Up to Snuff #61: Personal Library Sections List

Up to Snuff #61:  Personal Library Sections List

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Presidential or Leadership & CEO

Health, Medical, Fitness, Beauty

Page Turners, fiction, creative non-fiction, Mystery, crime fiction, novel, and genre


Ancient and Early Man

Writing Reference Library


Shakespearean Book List

Tragedies Book List

Techniques eg. Alexander Technique

Musical Pedagogy



Cook Books, Culinary and Culinary School Series

Foreign Language and International, Poetry of the World

Art, Creative, Coffee Table, Craft, Sewing, Quilting, Tailoring, Fashion

How to’s


Binders of Research

Spirituality, Religion, Witchcraft, Esoteric

Guide Books, Maps, Almanacs

Math Book Collection

Nature, Naturalist, Gardening, Local Tree’s,


Epistemology, Knowledge


Research, Sociology

Dictionaries of the World



Pets, Puppy manuals

Public Speaking

Grants, Grant Writing & Non-Profit, fundraising


Web Design

Phone books


Calligraphy, writing & penmanship

Great books

Comedic Writing

Tragedies, Mythology

Foreign Affairs

Plays, Theater, Acting, Musical Theater

Sheet Music, song books


Canning and food notes and preservation

Estate planning wills writing, Self Help, Soul Development

Yoga, Falun Gong, Spiritual Exercise



Cultural eg:  Arts, Culture & Civilization

College Text book


Travel, vacation get away, landmarks, sites

Philosophy, Existentialism


Education, teaching, learning, knowledge

Technical Writing

Memoir and family history

Family, friends and colleagues books

Auto, fix it








Recreation, leisure, sports



Nobel Laureates

Art How to

Boxes of Magazines

Boxes of personal historical notes

Photo Albums

Documentary photo essay


Performance art, mime


Boxes of note cards

Feminist, manhood, sex


National books


Nudes, Anatomy

Universe Studies, space, nuclear energy, Crux Class Books

Build around a class, field or degree

Up to Snuff #58: Notes on How to Write a Good Book

Up to Snuff #58:  Notes on How to Write a Good Book

By Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Master grammar

How to build exciting sentences

Richness-utilize art, design, manufacturing, antiques-insertion points

Insertion points and developmental areas: research, creativity eg. Equestrian language or antiques or jewelry or areas of special research or knowledge

KB or knowledge based






Things to learn-list

How to



Seasonal, holidays


Technical and introspective

Research and evidence based




Branded, poetic, era, culture


Niche areas

Good taste

Rich language

Book lover’s books



Page turner

Beginning, middle, ending



Cadence, rhythm, serenity, nature



Suspenseful or engaging

Eliciting of key attributes or emotions or values or colors

Descriptive or observational



Talk about or observations about poverty, middle and richness and what we are

Our response to early historical writings that framed and defined eras like Marx

Problem Solving


Developmental programming and research programs

Surveys and unique ways of gathering research to develop books

Inferential Statistics

School text books, elementary use, middle school use, college use, leisure

PHD studies

Promoting something or positive advertising or healing

Skills areas

Good and informational

Connecting to and developing of college classes or courses or educational areas

Training someone to do something

Language books or reference books, eg. books in Spanish, or books with specific word use that develop one’s vocabulary or books that one will use as a reference in doing something specific like writing in Spanish or song writing in Spanish, or books in English that can be used in a similar way that are unavailable in Spanish

Ideas for a generation

Health, culture, education



Write for a particular library section or library location or bookstore

Specific placement and use

Plays and theater

A writer may write plays, own a theater, write screenplays, be a filmmaker

Interesting and useful culinary books, cook book writer with culinary degree or mastership

Development of your city or towns book availability that becomes your town’s knowledge base

Developing illustration or art work or accompaniment

Publication of alternatives like fire side song books or children’s camp song books

Craft or special enriching skill book

Finance for different age groups

Generational offerings, career, and life choice or life changing books

Building something in society, fostering things like beauty or cultivating maturity or kindness or joy

Develop your own software to assist you in writing is key

Classic essays and utilizing boilerplates


Classic styles like fables or utilizing animals

Triplets, triple and linked concepts, eg:  Art, Writing and Civilization

APA Papers (use Purdue Owl online boilerplate or template) and research proposal variables

Underlying variables make good chapters, paragraphs or connected books with blown up dots

Film modulation software for use in writing books or thumbnails, CAD, drawings, art work or mood board

Write poetry, develop into plays or films

Live in a writer’s house, a writer’s lifestyle, a good set for autobiographies










Up to Snuff #50: Winter Reading List 2018 with emphasis on African Writers

Up to Snuff #50:  Winter Reading List 2018 with emphasis on African Writers

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Put together a box of books, cover your coffee table with books,  light a fire or head to a cottage or good “reading city” and read, read, read and maybe practice piano, throw in a few page turners, some classics and what I call “kb” or knowledge based books, stash articles, research a nice PHD read, check for Nobel Laureates in Literature and don’t forget to take your child to the library once a week to satisfy a young readers consumption, maybe 2 books a night, maybe even take a book run vacation and collect foreign language books to build a linguistics profile, buy or build some book shelves and build your families library, read, read, read.   A good hobby to have is researching books or getting good classes with good book lists or go to a school with a good library or asking colleagues for a book list, read, read, read.


