mine!!!

Last but not least, in medical school was where I really met
God and my relationship with Him really grew. My main characters spiritual growth in the series parallels my  growth and you could say the book is autobiographical in a way. I thank God for loving me first and directing my path to medical school in DC  and to the church I went to because a lot of my relationship with God had to do with who and what He surrounded me with. I really needed Him in medical school and I think it was part of His perfect plan. He wanted me to need him. My relationship with God is  not perfect now, I sometimes still throw spiritual tantrums although not as often, sometimes I don't feel right, sometimes I feel doubt chipping away at any faith, belief or trust in God in my heart, sometimes I don't act or speak right (especially when I am driving and a drivers cuts me off, I can go on and on about this) but now its  a knowing.  From my walk with him, from interacting with Him for sometime I have learned  that He has always come through for me even when I fail and falter.

So through my twenty or something years of living, these are the  surface snapshot experiences that have made me who I am today . Of course the highlighted ones are not the totality of my life nor are they the most important ones but they are vital part of what makes me who I am today. I do not regret the good,  the bad, and the ugly experiences because they made me who I am. Every little experience had a part to play in teaching me , molding me and sometimes breaking me,. I guess all I am trying to say is that after taking a catalog of my life, I have made many mistakes but I don't have any regrets.
I am  exceedingly thankful and grateful  for my family, my friends and good health.
I am thankful I sleep like a baby when I do because not everyone has that gift
I am thankful that I have friends who shorten my ration and eat the food I cook because not everyone has that blessing
I am thankful for the gift of contentment, not being happy most of the time but being content with where I am and who I am.
That even in the wilderness stage of my life right now  I can say to myself " I have fought the good fight of faith and even if I do not obtain the promise at least I gave it a damned good fight.
I did the best with the hands I was dealt with and I look back on my life and I say to myself "at least I tried."
I am at peace.

And to the one who gave me another year of life, I say thank you Father,  for you are exceedingly kind and faithful.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Crazy cab drivers and match “editor” making

Going on residency interviews is like going on a tour of America  in a way. You  get to meet different individuals from varied back grounds,  from fourth year medical students to foreign medical graduates fresh out of medical school or those that have been practicing for a while to the person that sits next to you on plane, bus, train. It’s actually a lot of fun. I met the craziest cab driver during my last trip.
My interview was in Philadelphia which I have to say is a city that is rough around the edges but I digress. I took the bus instead of driving because I didnt want to drive at night and I wasn’t sure Anastasia (my fiery red car) could handle the journey.  When I got to the bus station I immediately made a beeline for the parked cabs. I wasn’t going to mess with  the subway because I did that when I interviewed in NYC.  Let me just say that was a bad mistake.
I spotted one “Nigerian uncle” looking cab driver and reasoned that a fellow Nigerian would be “safe” and I could  “sweet talk” him to taking a lower cab fare. I approached him and show him my friends address on my phone and he says confidently that he knows the address.
I get into the cab and settle comfortably in the back seat hoping to take in the sights of Philly as he drives through the city. Well, the drive was anything but relaxing   First he drove like he was car racing AND also cursed out other drivers on the road too. I held on to dear life in the backseat praying that we got to my friend’s house quickly and safely. Then he stops in a seedy looking neighborhood and ask to see the address again. When I show him he tells me that place doesn’t exist here and he really doesn’t know that address.
I had many choices
a.       Unleash the dragon, take off my Christianity jacket and demand to know             why he told me he knows an address that he clearly has no idea about.
b.      Keep Christianity jacket on and calmly try to figure out the address with him
Since mama didn’t raise no fool and he was a little crazy plus  choice A could result in me being kicked out of the cab in the a seedy neighborhood in a city I was unfamiliar with I called my friend so I could clarify the address.
Then he insists on speaking to my friend and grabs my phone from me. My friend clarifies the address for him and he realizes we are all the way across town from where my friend’s apartment is.
He reacts my cursing profusely with some very interesting words then before I can stop him he tells my friend on the phone to “help him out” and add some more money to the agreed fare price because getting me to my friend’s apartment would take twice the time he calculated.
 He then curses out my friend on the phone for not agreeing to add some more money to the agreed fare price. At this point I just want to get to my friend’s apartment safely because he threatens to drop me off in the seedy neighborhood.
I just kept calm because he obviously had a few loose screws and getting all “kanyed up” (I love that it’s a new word I have come up with) would just escalate the situation. Anyway, I thank Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit that he took me to my friend’s apartment in one piece.
With all that craziness with work and interviews going on I haven’t had much time to devote to the major developmental editing for my book.   I am working but not as fast as I would like too.  I am currently looking for an editor. After I really thought about it, researched it, analyzed and prayed about it, it would really be ill-advised to publish without a professional editor who has worked on novels before. I am not a grammar mafia, punctuation and grammar is not my strongest point . I am just a story teller.  I think I have met someone I really like but I don’t want to rush into the “relationship.”  Keep fingers crossed for me that I make the right decision. But I am excited yall! I can’t believe I am actually going to publish a book people may actually read J
Hope everyone had a great thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Just a spoonful of passion please

