#30DayWritingChallenge (Day 3): Write something that someone told you about yourself that you never forgot

“What is it with you?”

I had to think hard about this one and finally came up with this because the remark was not meant to be positive.

They were the words of a former colleague George*. I didn’t really care for him and I knew that the feeling was mutual. For what reason, I don’t know. There was just something about him that struck me as false, superficial and untrustworthy.

Picture this scenario:

I’m on a business trip and unfortunately, I bump into George in my hotel lobby, which means that we’re both staying at the same place. Because we are headed to the same meeting, for politeness sake, we have no choice but to walk together, right?

As we leave the lobby, the ladies at the front desk call out to me by name and tell me to have a great day. George snorts and says something like “Why didn’t they tell me to have a nice day?”

I explain that whenever I am in town, I stay at that same hotel and often chat with the staff. He gives me a look and shrugs.

As we walk to the Tim Horton’s across from where the meeting is being held (oh how I hate fake small talk), a few passerbys smile and say hello to me and I respond in kind.

George asks me if I know them from the local office and I say no and that I don’t know them. He can’t help himself and asks, “That’s weird. Why are they saying hello?”

My response is “I don’t know,” and for whatever reason, my answer seems to annoy him.

Before we enter the coffee shop, a random girl stops me to say how cute my hair looks. I catch George giving me the side eye.

But this is what got George…

We are waiting to order and when George asks what I’m going to get, I tell him that being a boring creature of habit, I always order the #1 combo. The woman ahead of us gets her order, turns to me (not George) and says,”I’m only in the mood for a coffee this morning. Would you like the rest of my #1?”

Of course, I refuse. But when she insists, I accept her offer because, you know, it’s fresh from the counter, not crawling with her germs or anything and I’m horribly cheap frugal.

I don’t know why but free always makes things taste better to me. 🙂

When the woman disappears, this is when George gives me a nasty look and says, What is it with you?

Believe me, it wasn’t meant as a compliment, that’s for sure. I said nothing and shrugged but I knew his problem right away.

He was jealous. Jealous people get along with me and that I get along with most people.

George had a lousy vibe and that day the universe wanted to point it out to him because, you know…

I’m not saying all of this to boast or anything.

It was only somewhere in my thirties when I discarded a bunch of negative people and situations around me that these kinds of “nice” things started happening to me on a regular basis.

But believe me, I’m not always good. On some days, I’ll take out my broom AND put on my hat. 🙂


To finish this already-too-long anecdote with the part that still makes me laugh today…

During our team meeting, someone had the *brilliant* idea that the team have dinner together at a popular local Italian spot – the last thing an introvert wants to do when a comfy hotel bed and some take-out are the only things on her mind. I arrived early, sat at the bar and perused the menu while waiting for the others, only to realize that I would be stuck eating a salad because there was nothing on the menu that I really liked.

The bartender struck up a conversation and I told him why I was there. He asked if I wanted some suggestions on what was popular on the menu and I told the truth – that I would only order a salad because nothing seemed appetizing.

The bartender raised an eyebrow and before I knew what was happening, he called out to someone in the kitchen. Out came the chef and the bartender told him what I had said…

I. Was. Mortified.

But man, the chef was so cute that I momentarily forgot how to speak…

The place wasn’t busy so the chef chatted me up, asking questions about what kind of spices I liked, if I had food allergies and the like. The conversation veered off into other things and let’s just say that there was lot of smiling going on. 🙂

The rest of my colleagues arrived and somehow George ended up sitting across from me. The same waiter took our orders and I went ahead and ordered the salad. But when all of our food arrived, a heaping dish that was not a salad was placed in front of me. Pasta, seafood, veggies and some kind of spicy curry was thrown into the dish.

“Compliments of the chef,” the waiter said and grinned.

Whatever the chef had concocted, it was delicious.

When my curious colleagues inquired about what I had ordered, all I could say was “I don’t know” and it was the truth. And when someone asked me why I had gotten a “special” meal, before I could even open my mouth, George answered for me – ” Because she’s special.”

You can just imagine George’s tone. I’m sure he thought that I was a practicing voodoo or casting spells because…you know… [fill in the blank] 🙂

Has someone ever told you something you will never forget? Share with me in the comment box.

See you tomorrow!


M xoxo

* of course George is not his real name!

#30DayWritingChallenge (Day 2): Share something you struggle with

Being called “pretty”.

Sounds weird but it’s true.

I remember exactly the first time that I remember someone saying that about me.

The family was on a cruise, I was 16 and the remark came from our dining room waiter. I had never heard anyone say that I was pretty before (at least not that I can remember) and I simply figured that he was trying to butter up my folks to get a bigger end-of-cruise tip. And if he wasn’t, I was convinced that he needed to get his eyes examined.

There was just no way that the term could apply to me.

Growing up in a world where beauty was only linked to blonde or straight hair, blue or green eyes, white and lighter skin tones, being called “pretty” had never been part of my wheelhouse.

“Pretty” was reserved for those Other Girls on the cover of books, magazines and actresses in movies and television.

