My working title is: Under the crying sun.
An 11 year old innocent boy, Farai, from the village is lost in a rough city characterized by poverty, starvation and disease. He has to find his way back home before he is swallowed by the desperation that was Zimbabwe during the economic crisis.
Some background on this – in this time period 2008, inflation was at an all-time high at 70 sextillion percent and the exchange rate was 2.7 billion US$ to the Zim$. Unemployment was around 90%. And there was a cholera outbreak that affected over 10 thousand people. These are real events.
The Story is written from the point of view of Farai. He is sent to his uncle in the city who would help him buy seeds and fertilizers and is initially accompanied by two adult chaperones. He loses his chaperones, but bumps into two streetkids who take him under their wing and promise to help him find his uncle.He is fascinated by city life such as cars, cellphones, candy, white people but this is countered by his struggles that include convincing people including his two friends to help him, finding food, place to sleep, rival street kids, the money and political situation and his inherent fear of the supernatural, and his inability to perceive a way that will get him back to his mother.
Ultimately the book portrays Zimbabwean culture and experiences during this very difficult time period through the eyes of a ten year old boy.
I am a born and bred Zimbo. Lets start there. I was in Zimbabwe at the beginning of the economic decline and visited my family frequently (one a year or so) as it continued. These visits were an amazing snapshot of the decline and I was taken aback by the attitude of the Zimbabweans. We had had it good for a long time and so this was a set back, and it couldn’t get worse. That was a mantra I heard every year, “we survived this past year, it cannot get worse”. But it did. While the resilience was impressive, I observed things I thought, people who have never lived through this would never believe. So I noted everything I observed and converted it into a story about life in Zimbabwe over a short period of time.
In 2006, I wrote the first chapter. I was really happy with it. It had everything I thought would hook any reader. Furthermore, you could google what I wrote about and wiki would verify. I gave myself a Noddy badge for the excellent product and promptly put the 2000 word chapter away for some years. In 2010 or 2011 (I cant remember), I broke up with my now ex-boyfriend, so I had a LOT of free time to do a lot of things. I joined the Fairfield scribes, a writers group in the Greater Danbury area in Connecticut. At some point I presented my first chapter for critique. Now, this wasn’t a pat you on the back, stroke your ego type of group and I received detailed critiques from the small group of about six or seven people. They genuinely liked the premise of the story, but I clearly had a lot to learn about the art and science of writing.
Writing was new and different to what I did for work. I work in a scientific field where writing technical documents was part of my job description. So gears had to switch between work and my own writing. At some point I got into it and the science of creativity was an adventure for me, a challenge which took me away from the rest of my life.
I am editing the book now and hopefully make it ready for the readers and my multitude of supporters.
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