Sunday, March 27, 2016


How can I improve my essay writing skills?

Read lots of very good essays. A good place to find these essays is in “Best American Essays.” A new edition is published each year. I seldom buy the latest edition because they tend to be expensive. I wait until a past year’s edition is down to one cent plus postage in

Op ed (Opposite the editorial) pages in newspapers are a good place to find some great short essays. I like to read articles by Leonard Pitts jr. and David Brooks. Pitts won the Pulitzer for his op ed articles. I was assigning him to my writing classes before he won the Pulitzer for commentary in 2004.

These writers often use personal experiences in their columns.

Think about things that have happened to you and what they mean. How are these universal themes? We have all lost good friends and pets. We’ve suffered unfairness. Write about an incident in your life that changed you in some way. What challenges have you faced?

Practice writing essays in a notebook or a journal. Keep practicing. Know the importance of revision. Reread and rework your essays until they are as good as you can make them.


  1. Every Hell Is Different

    Pimville was once referred as a place of hell which turned out to be a city sign of township discord. It was crooked with enterprises of brutal scavengers selling everything from a pencil to human organs. This wasn’t a section with rivers of regret and for those who know the purpose of their destinies; no matter the battle, suffering, themes of saga and betrayals, Modjaji Street hung them on the death road that they always dare to risk their lives.
    Modjaji Street was a sweat-factory; from peppering mogodu to suffice the prostitutes. There was a competition amongst the ladies, every time you would find a new face around the area. Day and night they were always pilfering the streets. At times a car would park and some would jump off, flashing their thighs multiple times and honking on to sell an exclusive pouch of undefinable warm sponge many would die for, and if they are kind enough they would usher you to the dark alley where you would be robbed by a young boy who would leave you with at least your underwear and your sim-card. It was a street norm to be robbed. Knowing the language of Modjaji Street came in handy otherwise you would have been better off wearing fancy shades and walking like a robot until you’re out of the street.
    Young ambitious men were everywhere and the prostitutes smelled them from far. The escorts owned an adult shop, dating and escort agency which operated at the corner of Modjaji and Chris Street next to a gas station; this corner was a booming intersection. Prostitutes were sure to get customers coming from all areas. Modjaji Street was bigger than Hillbrow, even the crime and the drama, for instance, just three blocks from the corner, police busted two gangs with counterfeit software worth twenty two million US Dollars, however the product was selling faster than bunny chow.
    A string of shops sold scarce and exotic animals, exporting them to Meadowlands and importing more rare wild species from Orange Farm. The motto was: get them while they’re hot. Nothing was genuine in Modjaji street, it was a street of all sorts of counterfeits even the money was fake, about three million rands of coins were busted at one of Bangladesh spaza shop. Taxis and buses seldom passed there because passengers picked up from Modjaji mostly paid with fake notes and coins.
    A Street with unbelievable attitude to foreigners ; a street of jolly for junkies of all kinds and a world of stunning women, beauty bought from Yung the doctor of all kinds. Barely a week after New Year’s Day, Dr Yung was arrested at this surgery after he was accused of butchering a hobo for a kidney to be sold to the councillor for two hundred thousand in cash whose child suffered a kidney failure. Dr Yung performed the operation and almost killed the patient because he answered his phone during the surgery. It is said that the phone during the surgery. It is said that the phone fell in the carcass but was quickly removed. This got his license revoked. The patient survived but died 2 days later while he was playing games on his phone. But the doctor had killed the buck, yes, he had killed the buck for three years since his arrival in Pimville. 

  2. Please see above
    Thank you so much ma'am