Sommerset Maugham –all books


Nikolai Gogol

D.H. Lawrence

Daphne Du Maurier

Jane Eyre

Nathanial Hawthorne

Alice Walker



Falun Gong

Find some good Latin books

Spanish novels or newspapers or little pamphlets

Try to read/earn a few skills

Read across an area all you can get your hands on or a writers complete collection

Carlos Casteneda

T.S. Elliot

Aga Kahn

Prentice Hall books (Publisher)


James Baldwin

Jose Saramago



E.O. Wilson

Oscar Wilde

Read Recipes

Fareed Zakaria

Pablo Neruda

Octavio Paz

Rosario Castellanos

Paul Ricoeur


Aleksandr Dugin

Jurgen Habermas

Nick Land Alt Right

Bill Gates

Complete Guide to Sewing, Readers Digest 1995

Designing Apparel Through Flat Pattern Fifth Edition, Fairchild Publications

How to Draft Basic Flat Patterns, Fairchild Publications

Ross, B.H., This is Like That:  The Use of Earlier Problems and the Separation of Similarity Effects.  Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Learning, Memory and Cognition

Schank, R.C., Tell Me a Story:  Narrative and Intelligence, Evanston, Ill, Northwestern University Press

Schank, R.C., & Abelson R., Scripts, Plans, Goals and Understanding:  An Inquiry into Human Knowledge Structures, Hillsdale, NJ, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates

Spiro, R.J., Coulson, R.L., Feltvich, P.J., & Anderson, D.K (1988) Cognitive Flexibility Theory:  Advanced Knowledge Acquisition in Ill Structured Domains, Tech Report No 441, Champaign, Ill:  University of Illinois

Center for the Study of Reading, Sternberg, R. J., & French, P.A. (Eds.) (1991) Complex Problem Solving:  Principles and Mechanisms, Hillsdale, NJ, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates

Voss, J.F & Post, T. A. (1988), On solving of Ill Structured Problems, IN M. T.. H Chi, R, Glaser, & M.J. Farr (Eds.), The Nature of Expertise (PP. 261-185), Hillsdale, NJ:  Lawrence Erlbaum Associates


The Complete Greek Tragedies

MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing

Writing Your Dissertation In Fifteen Minutes a Day:  A Guide to Starting, revising and finishing your doctoral thesis/Joan Bolker

Sicily by Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi

The Italian Baker by Melissa Forti and Danny Bernardini

Mozza at Home by Nancy Silverton and Carolyn CArreno

Henry and June

Tropic of Cancer

Cities of The Interior, Anais Nin


The Rhinoceros  by, Ionesco

A good almanac

Collect Maps and study them



Some African Writers

Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Peter Abrahams, Mine boy, This Island Now, A Wreath for Udomo ( South Africa)

Chinua Achebe (Nigeria)

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Jose Eduardo Agualusa

Mohamed Naseehu Ali (Ghana)

Germano Almeida

Elechi Amadi

Ayi Kwei Armah (Ghana)