Since my blog is not anonymous, I am restrained by what I can share about residency interviews.  But two words I can use to characterize the last place I interviewed with are cool and passionless.  Cool as in “chill” meet in the lobby at 8 :30 am type of chill. The stricter programs have us showing up for interviews at 6:45. Passionless as in everyone seemed to like the program but seemed not to care one way or the other if the applicants liked the program.  The program director did not speak to us even though he had time to “yell at his residents” ( his words not mine) and  the chief resident could not be bothered to sell the program to us and we( the applicants) were left to our own devices.  If you are not excited about your program why should I be? Needless to say, we (applicants) really bonded. I got to learn that the Indian education system is similar to the Nigerian educational system and the difference between medical school gunners and snipers (I have to somehow work that into the series BTW) J
The “passionless” interview got me thinking about how important it is to fight to hold on the passion you once had for your dreams. Disappointment, rejection, criticism,  delay , failure and a harsh terrain can kill passion for any dream.   Trust me I have been there. My atypical transition to residency has been a rough time for me and I almost did not want to publish my book.  Sometimes I felt the dream dying inside of me as my passion died.  But I had to go back to why I started writing and the very “specific” girl God directed me to speak to through my writing.
Self-publishing a book is much harder than I thought. It’s a lot of hard work;  it’s a lot of hustling, it’s almost like starting a small business.   I am responsible for the writing, editing, packaging, formatting my book for multiple platforms AND marketing my book. Its not easy work and I have made the decision to enjoy every grimey part of it and keep my “passion” while I am at it. While I don’t want to allow my emotions to rule over me, I really want to make sure I am enjoying what I am doing. If I am not enjoying it,   I analyze my actions and think of ways to make it better.  I made the hard decision to remove a character and release her as a novella later. She never really was connected to the other four characters and I am never quite comfortable with her story line. I tell ya even the Holy Spirit nudged me gently in my heart to remove her and modify her during the earlier days of writing the book.
But did I listen. Nope.
I was too  lazy to remove her and have to change the whole story. Plus I like her. She is very fiery and is like me in many ways. But alas I am an indie author and can do whatever I want. I will just release her and all her fiery glory in a novella. 
Even in medicine I know everyone goes through the “Why did I do this to myself breakdown.”   Here, you tend to focus on the negatives of a medical career by comparing yourself to peers who are making more money than you and have more free time, gripe about the thankless social work aspect of medicine, the hierarchical hazing etc. … If you want to complain about medicine the list can be endless. These breakdowns usually come around exam studying time, step 1, night float rotations and when financial aid shows you the 150,000 or more you owe for your education.   J  During these times, I go back to why I choose medicine as a profession and hold on to the “fuzzy” help those in need feelings I had in undergrad.
The point I am trying to make is that
Passion is the fan to the flames of your destiny ( let me not swagger-jack, I think my pastor said that once) . Do everything possible to keep it alive.

Until then be B.A.D.D, bad like that 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The tale of two cities

I've always felt like  I had  two sides of me, two cities  or two husbands ( * keep dreaming gal*)   one I know like the back of my hand, one that is demanding, one that is safe. The other one I don't really know, I flirted with him when I was younger, forgot we ever dated, one I am wary of, one I don't really know.

This one this unfamiliar one is the "One" I feel God is leading me to. I could be wrong. It doesn't fit. It doesn't look right. I wasn't trained to write. I didn't go to any writing class. I don't even have confidence in myself yet I have decided to stick with "him".

The familiar one has been my life. my goal, my obsession for twenty years of my life. Medicine is what I know. Medicine is comfortable. Medicine is home.

I will always call myself the unlikely almost unwilling writer. I often ask myself why I am doing this. I don't feel confident. Beta readers have not fallen in love with the book like I imagined and reimagined in my head. Yet I am running blind. I am still working on the novel,  revamping story arcs, povs ,  removing an entire character and looking for a line editor. Still,  its out of my comfort zone.

But the beauty of this is,  I am taking a leap of faith, the same leap of faith I took when I left my life in Chicago Illinois and moved to Washington DC for medical school. No plan, no real understanding of who God was but I read Hebrews 11 verse 1 and with no clear plan and  I leapt.

