The insects lay their eggs in the well

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Master to student, “if he should tell you, it places it there, it happens as though God had placed it.”  He referred to the Sufi saying, “a mind within a mind.”  He said to his devotee, “your brain hears it and builds within itself, a thought space.”  He went on to say, “the next lesson will tell you what to do with your mind room.” 

She the devotee, combed through her books, in search of wisdom.  She said, the devotee, “which of these books in my library, will have wisdom for me?”  She scanned each of their pages and upon her desk stacked numerous books, all of which, she in her way, had coded as wise.  She, under her master’s tutelage, was she herself, in pursuit of mastership. 

In the days that followed, insects infested the exterior well.  It was referred to as “the post” and had a kind of pump that filtered clear water in. It was a large square like basin with a pump and lower well. Periodically a local company came in a truck with a huge drum and filled it. Next to it a table like platform made of concrete connected to and part of the well, with rounded grooves where clothes were washed. There was a clothesline and many trees, some bearing fruit in the yard. Normally for bathing and emptying the latrine a bucket is pulled from the well and either dumped into the toilet for manual flushing or boiled on the stove with herbs for a hot bath, then mixed with cool water in a larger bathing bucket. A small plastic container is used to cleanse and pour herbal water over the body. Baths are usually very delicious and fragrant.

Though her teachings with her master were rich, her mind became plagued with not only the cliff and the kites with the humming strings, and other matters of fine poetry, but of the well now filled with swimming insects that has prevented her from washing and bathing. 

In the midst of her studies, she arrives at this juncture, where she will either problem solve, and rid the well of its insects, or within the next few days, her swift departure. 

“The well is infested” she cries to her master.  “I shall solve this matter, or I shall relocate myself to better conditions.”  “I am afraid,” she said, “that even the memory of the insects will harm me.”  She cried to her master, “I have to maintain the well sterile and should draining the well not be sufficient, perhaps bleach will rid me of this problem.”

Her master replied, “what will you do if you drain the well, then bleach, then fill the well and they are still there.”  The devotee replied, “I do not know master, should I drain the well, bleach the well and they return, I may relocate from desperation.”  “The insects, master, at this point are effecting my washing and bathing.”  “My drinking water I fetch either from town or from the local pump.”  However, master, the insects for me have presented a problem.”  “ I do not know if even the memory of the insects will stay permanently with me.” “For now, I can use some of my drinking water to bath and wash.” “However, it is not really feasible to wash with the drinking water.”  

Her master replied, “should the problem be insurmountable where will you go, how then will you continue your lessons?”  “At this time, I don’t know master, I don’t even know what kind of insects they are, or how then will I continue my studies.”  “I suppose my departure may be near or far.” 

Days pass, she addresses the well.  The devotee drains the well, bleaches the well and cleans the well to sterilize it.  She fears they will return as they came before.  She heard a story about a woman who had a wasp’s nest on the front of her house.  They removed the wasp’s nest but as the nest was their home, they kept returning year after year.  She had heard similar things of bees returning to their nest, even a removed nest.  This was in fact a case where it appears something had hatched in the well and disrupted her life so severely that she had to haul water for bathing and washing as well as drinking. She feared her disgust of the swimming insects would provide her with an everlasting memory, a continual potential challenge, and this horrible feeling of uncleanliness.  She could feel in her soul their movements.  It was as if the trust she held for the well was now destroyed.  The well became unclean.  If she should go, to another well, it could perhaps also infest with the same insects.  Should she pursue a residence without a well?  She should then travel far.  She should travel far for new conditions. Will someone else assume life in her place and find a solution for the insects in the well?

In the days that followed she met repeatedly with her master. The well she drained, bleached and cleaned it, even fearfully.  She filled the well and the insects were still there.  They swam in place many of them.  It may be that time of year.  It may be the well this time of year will always be infested with these insects?  One local says the insects may come from the lower well? One local has suggested a strainer. An American suggested a pool net. Another local says the well needs a cover and a spigot, but since the lower well has likely been effected, there may be a different solution. One local says they go into the drain and come back out. Another has said they are in the environment and may easily get into an open well. Another local said you can assume the insects have gotten to the lower well. Another local said, the flying insect has lived in there so long it is now fish like. Another local says the only solution is to take apart the well, clear out the insects, apply a cover and drill a spigot. He feels that may be the only solution.

