Archive | Books by Raven

How I write


How I write is hardly a way that people should emulate, but I’ll give it to you, as something is always better than writing nothing at all. For me, it has always been about scraps of paper. There’s something about being given a large 8.5×11 or a fully blank computer screen that says absolutely nothing to me. But, a piece of scrap paper? Yes. When I look at it, I know my words are always going to spill over and that I’ll need another scrap of paper to complete that great thought that gets greater and greater with every word I add. And then, those scraps of paper will start to pile up so high that I get annoyed and run to an 8.5×11 to rid myself of the clutter. Those 8.5×11’s build up and scream “Create an outline! Organize your shit!” after a few pages. Then, I do. And, after I do, I see a book just waiting to be fleshed out from every sub-line under a chapter in the outline.

I mean really, you’ve got to start small. How else is a good idea going to become a great one? Do you think books just fall out of the sky? Do you think that writing is art? Yeh, sure, it’s art once it’s done and everything has been all cleaned up, accounted for, and filtered, or added. But, in its raw state, nothing is beauty. Nothing is art except the vision we have and work so hard to finally reach. You’ve got to work for it. So, in all honesty, I see no real way to write and you should know this. You just write. Just like you just cook and whatever spills wastingly, you clean it up and find a replacement. Whatever tastes off, you throw it out, and start over again, or like a canvas, paint over it until that bad taste in your soup disappears. Let’s face it. No matter how you approach writing, you’ll have to do work. You’ll have to work over it and over it and common sense will always guide you in the right direction as long as you listen.


termite tree
These termites conjur up images of native peoples on TV in different parts of the world, sitting down to munch hardy on insects. When Céline serves me up a plate of termites, however, I suddenly have a feeling for what is really going on. Those people you see on TV don’t wanna’ eat that. Man, if you have got to climb up a tree to pick termites out of their hole one by one, cook them up, sauté them with some onions and peppers, season them with a little bit of Cube Maggi and salt for extra flavor, and eat the poop in the middle that tastes like wood (of course), you ain’t enjoyin’ that. You hungry! And you’re eating whatever you can get your hands on when the real meat is harder to hunt. When you go from Futu Banane with savory peanut sauce or delicious okra sauce, you know that you’re struggling when all you can find are termites with onions for dinner! Please. Every Ivoirien that I have met so far takes pride in being able to put together a meal that takes forever to prepare. Termites only take a few minutes.