I am leaping again trusting He will catch me before I fall

Medical Residency Interview number four on Monday!

Until next time folks, be B. A.D.D, bad like that

Sunday, November 3, 2013

On half baked cookies and interview experiences reloaded

No one likes a half baked cookie. I especially don't because I love food and no one messes up with my food. Similarly  I was going to publish my book as a half baked cookie. I removed the timer because its not plausible to publish a book that I would be confident of in that time frame .

I wonder how many things that I am  waiting on God for that is half baked and I insist that I am  ready and want it now. Maybe the cookie is still half baked and its simply not time yet.

 Going through the beta reading process, I realized that I needed to remove a  whole character and change the point of view. I needed to pause.  My tentative date for release is March 31st because its Match month in March -the month  I will find out where I will be spending the next three years of my life!

I went for my second interview last week and I learned
1. There's nothing new under sun, interviews are pretty much the same and since I did this whole dance two years ago , there really isn't anything new I could get asked.

2.  Medical personnel ( medical students, residents etc)  love food- there was a skinny girl that surpassed even me. If I tell you I love food, I do. Everyone in med school knew I loved it, I could sniff out free food like a dog, everyone at work knows I love food.  I am ALWAYS first to get free  food and when there's food at church I am always first in line.

 I feel its a crime against humanity when I don't get to indulge in free food.

Anyway this girl was not shy, while I held myself back since I didn't want to look like a foodie during this interview, this girl was busy packing food for takeaway. She called it "one for the road' No one had to tell me twice, I was right behind her packing food. *covers head in shame*
And for the interview, I actually liked the school I went to.
The people there seemed genuinely happy and that is so important in residency.

Until next time folks, be B. A.D.D, bad like that

Saturday, October 26, 2013

On step 3 and beta readers

First the email comes  with the subject  heading
USMLE Step3 Score Notice

That's where I start promising God I will listen to Wizkid less and more of Tye Tribett if He gives me a pass.  Then I start rationalizing and thinking "well if I fail it, its not a big deal. I am not in residency. I will think of a good excuse when I am on the interview trail."

Then I opened the PDF and found out  I PASSED!!!!

 photo peggy-olson-getting-down1_zpsc85ae858.gif

I thank God, Jesus and the holy spirit for the miracle! I was quite sure I bombed that horrendous thing.  I tell ya,  I was sweating bullets in that exam. Now its smooth sailing to self publication and
residency. :)

On the business of self publishing-
Everyone hopes you are that writer that every beta reader loves your work of art, your fiction your baby.  From feedback, I have found out that my "baby"  needs a lot of work. Its okay to know yourself as a writer and decipher what advice you take or which you reject. However if ALL your beta readers say the exact same thing. You better listen because your eventual readers will probably say the same thing. Sigh. The learning process continues....:)
But in the meantime I am dancing .....

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Residency interviews ! So it begins!

Can you see the exclamation! I am trying to exude self  confidence and excitement.
My first interview is on Friday and being somewhat of an atypical medical professional I am not really nervous. I am not going for  surgery or derm or any gunner specialty and I just want a solid residency.   Honestly, I just want to get it over with and put a check next to the whole process saying "Never to be done by me again ." Its really not that bad actually , the wining , dining (especially love this!) and visiting new places. On the flip side, its physically and mentally grueling to travel round the country ( even though for me most places are in the north east) and be interviewed by at least two people in the  hospital. I am not complaining though., at least I have interviews. I have to watch my facial expressions during interviews . I tend to come off harder than I am.... sometimes. My friend said I have the "I don't really care" face down to a science.

I am praying for guidance , not to base my decisions in March when I enter my rank list based on human assessment but by God. The thing is I am lot more flexible and open to a new location than I was a year ago.  There is a little bit of fear in me. I constantly hear "You did it before. look at what happened." The neurotic side of me is constantly reminding me of all things that can go wrong aka failing that horrendous  nightmare of an exam step 3 . But I have made up my mind to trust God no matter what. I have found out through this journey,  that faith I like, belief I like but trust I don't like. Trust is harder that faith, its a step further and its much more difficult for me. I don't even like writing about it.

But God has made it in such a way that I have no choice but to trust Him. I am cautiously looking forward to my future because I am genuinely curious to see where God is taking me.
Because everything I thought I knew, I found out that I really had no idea. I probably still have no idea.

Friday, October 18, 2013

self publishing in medical purgatory

Medical purgatory :  no  mans land  in between medical school and residency, few medical students have been there and all generally dread it because it is  uncharted  and unknown territory. 

