The Amateur's Quill

I am not rebel nor pioneer,
I have not sliced through the serpent’s belly
and climbed out
with its heart still beating
at the tip of my penknife.

I will not cross oceans for you
nor capture the moon
in exchange for your heart.

I am nothing you can display proudly
in the palm of your hand,
while all your friends and family
coo at me in admiration.

I am none of your hopes come true.
I have left that for mine.

I am only here to walk beside you for a time,
traveller to traveller,
seeking a place to lay down our heads each night
killing off predators when the other has let her guard down
in a land full of hospitable strangers,
shifty shadows,
dutiless double-agents.

I am your work,
you are mine.
Flourish as you see fit.

But whether you rest in my shade
or you flounder…

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Random Thoughts: Writing and Censorship

Its hard to talk about reality “academically” while still conscious of how others may feel about it. An honest commentary on race in Africa and elsewhere.

The Amateur's Quill

I have a roundabout confession to make.

I am one of those people who censors themselves quite a bit. Even though I’m aware that I’m an amateur writer, a hobbyist, I do feel a need to check myself in public. Why? At first, it was because I’m my mother’s daughter and didn’t want to say anything that would embarrass the family. Saving face and all that. It’s big in our culture. I got over that a while ago, though, and no longer mind what my family may read here or wherever I publish my thoughts.

Why, then, do I continue to censor myself? It’s not as if my words could sway a generation or start a war. That’s the blessing of anonymity, really. You get away with so much because you’re an ordinary person. You can be a little more straight forward. And so I’ve always been particularly happy to…

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The Missing Block of Ice [Part 5]

The Missing Block of Ice [Part 5]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

He’ll have to look into the mysterious ninjas later.  “Mrs. Claws!” he shouts as he opens the unlocked front door and ducks under the lintel.

“Here,” he hears her shout back in her fascinating accent.

“Here,” the wispy and tinny voice of Mr. TLC also says.

He smiles fondly at the giant Maine Coon cat.  Mr. TLC is perched on the desk in front of a man standing perfectly still.  “Anything, other than,” Chief Shabuni begins to say when he glances down at the still man’s face, and grimaces, and says with a groan, “A steam automaton.”

“A what?” Mrs. Claws asks.  She has her brass hearing horn firmly in her right ear.

“Missing,” Tobey says.

“Can you show me?” he asks.

The Maine Coon cat leaps down from the desk and heads towards the end of the hall.

“I hate the basement,” Mrs. Claw says with a groan.  She sniffs.  “That’s where Mr. Claws kept the things, he discovered in Arcticterra.  Like that creepy ice pane.

In the basement, Chief Shabuni stares at a large rectangular area on the cement floor that looks cleaner than the rest of the cluttered floor.  Very similar in size to what the ninjas were carrying.  He notices Mr. TLC also staring down at the spot.

“Ice that not melt,” Tobey says.

“Ice that won’t melt?” Chief Shabuni asks.

“My husband brought back a pane of what looked like ice,” Mrs. Claws says.  She glances around furtively.  “If you touched it, it felt wet, but once you took your hand away, there was no moisture.” She places her left hand against her chest and gasps for breath.  “Sometimes.  Sometimes you could see something in the ice.  That’s why Siku went back.  He wanted to find out where the books came from.  Something about a portal.”

Chief Shabuni knew Mr. Claws did a lot of exploring after he retired from the navy.  Now he wondered exactly what Mrs. Claws meant by, a portal.  He would have to ask her, right after he calls for backup. 

He takes out his quarts phone and connects a thin hose attached to a bladder of water in his overcoat’s pocket.  Next, he flips open the brass lid.  He spins its tiny crank until steams pours out of a tiny exhaust pipe on the top of the phone.   After a while, a greenlight shines where the quartz crystals form a star shape in the centre of the phone.

He taps out four numbers on the copper keypad.

“Yes,” a very precise, tenor voice answers.

“Justin, I need you and Linda to meet me at the Claws house.”  He hangs up.  The two Inspectors make a strange team.  Justin Harper and Linda Campbell are physically opposites.  Justin has skin so dark it has a blue hue.  Combined with his aquamarine eyes, people tend to stare at him.  A benefit for an inspector, because people also tend to never lie to him.  Justin also has a lean face with an aristocratic nose.  Linda in contrast is short, squat, and buxom, with a flat nose and flaring nostrils.  Her dark brown eyes make her skin look even paler.  Her skin is nearly as pale as his own.  Almost, but no one has ever tried to eat her for the magical properties a true albino supposedly has. 

Mini demonstration of proper posture and body mechanics for the lat pulldown machine.


Mini demonstration of proper posture and body mechanics for the lat pulldown machine.

Taylor Norris, RMT and I are designing an exercise video course. We went to Fetter’s Fitness to video a bunch of instructional video clips.
(519) 502-4511
Soon the gym will be relocating to:
41 River Rd. East, Kitchener, Ontario
#fitness #exercise #exercisecourse #latpulldown

A Loud Noise and Chief D. Shabuni [Part 4]

A Loud Noise and Chief D. Shabani [Part 4]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

Chief Dimoso Shabani

Tobey presses his face against the glass pane of the attic’s window.  He watches with interest, as a very tall man, wearing tinted goggles, and a dark violet stovepipe hat with a badge, walks towards his house.  

The man dwarves everyone he passes.  Few reach the shoulders of his storm blue overcoat.  The man’s pale, albino face is accentuated by the stiff uniform collar that hides his neck.