Sefi Atta

Ayesha Harruna Attah

Mariama BA

Nadifa Mohamed

Chris Barnard

Mongo Beti

Andre Brink

J.M Coetzee

Mia Couto

Tsitsi Dangarembga

Mohammed Dib

E.K.M. dido

Assia Djebar

  1. Sello Duiker

Daphne Williams

Buchi Emecheta

Daniel Olorunfemi Fagunwa

Nuruddin Farah

Athol Fugard

Nadine Gordimer

Alex La Guma

Bessie Head

Moses Isegawa

Rayda Jacobs

Tahar Ben Jellouon

Cheikh Hamidou Kane

Yasmina Khadra

Camara Laye

Naguib Mahfouz

Charles Mangua

Sarah Ladipo Manyika

Dambudzo  Marechera

Darlene mattee

Zakes Mda

Thomas Mofolo

Bai Tamia Moore

Meja Mwangi

Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Lewis Nkosi

Flora Nwapa

Nnedi Okorafor

Ben Okri

Deon Opperman

Yambo Ouologuem

Alan Paton


Sol Plaatje

Nawal El Saadawi

Tayeb Salih

Wilton Sankawulo

Karel Schoeman

Olive Schreiner

Benjamin Sehene

Ousmane Sembene

Wole, Soyinka

Amos Tutuola

Marlene van Niekirk

Yvonnne Vera

Jose Luandino Vieira

Joseph Jeffrey Walters

Birhanu Zerihun

Ama Ata Aidoo

Georges Andriamanantena

Jared Angira

Kofi Anyidoho

Kofi Awooner

Sahesillasse Birhanemariam

Breyten Breytenbach

Dennis Brutus

Glynn Burridge

Abena Busia

John Pepper Clark

Jose Craveirinha

Viriato Clemenete da Cruz

Getinet Eniyew

Tsegaye Gebremedhin

Abbe Gubenga


Ingrid Jonker

Jonathan Kariara

Joseph Kariuki

Susan Kiguli

Ahmadou Kourouma

Antjie Krog

Jack Mapanje

Eugene Mapanje

Eugene Marais

Don Mattera

Bai Tamia Moore

Togara Muzanenhamo

  1. Moses Nagbe

Arthur Nortje

Gabriel Okara

Nii Parkes

Chrisotpher Okigbo

Okot P’Bitek

Lenrie Peters

Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo

Jacques Rabemananjara

Elie Rajaonarison

Ny Avana Ramanantoanina

Pierre Randrianarisoa

Jean Verdi Saloman Razakandraina

David Rubadiri

Tijan Sallah

Leopold Sedar Senghor

Debede Seyfu

Bewketu Seyoum

Warsan Shire

Adam Small

Veronique Tadjo

Dagnachew WERku

Armenio Vieira

Patricia Jabbeh Wesley



Credit:  Wikipedia African Writers List (see for more detailed list)




Up to Snuff #47: Nice Ways to Prepare to Write a Book

Up to Snuff #47:  Nice Ways to Prepare to Write a Book

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

  • PHD Research and Dissertation and becoming authority on a subject
  • Engage in Academic Research
  • Engage in Independent Research
  • Build a Database
  • Design a software for your book or books, study software development
  • Design a set and build from set, plot and theme, with questions
  • Journal
  • Collect or compile: poems, articles or recipes or emails or build anthology of many writers
  • Start with an APA Format Research Proposal, build a bibliography, then research , then write book
  • Blow up a dot
  • Investigative methods, even international or at libraries or with surveys or online or in databases like a legal database for example, or in newspaper archives, or in historical records, or by asking questions and attending events, keeping notes  or with tape recorders
  • By going to school in general and accessing good libraries and papers including dissertations
  • By working or gaining expertise in an area via some particular access to knowledge
  • Use of technology and programs to aid in generation of information like for humor
  • Kinds of scripting or plays or performative writings built from readings, staging, or movement
  • Design a book of images such as from photography or art in an art catalogue or musical compositions or get culinary degree and create specialized cook books
  • Documentary photo and journalistic stories
  • Create historical documentation archive of one’s job, city, family, state, organizations, save clippings over time
  • Teach something or heal something
  • Field Studies
  • Use filing systems to build books (some have built from note cards)
  • Record a book



Up to Snuff: Back Cover

“Up to Snuff” was something said to Ms. Osei-Bonsu by a newspaper in Chicago as a rookie getting into journalism young.  What “Up to Snuff” came to be for her later was the design of a “ladder” in writing, to climb up and grow as a writer by teaching herself and to use that research to be a wise guide for other writers.  “The writing education I longed for did not exist yet,” so Ms. Osei-Bonsu became one of the pioneers of it.  The challenge was how do you really thoroughly teach a writer to be “wielding” and instill a deep talent for the field?  Up to Snuff came to be a column on the www.revolvingstream.com  blog/database that is planned for publication as a print edition text book for use in schools around the world.  The ultimate goal for the “Up to Snuff” column and book is to found “The Snuff School of Writing,” based on the research from the book.

Things discovered while compiling “Up to Snuff,” were that a writer needs lots of book lists; a writer needs to be well read and should develop a private library.  A writer needs “templates” for many different kinds of writing. A writer needs a good desk top reference book list.  A writer needs to study syntax.  A writer needs to know about conventionality in writing.  A writer needs to test their range.  A writer needs to use precise words.  A writer needs wisdom.  A writer, especially a writing teacher, should study in a variety of programs and even engage in interdisciplinary studies for a broader knowledge base from which to write. With Social Science or research based writing or “data rich” writing or academic writing are all very good ways of achieving sophisticated work.  Creative writing may benefit from tested techniques such as taking a sampling or writing non-stop.  A writer can plan as a basis for later books, crafting dynamic PHD’s or dissertation research or advanced studies to become an authority on a subject area.