If someone told me a year ago that I would have to take a significant break in my medical training and in between would be self publishing my novel while going on residency interviews yet again, I would have lost consciousness. That is after I threw a colossal spiritual tantrum where I would have told God,
"Kill me! kill me now! my life is over! " You know, and other things along those lines. :D

But this period of my life has shown me that God will not take you through what you cant handle. He has said he will strengthen and harden you to difficulty. I learned through this process that Gods strength in me is everlasting. Now nothing can faze me. If it cant kill God it cant kill me. Someone I know calls me  the "teflon Don"  :). Nothing sticks baby!

Anyway my journey to self publication is quite premature and I made decisions swiftly. I finished the very first draft of my book when I graduated last year, then really had no time to spare or polish the manuscript for a year. When I went back to it , I had to prepare for the horror of an exam called Step 3 so STILL was pushed to the back burner. I eventually got round to it in October and I  had a very steep learning curve.

My first obstacle was how to publish a novel when I was erm.... "financially challenged" and had the very expensive expense of travelling around the country  for residency interviews coming up . One thing I had to learn QUICKLY was that information was my  friend . When I did some research , I found out that  the biggest expense would be editing the novel.  This is especially important because the quality of the novel depends on this.  There is so much information available and many services being offered. Prices range from 500-10,000.  You have to make sure some of these "services" are not scams There are services for everything under the sun, services to self publish, services to promote your book, services to edit etc. But  I didn't have to worry about that,  aint no one can scam someone who is 'financially evolving".

Then I read a book that suggested using beta readers and then reinvesting in your product by re -releasing an edited version when you start making enough. Since competition is stiff it will probably be a long time before that time comes. So I got creative and got a few better readers by joining critique groups,  talking to people and then God placed people who could edit for me basically for free. Then someone referred me to, a website where you basically can get any service you want for 5 dollars.

So I did just that and I have learned that I  may not have the might of a publishing company behind me  but I have God so I thought to myself  "Eniola go for it" So I did.  
And like Esther if I perish I perish but what if I don't?

Monday, October 14, 2013

On Positive Blogging and Feelings.

When I decided to start blogging, I made a promise to myself to be positive on the blog no matter how I felt. I promised not to let my emotions dictate what I wrote. I had to make this decision because I tend to be cynical, sarcastic and nonchalant which I know is more of a defense mechanism for me.  So I made the decision to blog positive and keep the criticism to the minimum,  no matter how I felt.

I have learned the hard way that God is not overtly concerned by my  feelings and comfort. When He placed it on my heart to write my book in medical school I had justifiable excuses not to , I was busy,  my life was messy and nine times out of ten I did not feel like it. But in obeying God, your  feelings and your action of obedience will never be alignment. You have to make a choice. Do I obey my feelings? Or do I obey God? For the longest time I obeyed my feelings but  then I realized my feelings were volatile.One minute "God is good, I am so glad I am happy" , the next is "Why does God put me through all this?I am not happy , I am depressed. " I realized I could not trust my emotions , that they change, that the intensity of my emotions does not correlate with what direction I should take and what God wants me to do. Even now, I am typing contrary to my emotions. If I really wrote how I felt.....everyone that read the post would leave my blog depressed.

So I am going to fake it till I make it. I already feel like a "mole"  in this Christianity thing, that although I  have changed there are so many flaws still inherent in my character. That most times I don't feel like Theresa Giudice in "Real House wives of New Jersey" and all I want to do is "love, love,love" ( I am sorry, I really love that show * covers head in shame*)

But I will not "act"  like I "feel" Because nine times out of ten, my feelings are wrong and if I just  "stop drop and roll" the fiery intensity  of my emotions will be extinguished .

In positive news, I am currently in the editing stages of my book and I have given it to "beta readers " for feed back. I blog later this week about that. I am not looking forward to getting the manuscript with criticism but  I want the best possible product I can get with my more " financially challenged"  budget for publication. Editors are very expensive yall!

In other news not so positive news , Pharell Williams got married,.  I will  just think "positive" about that tragedy. :D

Saturday, October 12, 2013


A broken soul,

an alcoholic,

a certifiable genius,

a  Christian man

and a secret that will destroy the bonds of their friendship.
When self-proclaimed atheist Fadesola, gets into medical school she believes that it’s a fresh start of sorts for her. Until she discovers, her class mate is charming and handsome Tayo Smith, a man she encountered in a violent moment years ago. This revelation shatters Fadesola’s already fragile emotional state but hope comes where she least expects it. A seemingly innocent friendship with Tayo’s friend, Ladi, slowly develops into a smoldering relationship with both afraid to acknowledge their mutual feelings. Things get even more complicated when Nikky, Fadesola’s classmate and friend, ignores her desperate warnings and decides that Tayo is the man she is meant to be with. However, within the complexities of this friendship these flawed individuals will experience God’s redemptive grace in a setting each believed his love would never find them. Still, the first book of a four part series is a coming of age story about navigating through medical school in the first year, complete with hilarious hook ups and breaks ups, legendary parties and incessant studying, and experiencing the triumph of success and disappointment of failure.