Chief Dimoso Shabuni is one of Tobey’s favourite people.  Huge, like himself, Chief Shabuni is also contemplative, and has the ability to pounce at any moment; just like him.

As he watches out the attack window the entire house shakes.  Tobey has to claw onto the frame not to fall off the windowsill.  Once the shaking subsides, he dashes downstairs.  The bronze faced man is still standing with his clamp hand reaching for one of the special books.  Mom is holding onto a chair gasping, but seems fine. He glances around.  A few vases are knocked over, and pictures hang at a slight angle but nothing seems to be missing.  He dashes around the rest of the house until he gets to the basement.  Where the slab of ice used to be, is now only a small, ornate box.  Tobey hisses.


Chief Shabuni blinks behind his goggles.  The Claw’s house just shook before his eyes.  He sees four figures wearing black body suits and green tinted goggles race towards a running steam engine truck.  He also notices that each one has a katana belted to their waists, and another along their backs.  On their shoulders they carry a rectangular object with two, two-by-six planks. 

Mr. TLC and the Book Stealer [Part 3]

Mr. TLC and the Book Stealer [Part 2]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

Mr. TLC and the Book Stealer [Part 2] (Books by Authors Who Never Existed: A Steampunk Hybrid story) By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

Tobey scurries over to his adopted mother.  All four feet of him leaps onto her lap so that he’s staring eye-to-eye with her.  He swats her sewing needle towards the inanimate, brass man.

“Oh, Mr. TLC,” she chastises him with a mixture of her Mexicoterra and Irishterra accent.  Then she goes completely still.

Tobey sees her mouth open in shock as she notices the man with the clamp hand.  For a moment nothing happens.  Then his mom shoos him off her lap and fists her sewing needle.  He follows her as she cautiously walks towards the strange man. 

With her free hand she pokes the shoulder of the brass man.  Nothing happens. 

Tobey swipes the man’s left calve.  Still, there’s no reaction.  He jumps on the Silas desk in front of the man and sits there staring.  Out of the corner of his eye, he sees mom grab her ear horn, and head towards the brass and lacquer candlestick phone. 

He whacks the brass man again and waits.  Nothing happens.  He can hear mom talking to Chief Dimoso Shabani.  The Chief’s tiny voice says he will be over shortly. 

Tobey leaps off the desk and rushes up the stairs to the attic window to watch for the Chief.  His ears twitch constantly, so he can hear what mom is doing on the main floor; and if the brass man starts to move.

Mr. TLC and the Book Stealer [Part 2]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

Mr. TLC and the Book Stealer [Part 2]

(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

Tobey dashes down the rest of the stairs and jumps onto the Salinas desk with the bookcase of special books that mother keeps as a reminder of father.  Through the arched entranceway to the living room, he sees mother reclining with a knitting needle and yarn.  She seems very complacent.  He yells at her in human but her brass ear horn is inconveniently lying on top of a night table.  One of the doorknobs of the front door creaks open.  There’s no time to physically warn her.  He hisses at the door.

The door opens and the man walks with determined and heavy steps directly towards the books.  Tobey waits atop the Silas desk because it’s directly across from the front doors.  He notices an hourglass attached to the belt on the man’s top hat.  The grains in the upper section are almost all gone.  The man’s clamp hand reaches towards one of the books.  Tobey swats it away.

Again, the man raises the clamp hand, and again, Tobey swats at it.  The steam coming out of a pipe in the man’s top hat is wispier now.  The clamp hand shakes as it tries to raise as the last grains of sand settle on the bottom of the hour glass.  The mechanical arm of the clamp hand drops to the man’s side.

Tobey swats the man’s face as a reminder of his supremacy.


Hope in a bubble.

The Amateur's Quill

There could be a sequel…
an elaborate improvement on the now.
But we’re hiding within that feeling
of twisting limbs ’round each other
while sipping soothing beverages,
of running fingers through braided hair,
pretending tomorrow will never come.

There could be candid conversations
starring in A Tense Evening.
Yet the setting sun lulls us
into the cocoon of leaving things unsaid.

There could be honesty,
all the gore of what keeps things good.
But the long day says goodbye right after let’s wait,
’til we gather strength to face truth.

… and we don’t mind if that’s never.

After all, it’s not too late to save Us


All Rights Reserved
Copyright © 2022 Tebogo Ndlovu

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Books by Authors Who Never Existed–Steampunk Hybrid Story Blog 2

Mr. TLC and the Book Stealer     Part 1

Concept artwork

As he scans the steeple roofed houses across the street, a long vehicle with a steam tank engine, dark windows, and copper green roof, pulls onto the curb in front of his house.  He peers closer as a man steps out the rear left door.  His shoulder muscles bunch up as the vehicle takes off.

The man’s black top hat has a spout that spews out steam.  As the man gets closer, Tobey leaps towards the stairs.  He dashes down to the landing so he can see through the lower windows of the front door.  The man has a gasmask on a brass face with bolts.  The top hat has a large clock, and the belt an hour glass that slowly trickles.  The collar of a brown overcoat hides most of the man’s face.  A little lower, a necklace made of thin coils holds a pressure gauge against the man’s white shirt.  The man keeps his hands in his pocket until he steps up to the door.

Tobey peers closer.  The man removes one of his hands from a deep pocket.  Tobey recoils.  The hand is a brass clamp with a metal swivel wrist.

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