Monday Musings: Zen

Waking up to this view never gets old…💜

***

I recently took a little break to take advantage of the beach.

It was more a change of scenery, than a vacation.

An early morning walk is a good way to lift the soul a bit before the worries of the day start to creep in again.

If you and I are already friends on Instagram, feel free to keep in touch with me on IG. I’ll be spending a little more time over there.

And if we aren’t friends on Instagram, feel free to drop in and say “hey”.

If my Instagram happens to be back on “Private” (due to weird spammy spam), just make a “request” and I’ll approve you, that is, if you are a real person. 😁

Bisous,

M xoxo

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Monday Musings: Judging A Book By Its’ Back Cover

The way my head spun around must have scared that lady to death because she froze with her mouth open starung at me.

Or maybe it was the stink eye I gave her.

“Yeah, I heard that this novel is really good but the author’s Black so I don’t think that I’d relate…

That’s what she said right before she noticed me standing there. And when she did, she was quick to scurry off with her friend like a rat in the light to the far end of the bookstore.

It’s a good thing she did because I might have said something unpolitically correct standing in the middle of the “Romance” aisle.

Mira

Everyone, including that woman is entitled to think what she thinks and to feel what she feels. We are all entitled to our preferences.

I mean, stories that involve vampires, space, historical ship or urban street fiction don’t float my boat so naturally if the book cover represents any of that, I will likely pass.

But never NEVER have I looked at an author’s profile picture on a fiction book and said that I wouldn’t be able to relate to it because of the author’s color or ethnicity.

If anything, because of the “default White” book world in which I grew up reading, I’ve always looked beyond that default – Isabel Allende, Pico Iyer, Amy Tan and the list goes on. Not being from someone else’s cultural background has never stopped me.

There are a bunch of things I could unpack for you that lurk behind that woman’s words but I’ll leave that for another time.

What I will point out is that I curiously flipped through the novel that woman referred to and it was clear that she simply had assumed the book would be… “Black”.

But it wasn’t.

The main characters were White, the book blurb didn’t refer to race and neither did the front cover.

I guess that romance and happily-ever-afters are not relatable if you’re from a different ethnic group.

Judging a book by its back cover will only make you miss out on some great reads and that woman surely did.

(By the way, my inside voice is calling “that woman” by a totally different name… 👀)

Monday Musings: Escape From Reality #amreading

We all have problems.

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

It’s a chance to forget my ish and revel in someone else’s dramatic life for a little while.

Whether it be a friends to lovers romance, contemporary fiction or a memoir, I’m in.

Is reading your escape? If not, what is yours?

M xoxo

Monday Musings: Bigger Is Not Always Better

Another A to Z Challenge is over.

I changed course like I explained in this post but I love how writing challenges always provide me with a base for a longer story and this last A to Z confirmed what I already knew:

Novels may be bigger but bigger is not always better.

Novellas are my “thing”.

I said “novellas”, not “telenovelas”, though I like them too.

With a novella, a story can be told more quickly and it’s a great way to decide if I want to convert a story into a lengthier piece.

And in these days of busy, busy, and more busy, readers seem to want quickie reads.

Novella, novel or a book the size of an old telephone book. What’s your preference?

M xoxo

A To Z Reflections 2019 #atozchallenge

Congratulations to all those who completed the A to Z Challenge!

It was my fourth kick at this challenge and though I changed course part way, I sort of finished.

Sort of finished…

I fell to my “back-up” plan and posted old songs I haven’t heard in years according to the alphabet.

But I’m still going to give my four reflections on my A to Z Challenge experience today like other participants.

