Sunday March 16, 2008.
Novotel Accor Hotel, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
I am alone in this cosy room watching a Nigerian movie on the Africa Magic Channel of Mnet's DSTv. It is a very good room. I am glancing at the faces of the top Nollywood actors, Olu Jacobs and Bob Manuel-Odogwu as I am writing, but my mind is far away from Port Harcourt. The ride on the Aero Contractors' helicopter was fine and the aerial view of Bonny Island was good for my reflections on life as we flew over the Bonny Channel from Bonny Island to the Nigerian Airforce Base airport in the Garden City of Port Harcourt.
Monday March 17, 2008.
We left the Novotel Accor Hotel for Enugu and returned safely, but we could not leave for Bonny Island, because we came back hours later than the expected time for the last helicopter for Bonny Island. We returned to the Novotel, but there were no more rooms reserved for us. The reservation and travel manager of the Nigeria LNG Limited told me that we should go to the Protea Hotel nearby. We took a taxi cab to 1C, Eva Crescent, G.R.A, Phase 1, Port Harcourt. The lobby of Protea Garden City looked like a business centre as both the guests and visitors milled around the reception and some were busy on their laptops. As we waited for a long time before we could check into our rooms, my thoughts on the importance of peace in Nigeria filled my mind. I thanked God that Port Harcourt is now peaceful after the Niger Delta militants clashed with themselves and the Nigerian Armed Forces, four months ago. We saw Peace Anyiam-Fiberisima of the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA)at the reception. She was escorted to the elevator with her luggage.
We checked into our rooms on the fifth floor and I loved my room.
Room 511 was larger than the Room 335 of the Novotel. There was a twin-size bed with six pillows and a chocolate bon bon was placed on a questionaire card on one of the pillows. I picked up the card and read the question written in capital letters.
"ARE WE HOT OR NOT?" I rated them warm and put the bon bon away. I called for room service and I was served in my room. I had French salad, fish and potato chips.
It was delicious. After eating, I turned to the television to see the latest news on the CNN before I decided to sleep.
I woke up early and said my usual prayers. I did not order for breakfast, because I was not hungry. I checked out and waited for the others in the lobby. They joined me and we left for the Nigerian Airforce Base airport where we took the Aero Contractors' helicopter to Bonny Island.
Sunday March 23, 2008.
I received a mail from Amaka, the marketing executive of Protea Garden City, thanking me for spending a night at their hotel.
I have been concentrating on the editing on my first book of short stories since last month. I found Pamela Guerrieri worthy to edit the American edition of the book and Josephine Dee is already editing the Nigerian edition. I e-mailed Pamela Guerrieri's sample edit of the first chapter to Josephine Dee. I want the first major work of my prose to be accepted and appreciated by the literary communities and readers everywhere. The book means so much to me.
I have three other books I am going to complete before autumn. I am on the last chapter of my thoughts and commentaries on Senator Barack Obama and the American Presidential Campaign. I am on page 220 and some more pages will be added after the Democratic primaries in June. Two books are on these interesting times in Nigeria, from the consequences of corruption to the evils of religious hypocrisy.
My younger sister's health also needs constant attention.
These are the present priorities until my sister is fully recovered and my next book is in my fair hands.
Writing a book is like having a baby.
Getting pregnant is easy, but the labour of the long months of pregnancy is challenging and only the woman in travail knows the sacrifice of childbirth.
Only God knows and understands the burden of my labour of love for humanity.
Let your priorities be determined by your realities and not your anxieties.
By your anxieties, I mean fears and worries.
Success without happiness is not better than failure.
Books by Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, aka "Orikinla Osinachi".