Still is available on amazon in paperback for  $9.99  and in kindle for 2.99  here

Its available on Smashwords in multiple formats including epub here  

On B&N nook here

Also available on appleibook!

Praise for Still


“A spell-binding prose of love, pain, and self-discovery that will draw you to its characters and leave you pondering and entertained. Prentice, indeed, is an author to look out for."—Miranda A. Uyeh, 2014 INSPY Award Judge and Author of To Die Once: Child of Grace, #1



"Still is a fusion of two of my dearest institutions - Medicine and Christianity. Within this setting Eniola explores Christianity, suicide, alcoholism, relationships, the dark world of secrets and mental illness in a way that has never been done before."- Bumight Heparin MD

"The reader will empathize with and relate to each of these characters, cheering them from the sidelines.  This debut novel by Eniola Prentice is commendable." Nike Campbell -Fatoki Author of Thread of Gold Beads. 

"Still has a myriad of colorful characters, so colorful that you'll find yourself laughing, crying, cheering and  honestly, you just might catch a glimpse of yourself as well."

"A Bible would symbolize the very real and active faith of the lovely author of this book. Its threads are woven throughout this book in a way that is authentic and refreshing. Just as you can see the hand of God in the book’s character’s lives, we can all see it on her as well."

"This is more than just a love story, it is a story of friendship, pain, loss, success, failure, joy and grace; a fine cocktail that just about sums up life." Kovie at FutureNewyorker

"I warmly recommend this book if you like romance fiction WITH (a) BRAIN (plus, there's a nice international flavor)." Mintu at IammrsK

Friday, October 11, 2013

Contact me

Here's where to find me


Twitter: @eniolaprentice

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Instagram: eniolaprenticemd

Thursday, October 10, 2013

What's in a name?

  1. 1.
    a person who is learning a trade from a skilled employer

When I was thinking of a pen name for my novel  I wanted a name that encapsulated who I was and where I was in life. Something easy to remember and pronounce. So I went through a couple of  names that I thought were "sexy"  and that  my potential readers would understand Sorry , sue me. Sexiness is very important. LOL. Cardoso, Rhodes-Vivour, Peters were names that occurred to me. Then I realized these names did not mean anything to me . They were simply random.

Although I chose Prentice on a whim, it meant something to me.

I feel/ will always feel like I am Gods' apprentice. I am always learning and He is never to tired to teach me, scold me or admonish me. There are so many conceptions I had in my mind about publishing my book , my medical  career  and certain things in my life 2 years ago that have changed . Now my former rigid point of view is actually funny .  When God changed them  I wonder why I thought that way in the first place.

Being in a profession with never ending examinations AND re-examinations, training and reading I understand there is never going to be a point in life when I am perfect,when I will no longer be the apprentice. Even when I start practicing  I am going to encounter a patient that absolutely  stumps me and I will be back to being the apprentice.

But the apprenticeship of life, with God and his children is never ending, its always being renewed, revamped and redirected by a patient long-suffering God. He puts up with a lot from me....and I even when I get exasperated with myself He doesn't get fed up.

So I am introducing myself as Eniola Prentice,drama Queen, loyal friend, indifferent, reserved, sassy, quirky, sarcastic, funny, quick-witted, analytic medical doctor and writer But most of all an apprentice of Jesus!

In perfect but always learning.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

About me

Eniola Prentice was born in Lagos Nigeria where she began to pen my stories as early as nine years old  inspired by an eclectic group of writers. Her budding writing career was put in the back burner as she pursued her dream of becoming a medical doctor, completing her undergraduate degree in Chicago, Illinois and her medical degree in Washington, DC. However in the third year of medical school inspired by the holy spirit or the voices in her head ( she would prefer to blame God for this one) and the unique and inspiring stories of friends that became her family in medical school she began to write her debut novel and series , Still. She hopes that her writing compels challenges, inspires people and draws people to the Christian God’s redeeming love.
Thank you for clicking on the link so you can get to know me.
I hope you leave this blog more blessed than you came
You can contact me by email  at regarding anything, to reach out, for a book review, for advise, author collaborations, guest posts.  If any question comes to your mind, shoot me an email. I am pretty open.