Reflection #1: NO more continuous fiction stories. The ones I wrote before worked out since I only had one character. I can’t post any old words just to keep up with a challenge – quality over quantity. But I will be continuing the story off-blog for my email subscribers during summer time;

Reflection #2: “One” word or shorter titles like What Sandra Thinks and The Dream Girl Writes are the way to go for these challenges. I truly enjoyed the lightness, flexibility and variety of their posts;

Reflection #3: If my posts are not prescheduled ahead of time, I’m not participating. I have yet to spend April reading other’s posts and not writing against the calendar;

Reflection #4: April is NOT a good writing month for me. Work deadlines, tax filing month and putting sweat into A to Z posts that are unrelated to my (many) unfinished projects is not a good leverage of my writing time.

Conclusion: I think it’s safe to say that 2019 might have been my last participation A to Z Challenge. But if you’ve never done it, I would strongly encourage you to.

If you didn’t participate but are curious to read the wonderful blogs of those who did, click here.

I’ll be using this as part of my summer reading list!

Bisous,

M xoxo

Diverted, Not Defeated #atozchallenge

Challenges are always a great way to get me motivated.

However this April’s A to Z Challenge will become an OFFLINE challenge during May and June.

Not only do I feel at ease with my decision to change course, but I’ve lifted a weight from my own shoulders.

I can give you all the reasons (besides the usual) for why, but here are just a few:

  • it’s tax time and the ish needs to get done;
  • memoir writing and dance classes I signed my folks up for to get them more active and engaged requires temporarily switching up my schedule; and
  • doing ground work on a project now that should lighten my load later this summer.

But more importantly, I’m simply not willing to write anything just to post something to keep up with the A to Z Challenge.

I have other installments alread drafted but I prefer let my ideas develop organically. Going back and dropping Easter eggs into previous sections of a story is not easy and requires some thought.

And…I truly like where my story is going so I’m not going to rush it.

My email subscribers will continue to have access to my offline draft that is now open for “comment” but you’ll see that as of “H”, I’ve only been posting the songs linked to each installment I had planned.

That’s where it’s at friends – I’ve diverted but I’m not defeated.

So, if you just stumbled across my blog, for the rest of this month’s A to Z Challenge, I will only be posting the song links that inspired my A to Z Challenge story.

If you are interested in what I wrote from “A” to “G”, feel free to go back to the beginning by CLICKING HERE.

And like I said, readers who are on my mailing list will continue to have access to my in-progress story offline as well as be able to make comments.

Bisous,

M xoxo

 

 

 

 

A is for “Another Lover Hole N Yo Head” #atozchallenge

Another Lover Hole n Yo Head

*Niko*

Another city, another sold out concert.

The excitement and energy in the air before every big venue is always palpable but I’m used to it. I have long perfected the art of blocking out the machinations of the arena staff, stage panel crew, sound checks that don’t require my presence and the venue managers team running up and down the hallways behind my dressing room door.

Look, I adore sharing myself and music with my loyal fans and would do almost anything to make them happy. I mean, I agreed to this ridiculously grueling tour because of some social media campaign a fan started and that my manager thought I should follow through on. I didn’t feel like touring so soon again but I did it for them. If that’s not love for my fans, I don’t know what is.

But I won’t fool you. Though I love touring, I’m slowly starting to hate it. And these days, all I keep thinking about is when this tour is over and I can slow the pace down.

I’m just so tired.

Not only am I physically exhausted but I truly need a mental break from the damn promotional events, the groupies, having the paparazzi all up in my shit and escorting my girlfriend Chelsea to her press junkets on the rare days that I’m back in New York between concerts.

From a distance, I can hear the band practicing one of the new song arrangements suggested by Bobby, my manager. He thinks that we should spice up some of the slower tunes with a fresher beat and though I reluctantly agreed to it, I hate the changes.

When I write songs, they capture what I am feeling in the moment and believe me when I say that I’ve never written anything with a reggaeton or techno-style beat in mind. I have nothing against those trendy tunes on the radio these days but dropping a beat to some of my slow love songs just to satisfy a younger demographic?

Fuck no. I mean, the new arrangements aren’t total shit but they just aren’t…me. My diehard fans won’t mind but like me, I know they will always prefer the tried and true originals.