Isn’t it interesting how an insect may make you feel unclean?  How in some houses there are cracks?  A small crack, elicits a small insect.  A large crack, elicits a large insect. A very large crack or gaping hole may elicit all kinds of vermin. A low hole may elicit mice, a high hole may elicit bats. The insects in the house always let you know about its cracks or its holes.  The more the cracks in the house, the more the house fills up with insects and leaves you with this feeling of uncleanliness.  Maybe the house is clean once all the eggs are removed, but the insects do not leave until all the cracks are filled. To get rid of them you may even need a home inspection to find all of the cracks and fill or seal them. You can even paint the entire house with a kind of sealer, which is done in some areas for infestations, to keep them out.  You may even add, baseboards, because at the time of its building, insects may be living in the walls.  The state of the home is reflected by its insects.  If insects come in, will then water come in, during a heavy rainfall? Insects, are they a sign of vulnerability? Insects, can they detect a problem? Are the insects in the well, like thoughts in the mind?

She met with her master, “oh master, the well I have drained, bleached and cleaned.”  I refilled it using the pump with water, and oh master, the insects were still there.” 

“I have come to inform you master, that in pursuit of a clean feeling, I will depart from this house.” “ I will not move close by; I need to change my circumstance.”  “The remedy for this problem may reach beyond the local area.” “I fear master, that every well here has this insect.”  “My mind master has become plagued with the sensation of the swimming of the insects and how it connected to my bathing and I can’t feel clean physically or emotionally anymore.”

The master said, “So something you use for cleansing has become sullied in a way you have no ability to remedy in this moment.” “Beyond the physical problem, you are disturbed mentally by this reality in your memory.”  “Further, the insects have connected to your bathing, to your washing, to your feeling of cleanliness as if on a string, where they may always live.”

“I understand now in this moment that you choose to relocate and leave your lessons with me,” said the master.  “I may also face similar challenges.”  “I, in this moment cannot solve your problem.”  “Let us engage some final lessons before your departure,  if you can endure it.”  “Let us discuss your next steps in the world and your next intellectual steps.” “Let us not close our communication of lessons permanently.”  “I will remain your master, but our lessons will move to writings.”  “This doesn’t represent the end; this represents a change in context.” “ I wish for you in your new surroundings a feeling of cleanliness.”  “ We have found the first solution!”  Hopefully, in the future we will use this situation and find yet still more solutions.”  “I will think deeply about your memory and its strings.”  “Perhaps, in the future we will reopen this memory to heal it further, then reseal it.” “Perhaps, in the future we will change adversity into opportunity, and apply completely this occurrence to the service of knowledge.”

“Go where you have a teacher

Live where you have the most teachers

Follow if you have a master”

On her last day there south of the border with the USA in the mountains, on her way North to Michigan, she, the student, and devotee meets with her master.  Her master says, “I want to talk to you about writing.”  He said proudly, “I think you are both a writer and a teacher.”  “I think what you need now is something really personal to me.”  “You can view a writing in many ways.”  “You may use a structuralist theory to compare literature.”  “ I recommend to you” said the master, “that you write with ‘value and service.’”  He said, “gauge your writing by it’s value or its ability to serve in myriad ways.”  “I will work on this lesson and send it to you in a poetic format, I ask that you respond to me with your writing that addresses that lesson.” “ I will give you this tip, you must first assess how to achieve value.”  “Start with even proverbs.”  “Proverbs help you to build power.”  “Think about condensing research into poetry, think about using key points in a letter to make it unfold, to give it power.”  “Remember the word condense.”  “Never forget the word precise.” 

A few moments later she arrived Michigan, of cold winter months with low light, with clean white snow.  The light she said is reduced to maintain enough cold to keep the snow.  You can feel when the weather drops to freezing temperatures and the snow has its proper climate, then it comes.  A poem arrives from her master and it reads:


Writing he feels is value and service

Myriad ways of value

He judges writing by its value or by its service

You can condense research then write a poem

Take the key points in a letter to condense it

Proverb teaches power

Program the buttons in a poem

Think over them

A poem like a bomb

A consolidation of programs

Hire the picketers

An on-page revolution

The main protagonist hangs a poster

Condense it, stage it, serve

Ultimate power

Dear Master,

I have assimilated to this old/new place, my home.  I am sewing now. I will enclose a poem that deals with how I condensed some of my knowledge to include a teaching. 


