You know that feeling when you are totally overwhelmed by absolutely everything in your life and just don’t know where to start?

Like Murphy’s Law is just waiting to drop something else on you?

Well, that was me just a few weeks ago.

I was tired of turning in never-ending circles and getting nothing done so I decided to take some vacation weeks off to permanently cross certain things off my to-do list.

Yeah, like once and for all.

If I can’t jump on a plane and relax under a palm tree somewhere hot, I decided to vacation from professional deadlines and get some ish done that will help me in the long term, like every-other-day early morning walks, improving on my eating habits, learning to ask for help with certain family responsibilities and seriously getting my house in order (literally and figuratively)…

I even organized and prepaid for my own funeral arrangements, something I always said I would do to avoid leaving that sad task to a grieving family member.

[I will write about this experience in a future post ].

I’m so happy with what I was able to accomplish, without the constraints of the 9-5, that I truly feel my creativity returning and filling my soul to the point where I am almost itching to write again.

I’m looking forward to letting words flow again, whether it be as a blog post or as a private journal entry no one will ever see.

And I’ve got a mini-project close to my heart that I’ve started dabbling in (and has little to do with fiction writing).

For the first time in a while, I feel…hopeful. But I’m going to keep my hopefulness on the low so that Murphy doesn’t notice for a while.

What about you? How are you coping these days? Don’t be afraid to share.

There was a time when I would have wasted my breath on people who were ignorant.

But that was a long, long time ago.

These days, I’ve got no time for fools and foolishness and almost zero tolerance for the willfully ignorant. To make matters worse, my “filters” left me somewhere in my 40s so I find myself saying whatever I need to say in a diplomatic way…which is what happened during a group call the other day.

With the election results were fresh out of the oven, naturally the topic came up. Somewhere somehow someone point-blank asked me, “Would you stop being friends with someone if they supported you-know-who?”

They all seemed totally surprised by my quick and easy “Absolutely”.

Of course, the question was followed up with, “Wow! Really? You would dump a friend over politics?”

And that is when I chose to share my thoughts and explain…

I would never take issue with someone’s politics. Everyone has a right to their point of view.

But for me, it’s more than politics – it’s about you as a person and the values we don’t have in common.

If you are supposedly a “friend” of mine and are capable of overlooking years worth of lies, the consistent devaluing of certain marginalized groups to maintain their privilege and the intentional stirring of the pot to make racists even more emboldened than they already are…well…

So no, I wouldn’t bat an eye at exiting stage left and distancing myself from someone who supports that kind of behavior and mindset.

What are your thoughts?

Best of luck to all of you who will be attempting NaNoWriMo this November.

As some of you will be slaying your 50K words, I’ll be taking time to finally finish those anemic outlines I drafted and learning some ins and out of the Scrivener software I bought way way way too long ago.

When I eventually do this challenge again, it will be with a prepared and pre-planned outline otherwise it is way too stressful for a pantser like me who is trying her best to become a planner.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this November? If not, are you doing any other challenges?

(Repost)

Is it too late to be “anonymous”???

Yup, I killed the anonymous option a very long time ago.

When I started this blog years ago, it was ONLY to participate in the WordPress Writing 101 course.

I didn’t know anything about the world of blogging but I FELL IN LOVE with the exchanges with fellow writers and the creative writing itself reignited my love for what I had buried six feet under for almost 2 decades due to OPOs (Other People’s Opinions).

But I’m still here, still writing and still wanting to publish the stories rolling around in my head if I can get over my procrastination due to..fear?

Yeah, I said it but I digress…

In looking around at other indie authors, I realize that lots of them use pen names or initials as part of their published names.

Maybe it’s because these internet streets can get crazy weird and keeping your true identity anonymous is the smart thing to do.

Maybe it’s because an author can reinvent themselves and pick a name that’s crazy sexy and cool (I like that idea).

Or maybe it’s because lots of female authors use initials to have more street credibility, like JK Rowling and many others.

So…

I’m thinking that even though YOU already know who I am, maybe I’ll still follow suit with a different name or initials when I actually do publish something.

But it will likely be difficult to choose something that rolls off my tongue or that I really, really like.

Do you have a pen name? And if so, how did you choose it?

Bisous,

M

(Repost)

We all have problems and a pandemic to deal with.

I love to escape by diving into the pages of a good book as a way to do it.

It’s a chance to forget my personal ish and revel in a fictional character’s dramatic life for a little while.

Whether it be a romance, contemporary fiction or a combination of both which is my preference, I’m in.

What about you? What’s your escape?