In “real life”, Other Girls with that same phenotype were always the center of attention, part of the popular crowd and the object of crushes by the boys in school. When those Other Girls became Other Women out in the world, the cycle simply continued. I observed many of them navigate their environment with an air of entitlement and full of themselves.

Maybe it was partly sour grapes but I distinctly remember making a decision at the age of 9 that if I couldn’t be pretty like those Other Girls, I would just have be as smart and kind as I could. And since my brain and kindness have served me very well since that time, that’s the way I see myself.

So to this day, when someone uses the term on me, I say thank you because it’s the polite thing to do. I always take it with a grain of salt because, as the saying goes, “pretty is as pretty does”, looks fade and I’ll choose brains over looks any day.

But with all that said, the little girl in me will always struggle a little with that compliment because it’s in her DNA.

What are some of the things that you struggle with? Share with me in the comment box.

See you tomorrow.


M xoxo

#30DayWritingChallenge (Day 1): List 10 things that make you content

Today’s challenge question was “List 10 things that make you really happy” but since I don’t think that I’ve ever truly been “happy”, I’m switching it out to “List 10 things that make you feel content”

There is a big difference between “happy” and “content”.

  • The beach. Under a palm tree. On a week day. With a good book;
  • A piping hot bowl of pho on a cold winter day, preferably during a snow storm;

  • Decluttering and re-organizing areas of my home which also helps to clam my nerves and distracts me from thinking too much;
  • Puttering around my garden on a sunny day, doing a lot of this, that and the other;
  • Visualizing a scene for a story and drafting it until it feels just right;

  • Hitting the snooze button as many times as I want on a Sunday morning;
  • Getting lost in the pages of a novel so good that I slow my read so that I prolong the pleasure;
  • Sipping on the perfect cup of coffee with just the right ratio of sugar and heavy cream;

  • Playing old school jams and dancing around the house with no shame; and

  • Waking up to this view every morning, at least once but preferably twice a year.

Have you gotten to know me a little better? 🙂

What are some of the things that make you happy or content? Share with me in the comment box.

See you tomorrow! 


M xoxo

My #30DayWritingChallenge starts tomorrow

Quotes About Self Reflection

The results of the poll I posted fell in line with what I wanted, which was basically a combination of personal and writing related questions.

I’ve adapted the #30daywritingchallenge posted by a fellow writer-friend to make up for questions that don’t apply, are a bit too personal or to which I don’t have an answer. I’ve also changed the order of certain questions as they originally appeared.

I’m hoping that this challenge will help me get back into a daily writing habit and help you to know me a little better as a person and as a writer.

All of the posts will likely disappear during my next blog clean-up. 🙂

See you tomorrow!



getting into the groove

When I’m writing, I feel like I can conquer the world.

I want that feeling back.

Like I said in my last post, I’m going to try a 30 day writing challenge to get my creative juices flowing.

My friend Kathy reminded me that our fellow friend Pam just finished a 30 day challenge that I might like. I instantly remembered Pam’s posts and loved reading her daily personal type posts.

In addition to that, while I was sifting through my writing files, I also came across 100 blog topics for fiction writers that I had saved a few years ago that I thought would be fun to pick 30 topics out of the 100 listed.

So I’ve got 2 choices and getting your input on which one to choose would be fun, don’t you think?

So here is a little poll below (but if you are using Mozilla Firefox, it will not appear and I have no clue why).

I’m already leaning towards one but I’m curious to see how you vote!

Looking forward to your vote.



M  xoxo

grace (not writing)

I miss a lot of things about my blogging space.

I miss the exchanges with you after posting something. It’s more about interacting as friends, fellow writers and readers than the external validation element.

I miss spending time reading your blogs and knowing what you are all up to.

I miss writing and blogging challenges that get my creative juices flowing.

Giving myself grace is the only way to go but I truly miss the act of sitting down and seeing what I can create.

After long days stuck at the computer and working from home all the time, the last thing I want is to spend more time with a device.

But like I miss writing too much to give up.

A J gave me an idea in a recent post and my light bulb went off – I’m going to find a 30 day writing challenge to “just write”. Maybe I’ll post them or maybe not. We’ll see.

The race is not for the swift but for those who can endure to the end.

If you are a writer, would you have any 30 day challenges to suggest?

All Rights Reserved ©2020 Marquessa Matthews

everything but writing

Enough is enough.

I’ve been doing every and anything else except write since the ‘Rona hit…

Like playing with my hair, giving it the daily TLC it deserves by moisturizing and being amazed at all the things it can do with the slightest care…

Liking drinking way too much white apple and grape juice out of the wine glasses I rarely use, allowing the neighbors to think whatever they like as I sip, sip and sip away on my deck…

Like stocking up on all things related to “the second wave of Corona is coming so get prepared” mindset I have developed and aimlessly surfing Amazon for things I truly don’t need…

And most of all, like eating crap while I binge watch (and re-watch) 51 episodes of a Turkish romantic comedy I fell in love before they get taken down…

So yeah, enough is enough already.

It’s time to hop back on the writing train even if it’s just a quick daily write for myself. I made myself some promises and it’s time to dust of my fingertips and get to it.

What have you had enough of? Not being able to get back to a normal routine? Tell me.