jump

I’m not one of those “just jump and the net will appear” kind of people.

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

But these past few weeks, I’ve decided that even if the net involves feeling uncomfortable or may result in a possible level of embarrassment, I’ll take that jump. 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 knit-tightly are sadly becoming smaller and I find myself shaking my head and thinking, “is this what life is supposed to be all about?” and “when is life going to cut me some slack so that I can prioritize my writing more?”

I decided to jump and 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.

But I reminded myself that I’ve traveled solo plenty of times and introverted me not only made a few new acquaintances, I thoroughly enjoyed discovering the city and getting new ideas for one of my stories.

And that was my second jump

I purposely didn’t research much about the Philadelphia sights and things to do and it was refreshing 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 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 just filled my brain and now I’ve got another city experience to use as the backdrop in my story.

I did manage to do some writing done while I away and decided to unofficially participate in Nanowrimo in November as a way to get my Wattpad story done.

And I’m glad that I jumped.  🙂

Bisous,

M  xoxo

not that kind of girl

I’m not that kind of girl anymore.

I’m no longer the keener who researches all the well-known tourist spots to visit, reads up on the history of the city I’m visiting and has a purse overflowing with American coupons I saved from a previous trip “just in case” (as a child of immigrant parents that reflex is still deep in me).

The most that I do now is make sure that I’m staying in a safe and walkable area close to the conveniences I need.

And then I book. That’s it.

No, I no longer feel the need to see everything and then remember nothing because the days are a blurrrrr…

I just want to be in the moment I’m in, even if that means not running the “Rocky steps” and then sitting in a coffee shop with my notebook while people rush by.

But I must say that there are some mighty intriguing places on this map…

Dirty Franks, Smokin’ Betty’s, Howl at the Moon….

Green Eggs Café, Ms Tootsie’s Soul Food Café, Good Karma Café…

Tattooed Mom, Warmdaddy’s, Gooey Looies…

Time to finish my latte and let my flat feet lead the way…

http://www.instagram.com/marquessamatthews

Bisous,

M

between my sheets

So I joined a book club and I actually attended.

If you are thinking, “so what?”, I explained it here.

All in all, it was a positive experience and I’m glad that I’ve committed to doing it.
But I won’t lie

I hated feeling like the new kid at school and I dreaded what I knew was coming…

Everyone, let’s welcome Marquessa, our newest member. Marquessa, how about telling us a little about yourself?”

I’ll also be honest when I say that the book we had to read was not riveting in any way, shape or form. The only thing that I liked was that the story was “local” and Montreal-based.

Though I bought a physical copy of the book, I would not have finished it if I hadn’t bought the Audible version. The cheapskate in me had no choice but to finish it that way. (Thank you Audible!)

I could write a boring book review or tell you about the eclectic, diehard-reading, seasoned ladies who don’t hold their tongues but I won’t.

But I will share the benefits I’m already seeing for the “writer” in me:

Reading books I normally wouldn’t read. Since a Canadian literature course I took back in university, I don’t think I’ve read any other Canadian-authored books. Guess I need to expand my reading options…and I will.

Going local. I love it when a book is set in a REAL place that I’ve experienced for myself and that is the reason why I’ll be using local cities as a backdrop in my stories.

Listening to likes and dislikes of readers on character, plot, themes. During the discussion, it was like I had jumped into a real live blog comment section. Some people hated the first person narrative, others loved it, some didn’t understand the message of the book and so on and so forth. Quite interesting.

Snacks and free coffee. Homemade goodies, cheese, crackers, tea and coffee. Need I say more?

Accountability. If you can’t share your opinion because you didn’t finish the book, you feel stupid. And to not feel stupid, you force yourself to finish. Why do you think I finished the book when I didn’t feel like it?

Story ideas. A simple comment from someone in the group has already sparked an idea for a scene in a current story. where or the interactions between certain members are sparking ideas for story scenes. The writer’s brain is always on the lookout!

Yeah, I’ll be focusing on the positives of being in a book club until next year.

Do you belong to a book club?

Bisous,

M

Synchronicity?

Is it synchronicity?

Lately, I keep stumbling across many of my blogger friends who have taken a social media break, are currently on a break or will be taking a break because they are either social media’ed out or just need to redirect their focus to more important things for now.

I totally get that.

I’ve been keeping my blog at arm’s length since I returned home from vacation and it has felt good. So good that I’m thinking about going cold turkey from all social media platforms for a while.

Strange but true – I don’t miss my blog.

And it is indeed strange because there was a time when I loved finding things to blog. But the more I keep my distance, the more my “writing” thoughts are becoming clearer.

The fears I had left about writing are all but gone and I think that I’ve found an approach to overcome the intimidation I feel over self-publishing without getting egg on my face.

Part of my writing problem was also that the gaggle of characters I had in my head back when I was in my 20s were also in their 20’s like me.

Well, I’m far from being in my 20s and have zero interest in writing about 20-somethings at my age. But I guess that I still had to sort of “mourn” the loss of what I could have written.

But nothing happens before it’s time, right?

The more I keep my WordPress posts infrequent, the deeper I feel I can breathe. So maybe I will take a break from other social media platforms for a while…who knows?

M  xoxo

An Introvert’s Commitment

Committing to anything, anyone and everything else is easy but when the commitment involves doing something just for me, it’s freaking hard.  I give up after a few half-assed attempts.

But if I want to get back into the writing groove, I need to shake things up.

Get out of my comfort zone.

Commit to doing something small and see it through to the end.

That something is going to be joining a book club.

I’m not in writing mode so I should at least be reading as writers are supposed to.

But my inner introvert voice is already encouraging me to run in the opposite direction…

It’s a big book club and you’re going to have to talk to people you don’t know. The minute you get there, you know that you’re gonna want to leave…

You can read those same books in the comfort of your home alone in your comfortable pyjamas with a tasty snack…

Why waste money on more books when you’ve got three piles of unread ones next to the sofa?

Y’all, my inner introvert voice is exhausting but I’m going to ignore it.

I’m committing to reading these books below. Book club meets once a month starting in the fall and to get a jump start on things, I just ordered the first book from Amazon.

Who knows, maybe I’ll stumbled upon a fellow introvert in the book club who is also I writer.

Fingers crossed.  🙂

Are you in any book clubs? Do you enjoy it?

Monday Musings: Sun, Surf, And Sand

The sweet spot…💜

***

Years ago after a vacation filled with sun, sea and heat, I promised myself to find a way to make my own home feel like an “oasis”.

The beachy light colors and minimal stuff. A gazebo on my deck with palm plants in each corner. A zero gravity chaise. All as feng shui as possible.

And I was successful. By the time I had decluttered, painted and feng shui-ed, it did feel like a mini oasis.

But when your mind is tired, it’s hard to enjoy the little things that quiet the mind.

Now that it’s summer (or it’s supposed to be), I’m going to slow things way down and for this blog, only post about once a week.

What are your plans to slow down and enjoy summer?

Instagram

Bisous,

M xoxo

Monday Musings: Zen

Waking up to this view never gets old…💜

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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