Dear Student:

It is with great pleasure that I share with you another solution.  How to clean the well and rid the well of an infestation.  Directions:

Empty the well completely.  The bugs are identified as water bugs.  Some will go down the drain. They live on the surface and lay their eggs and eventually assimilate to be a fish like insect.  Once you have emptied the well, let it dry out.  They are then a fish without water.  They are not in the lower well or drum.  If you add bleach to water they do not die.  You were correct to use bleach though.  Bleach is sterile and can be used in the well to clean it out.  Set aside a few buckets of the old water for flushing etc. After the well has dried out and baked in the sun.  Add two- gallon bottles of bleach.  Leave it for three days.  The insects cannot live in the pure bleach.  Keep watching for any swimmers.  Drain it and use a broom scrub brush to scrub all the eggs off the sides, the bottom, then outsides and clean the well.  Drain it again, let it dry.  Then repeat.  Fill the well with two-gallon bottles of bleach, let sit for three days and watch for any swimmers.  Let them die.  Then scrub again.  Drain.  Rinse. Then let dry and air out from the bleach.  Let it evaporate.  Then fill the drum with clean water after you have drained it.  Then fill the basin with clean water.  The bleach is a repellent and the treatment should last about 2 years to be free of them.  The bleach will eventually wear off from filling the basin over and over.  Now you have a clean well, a fresh bath and are able to wash.  The one who comes after you will too.  Now you can feel clean.  The well is clean.


Up to Snuff #110 More Fiction Notes

Up to Snuff #110:  More Fiction Notes

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Is the use of descriptions for manifestation in fiction writing an appropriate technique?

Is use of all descriptions the way of manifestation in fiction writing?

Are there other similar constructions like this use of all descriptions that could be utilized in creative writing for example?

Writing is a process of manifestation, therefore the use of all descriptions conjures, evokes, spiritualizes.

Show time.

What are qualities in fiction that make live? What are the make live qualities?


Make live?





Within time

Has value





Problem Solving

Insight, ingenuity, the ideas, the hook, then a story about how it plays out

Below every thought you carry with you that piece of ingenuity that insight

You develop a personal relationship, am I, which am I?  Joy or devastation?

  1. “Wuthering Heights” child of love, child of hate.

“The emotional playground” in fiction is the primary function in good fiction.


The Audience.  It’s for something or someone.  Are you placing it in a 12 year olds hands?

It has a greater purpose may be something like cultural branding


It’s higher purpose may be something like opposition to divorce

A personal relationship, one must place themselves within some aspect of the books context

They must admire, relate or connect

A personality development beyond relationship, it may refine one in some way.

Like a lead poem plants a context in the mind and sows the field

Like a book preface or introduction may plant a foreshadowing or romance for the writer within a different perspective

A book almost always needs to have gifts and generosity.  Gifts can be cultural gifts, personality trait gifts, but literature, in general, should have the quality of generosity.


Fiction may be a careful thread with cadence pulled from your various research and notes which are all writerly, smoothly laid not cut and paste or chopped or inserted, but written, revised, edited, slightly improved upon, refined and polished.  It should be precise.  Precision is an incredibly important word for a writer, as it impacts diction.

The most important thing you do is writing a plan, thumbnails, research sketches, all the variety of research you will need to build your story and education.

Your set may not be your key element, your key element may be your emotional playground.  It may be more integral to the book -your insights trump your furniture.  In the end the book lives in thoughts, it’s chiefly thoughts, it generates thoughts and has one most significant idea or insight.  Your key work will exist within this domain around thinking and thoughts, insights and ideas.

Children’s books are generally spoken, fiction novels live in thoughts or imagination etc. Where creative non-fiction may aspire or exist in learning or knowledge areas.

There is a great story in some fiction.  Some may be chiefly psychological, some may be chiefly storytelling, story after story.  Some fiction novels are travel writing or autobiographical.

One must find their own agenda for each book.  Some books are more imaginative, others are more emotional.

Software in the end will help with managing a large quantity of writing, organizing it, to edit it and in some cases design it.  Writers who utilize software may come out with more perfected versions. Writers may also design their software to create a variety of types of writing or use different software for different writing if one becomes unable.  You can get software for cover letters.

You do not want a program to write your books

Use of software as paramount to organization in fiction novels

Fiction books are the only ones that are novels.

You must make your own plan

Your own worksheet

Your own research

Your own emotional playground

You should not be me, or her or them, you must be yourself to be successful.

It is as it is; it is as you want it to be.