Ms. Osei-Bonsu is studying in two interdisciplinary programs at Eastern Michigan University and at the Vermont Military School, Norwich University.   She studied design at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art And Design in London.  Ms. Osei-Bonsu has written for three newspapers including Afrique Newsmagazine where she was an arts columnist.  She received an Irene Little Wallace Award from the Dept. of English Literature at EMU.  She got started in writing with an informal audit of a personal essay class at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York where she was formerly on staff.   Ms. Osei-Bonsu is the author of two books of poetry including, “Magic 8 and the Bone Marrow Sucker,” and “The Pearl Reader,” which are available on www.trafford.com and www.amazon.com.



Up to Snuff #46: Writers Voice, Subculturalization and the Allure of Academic Writing

Up to Snuff #46:  Writers Voice, Subculturalization and the Allure of Academic Writing

By Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

A writer’s “voice” may be indicated by several key components.  A writer’s voice may be impacted by first or third person, by the tense they choose, the strength of research that informs their content, positive/negative voice, wise voice or polished and clean voice.  Writing may in fact be a practice of wisdom-in order to be wise and needing of wisdom.

It may be noted one’s attention to grammar and language, whether big words or precise words are chosen.  How deep, how engaged or how lean may impact a writer’s voice as well as how practiced. How much value, how much service and how relevant will also impact a writers voice. How sweetened or how beautified can impact one’s voice in writing.  Perhaps a female voice or an older or younger voice or cultural or dialect voice may be chosen.

What also impacts the reader of one’s voice are the chosen template for one’s work, whether or not it is a threaded work-“prayer bead style,” or from a specific template that uses for example a thesis statement then supporting sentences or evidence or a specific frame work.  It impacts a writers voice how they build their content and what mechanics they employ.  A writer may expand their voice by testing their range on a variety of writing projects.

A writer’s voice is also impacted by their specific experience while working in the field of writing especially those who have worked as journalists or written for newspapers where writing in first and third person is often forbidden.  A writer with a journalism background may utilize a “truth based” or fact orientation and disregard personal opinion, unless they are an opinion writer.

A writer may use modern approaches to design their voice using eg. “development sessions”-where a writer uses writing itself for development to gather knowledge via the building of writings.

One’s writing voice has often to do with their speaking as well, how well- spoken they are.  A writer can enrich their writing by engaging in research based writing that is data rich.  Another interesting angle to take as a writer that impacts their voice is academic writing which carries bars and conventionality.  Academic writing is usually done while connected to academia either as a student or an employee or a researcher.  One often needs access to academic papers and libraries for research and in some cases briefs or specific assignments or groups of researchers. In journalism one is often feeding off current events, connecting research and using investigative methods.

An interesting voice to develop as a writer may be when one chooses a subculture.  For example one may write about horror or mystery within a writing group that is tuned into perhaps a “gothic” subculturalization or the culturalization of a writing genre.  In a gothic or horror subculture one may use gloves or eyeliner or hair dyes or black attire to fashion ones group for example.  One may choose also to inform their voice via a subculture like “naturalist,” or a subculture like “Victorian,” or even a specific “tribe” of their choosing. Culturalization may be done with attire, graphics or specific music of an era or instruments.  It may be wonderful to enjoy these subcultures as groups, even seasonal groups or annual groups or groups that meet in specific countries or universities, or good old local writing groups.  It may be challenging to fashion and outfit one’s group or create an aesthetic, even an aesthetic to one’s dissemination.

A writer may utilize film techniques like “thumbnails” or story boards to achieve clarity in their writing and improve their voice.  Pictures fall easily from words.   It is easy to illustrate a written book.  What do words fall from?  Writing seems to be built and threaded using templates.  For example, a fiction writer may want a beginning, middle and end.  What seems to be really chief in writing is how clarity or the power of understandability-to be really, really understood- and use of template impact one’s voice.

Sometimes before one begins a practice of writing they may undergo a period of clarifying their own brain and even maturing themselves.  It is as if without a heavily engaged writing practice one’s brain may not have order from its thoughts and dialog which impacts ones initial and later voice.

Some writers are the composite of all the places they have travelled or lived and employ accents within their writing voice or voices.  You can hear the actual voice and sensitivity of a writer when you read their work and it becomes the soul of the writing.  Writers utilize technology running programs over writings or designing graphically writing eg. bucktooth letters, to emotionalize their writing, which impacts how it is heard.

A writer’s voice may not be pioneering enough and may stick to status quo or may not have enough sensitivity within the public media.  A writer’s voice may be delicate or strong or wielding or even aggressive or overly assertive.  A writer may be supremely aware of their power as a writer to inform, influence, suggest and perhaps foster change, sometimes large scale.  A writer may have a historical perspective within their writings.  Many designs and choices impact the voice of a writer.  Many professions, travels, doings and practice develop a writer’s voice.