Repost – *Trigger warning – fiction alludes to sexual abuse/child abuse*

https://pixabay.com/en/face-child-kid-boy-young-72194/

(Repost)

My younger brother, Jeff and I sat next to each other on the couch in our parent’s living room. It was their 55th wedding anniversary and the entire extended family had turned out for the casual BBQ party they had decided to throw themselves. People milled around, some catching up on the latest family news while others boasted about their fabulous accomplishments to make each other jealous.

I had been all around the world but whenever I visited my childhood house, the only place I wanted to be was away from here. That’s when I longed for the safe confines of my own peaceful and comforting home.

The entire gathering was ridiculously hypocritical seeing that our parent’s entire marriage had only been full of hateful tolerance instead of wedded bliss. Jeff and I had endured that charade our entire lives behind their closed doors and we knew their dirty secret.

“I blame you David.”

My plate of homemade macaroni and cheese and barbecue ribs sitting precariously on my lap almost fell between my knees at Jeff’s angry voice.

“Blame me? For what? What did I ever do to you?!”

Over the years, we had rarely seen each other but it wasn’t for my lack of trying to make an effort. Jeff had been the one to distance himself and his family away from me. Our disconnect had slowly started after I had eloped at eighteen to marry my first wife, a calculated move far out of state that had more to do with escaping the smothering environment than being head over heels in love. Unfortunately, leaving town had also meant leaving Jeff behind to fend for himself.

“I blame you for her.”

Jeff pointed to the bay window to where Uncle Alonso and Aunt Beatrice stood in the front garden area chatting up a storm with our parents. My blood ran cold with nausea.

“What are they doing here?” I found myself saying much too loud.

How dare they have the audacity to even show their faces here?

The urge to run to the bathroom and throw up quickly turned into an overwhelming desire to jump into my car and run them both over.

No, maybe run all four of them over.

Deader than dead.

“If you had spoken up back then, she never would have come after me after you left. My life would have been so different if you had just fought back. But you were always the selfish one, weren’t you?”

Jeff pushed himself up from the couch and walked away, leaving me to deal with the fallout of the bomb he had dropped.

She had done things to him too?

Cold sweat racked my body as my soul emptied itself onto the carpet alongside the contents of my plate. My soul hadn’t felt so empty since the first time Uncle Alonso had begged me not to tell on Aunt Bea, almost as empty as when my parents had refused to believe me when I had finally spoken my truth.

I could still almost feel the pain of the beating I had received for it.

Bloody little liar! That’s my sister you’re talking about! Bea would never do such a thing! Don’t you ever say anything like that again!

Oblivious to the frenzied scene of aunts and girl cousins trying to clean up the ribs and macaroni decorating my mother’s precious Siberian white rug, I was on my feet in an instant.

As I barreled my way out of the front door to where they stood jabbering away, my hand searched frantically in the depths of my pockets for my car keys.

There was no time like the present…

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews.

 

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I’m not one of those “just jump” kind of people.

I always need to know that there is some kind of net below me.

Going SPLAT is not my thing.

But I decided a while back that even if the net involves feeling uncomfortable or may result in a possible level of embarrassment, I’ll take that jump more (of course, keeping the rules of Covid in mind).

It’s not like I’ve never felt uncomfortable or embarrassed before and I’m still here to talk about it, right?

With each passing day, it feels like life is just slipping away for me and for those around me. Circles that were once tightly knit are sadly becoming smaller and I find myself shaking my head and thinking…

“Is this what life is supposed to be all about?”

“When is life going to cut me some slack so that I can prioritize the things I want?”

I’m thinking back to the last time I really jumped. I found myself on an away-from-home seminar 9 hour long luxury bus trip to Philadelphia with 50 legal professionals, none of whom I knew. It brought me back to the first days at school, worrying about not knowing anyone, being the odd (Black) girl out and not part of any pre-formed cliques.

I had to remind myself that I had traveled solo plenty of times before and introverted little old me not only made a few new acquaintances, I thoroughly enjoyed discovering the city and getting fresh ideas for future writing.

As a complement to that Philly jump, I purposely didn’t research much about the Philadelphia sights and things to do before leaving. The lack of “research” was refreshing because I was able to just let my feet take me to whatever seemed interesting on my Google maps in my non-seminar/free time…

Liberty Bell, Franklin Square, Love Park and my favorite, the hustle and bustle of Reading Terminal Market.

And that same weekend just outside the hotel was the Midtown Village Fall Festival . It was a gorgeously warm day so you know I loved sipping on coffee while watching the consequences of what cheap food, too many alcoholic beverages and music will do to people when the day turned into night. 🙂

Writing ideas filled my brain and it gave me another city experience to use as the backdrop in a future story.

I was glad that I jumped and I’m thinking about other ways I can jump some more in these times of Covid…

When is the last time you “jumped”?