I squeeze my eyes shut as Diana, also known as Dirty Diana or DD for short, applies foundation to my face.

Who gave her that stupid nickname? I hope that it wasn’t me in my younger shit-stupid days.

Out of respect and unlike some of the others from the crew that actually called her DD, I always call her by her real name. Diana stopped reacting to the nickname years ago but I’m sure that it was a bitter pill to swallow. It’s only on days like today when she is on her flirt with me that I call her DD in my head. For the past hour, she has been applying the industrial strength concert ready make-up on my face to withstand the hot arena lights and all the sweating I will do.

I hate sitting still for so long. It’s the worst kind of slow torture when I’m pumped up and raring to get onstage to bathe in the screams, the bright lights, the band and the fans giving me all of their energy.

I’m tired of this life but yet it gives me life. It’s a fucking contradiction that I juggle with every day.

But yeah, this rockstar lifestyle is starting to lose its’ glow.

One too many cities with virtually no rest in between, the exhaustion is creeping up on me and killing my creative juices. When I’m on the road like this, I have no time to write new music and that’s what I live for. My first true love is song writing. Sharing and performing my songs somehow ended up being a natural by-product of it all. I haven’t really sat at a piano or picked up my guitar to just jam for the fun of it in at least four months and I’m itching to get back in that groove.

“Niko, stop frowning! You’re messing up my beautiful canvas.” Diana scolds. She has clearly been in flirt mode with me over the past few cities. The last thing I want is to cheat with her or any other woman now that I’ve made up my mind to make things work with Chelsea. “What are you thinking about that’s making you tense up like that?”

I realize that I’m frowning enough to interrupt her work on me so I open my eyes and try my best to relax my face. She’s smiling down at me with a foundation brush angled near my cheek.

“Sorry.” I return her smile. “Nothing really. Just thinking about…stuff.”

Since rejoining the tour, Diana has been sporting super straight black extensions, reminiscent of Cher in her younger days and a deep fake-a-bake tan. When I first saw her, I didn’t even recognize her. I’m not sure what “look” DD is going for these days but I do know that I prefer the original Diana with the fair-skin and red hair. I can’t understand why she just doesn’t want to look like herself but to each his or her own. Women are just too complicated to figure out and I stopped trying years ago.

Rumor has it that she is still reeling from a bad break-up, that she is reinventing herself and that she’s on the prowl for a rebound. I don’t know about all the other shit but from her overt sexy come-ons to me, I know that she definitely has me on the brain.

Each and every time Diana works on me, I wonder how many hours it takes her to put herself together – the make-up, sexy outfits, killer heels, and nails long enough to take someone’s eye out. I have never seen her makeup-less (or less than “fleek” in her words), even when we were sexing each other every chance we got during last year’s European tour.

“Well, you must be thinking about something because you are totally, totally tense.”

Diana shoves the brush into her make-up artist belt, swivels the chair around and proceeds to sweep her palms lightly across my shoulder blades before massaging them hard and deep. I won’t fool you, the kneading of her strong hands feels amazing and immediately melts my tenseness away. I close my eyes, drop my head forward and groan loudly. I try my best to ignore the fact that she is purposely pressing her tits into my back.

Fuck, her hands are like magic. Then again, DD has always had skilled hands.

When her hands slide from my shoulders down to my chest to caress my pecs, she startles me with her hot breath against my ear.

“Hmm, I know of a much better way to relax you before this show…”

Diana swivels the makeup chair back around and before I know it, Diana forces my legs open and is on her knees between my thighs. Her seductive stare from under her false eyelashes tells me what she has in mind as both of her hands trail their way to my zipper.

DD is definitely on a mission and is coming for me…hard.

© Copyright 2019 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved

PART 2 of this installment – For my email subscribers, you received a link to access the rest of this installment in your inbox. If you are interested in reading the rest of this installment, feel free to sign up for my email list and I’ll add you to my private folder as soon as I can (depending on the time-zone difference).