Up to Snuff #82: Fiction Ideas

Up to Snuff #82:  Fiction Ideas

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu


Describing people fully (dressing style, body, mannerisms, facial expressions, smell, personality, personality history, events that molded personality, pedigree, claim to fame, why to love or how to love)

Describing thoughts and narration

Describing places

Describing events

Describing time periods or era’s

Describing actions

Describing dialog

Having a thread that unites all the writing

Having a plot, basis or purpose for the writing

Having an audience

Having built a strong visualization and sensuality

Having developed your characters so that people have a feeling for them

Use of technology or software

Giving gifts and teaching simultaneously that values the book (cultural gifts, details)

Scenes as if it were a “screenplay” which they often become

Working from photos or imagery to create richer descriptions


Beautiful language, introducing vocabulary

Lessons, often used in High School English classes

Tell a good story

A map

A beginning, middle and end

Research histories and parallels

Suspense, thrill, exultation, surprise, build up, crescendo, unveiling, birth, crux, bridge, moving

Page-turner status, glue them in, have something your audience wants eg. fantasy, romance, gifts, bread crumb trails, teachings, romantic lifestyle, spirituality

All the way through its storytelling and descriptions

Use timelines

Settings, international agenda, historical events, history plus romance, valuation or commemoration of things or places, historical lenses (social, economic, cultural, political etc.), dramatic occurrences, blow-up of dots of mundane or ordinary or small events as something special or existential, human condition, a period or era feeling, a sign of the times

Capturing emotional feelings, tears, euphoria, anger, joy, hope, inciting, fears, gaiety, pinpointing emotions

Dialog design

Carry from one feeling to the next, keep suspended

Make a software for each book

Up To Snuff #66: Book Review and Fiction Lesson, “The Sun Also Rises,” By Ernest Hemingway

Up to Snuff #66: Book Review and Fiction Lesson “The Sun Also Rises” By Ernest Hemingway
By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Hemingway’s 1920’s based fiction novel, covers spiritual dissolution, often describing both Jewish and Catholic Views, immorality and bacchanalian bar hopping and on a lesser note, unrequited love. What may resonate with the reader are micro points like the French, “aperitif” and “digestif” and grander points like his two city, “international agenda.”

“International Agenda” in fact may be what the reader is left with thinking, of what it means to write fiction and how it can be done across two of the world’s most amazing cities, in this case Paris, France and Pamplona, Spain. Hemingway’s piece of modernist fiction, leads the reader to ponder fiction itself, being something of illustrious descriptions, the practice of detail and analysis as description. How one may plan trips or excursions to illuminate a story and embody the setting. One can imagine Hemingway carting around small tablets of paper to bullfights and down Parisian streets, even while in carriages.

It is in fact, the emotion about descriptions, in fiction, that grips you. What also grips the reader is how a writer may become an instigator and define a place, time period, era, a group or a movement. In this case the book chronicles a group of writers and Foreign Correspondents in Paris and appears to be autobiographical. “The Sun Also Rises,” describes the romance for the writers life, the spontaneity, the comradery with other notables of the time period, and how the stories unfold into novels, articles and love affairs, some of which manifest into marriages, others that go unrequited.

They were described as a “lost generation,” perhaps many facing short lived marriages in favor of the dramatic high living of a traveler. What becomes interesting is the fame and publicity that writing generates, the resulting introductions that create, the “Who’s Who” lifestyle. Reporters regularly write about and therefore hob nob with notables, if at the bullfight-the bullfighter.

It is as if a writer must cultivate a “writerly” richness. The writer is at once a manufacturer, instigator, and conjurer. Everything for the writer becomes vivid, when you desire the writing to be as good as life, if not better. Having more power to act as taste master, direct society via writing, and dress your content. Hemingway was a master of description much like James Baldwin. Hemingway would make wonderful “observations,” such as to watch, the feet of dancers, to bottle their dance performance, as difficult as that may be.

Hemingway was an angler as was seen in later books like, “Old Man and The Sea.” He was later overseas, with many of the same interests he may have cultivated in America; which became a part of his “international agenda”-fishing in Germany and Spain for example.

The good fiction may be written in “non- stop” fashion. The writer establishes their setting, carries their tablets and writes literally “non-stop” while traveling; then at a later time transcribes collected details to form the story. Then perhaps an editor or programs help you to iron out your dialog. Perhaps if you are guided by some kind of “North Star” and utilizing precision, you will reach a fine piece of literature at the finish.

Great planning may go into a classic piece of literature. One may pursue degree’s or charter boats and acquire nets. Some of literature’s greatest works may not have been easy to come by. Hemingway provides a good fiction lesson.