Analysis Paralysis

I should have had something published by now but I don’t.

At one point, I was on the right track and had overcome the insecurity I had had about my writing abilities but somewhere along the way, I did a stupid, stupid, stupid thing…

I had the *wonderful* idea of immersing myself in how-to outline articles, writing software and self-publishing which slowly led into a state of analysis paralysis when it came to actually writing.

Coupled with a 9-5, day to day responsibilities and our mutual enemy called Covid, well all of that led to less writing and then no writing at all.

Forcing myself to write was a lost cause and though a few writing challenges got the juices flowing, I’m still not where I would like to be with my “fiction”.

Like I said in my last post, burning a few things down will help me overcome writing analysis paralysis and create room for some newness.

I’ve slowly been taking this approach in my personal life – it’s been slow progress but at least there has been progress.

I’m no longer sure if self-publishing is one of my first goals. I’ve been seeing alternatives to self-publishing whereby I could still share my writing and have others enjoy it but more to come on that at another time.

On that note, have yourself an awesome week!


M xoxo

NaNoWriMo November

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?

you don’t know me okay?


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.


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?



Escape From Reality


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?

Great Sex Requires Effort


Just enough intensity …anticipating what will happen next …before diving deeper…visualizing just how …

love girl kawaii heart hearts

I think that the definition of “romance” may have changed when I wasn’t looking.

A while back, I started (and stopped) reading a number of books on Kindle Unlimited after just a few chapters, either because lots of Easter Eggs and back story were given away within the first few pages OR because the book was simply a string of sex scenes strung together by an anemic story line.

Call me old-fashioned but great sex scenes in a novel require more than sexually explicit words tossed carelessly onto a page.

Or a bed.

In my opinion, writing a great sex scene requires effort, patience and some kind of love thrown into the mix in order to give the characters a happy ending.

That pun was totally intended! 🙂

But there was one e-book that had me shaking my head at just how quickly things unfolded and then deflated.

The breakdown of the book?

4% : Female character (FC) tells her boyfriend that she’s pregnant and the boyfriend dumps her.

6%: FC gets upset, storms out, has a minor accident and is helped by a sexy rugged stranger who takes her home because he lives nearby.

11%: FC tells sexy man her entire story and that she is pregnant. There’s a storm brewing so sexy man insists that she stay in his guest room.

13%: FC and sexy man fall into bed. He declares his love for her and tells her that he is ready and willing to love her and her baby.


All of that at the 13% of the book? Isn’t that a little quick? Where could the rest of the story possibly go?

I was curious enough to speed read through the rest of the 87% so I really can tell you where the rest of the story went:

Spiraling fast downhill until it crashed and burned.

  • No tense sensual build up between the characters.
  • No slow burn towards that first kiss.
  • No flirty moments between the two characters.

Nothing. Nada. Nein.

I’m not looking for the chaste vanilla of the Harlequin romance books my Granny devoured or the BDSM of Fifty Shades of Grey. There’s nothing wrong with themthey just aren’t my preference.

I can do without the 20 different words to describe the same body part and the blow-by-blow accounts of which body part went where and at what frequency…

I like my “romance” with just enough intensity between main characters that leaves me anticipating what will happen next between them. Romantic scenes that make me want to read and reread certain scenes before diving deeper into the book. Visualizing just how a scene would unfold in my mind.

Less is more.

And a little imagination is good for the soul…

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews.

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 wide when she saw me staring at her.

Or maybe it was the stink eye I gave her, I don’t know.

“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… [I have no clue why my brain always reverts to Spanish for this word instead of English]

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 storyline and book would be…uh… “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 still calling “that woman” by a totally different name… 👀)

writing workshop weirdness

I took a chance and it was more than a little weird.

I haven’t  been around “other people” since the start of the pandemic. “Other people” as in non-relatives outside in the fresh air, fellow late night grocery shopping, hardware and stand-in-line for the bank six feet apart kind of people.

My writing workshop at the library started up again “in-person”. Six of us in a basement space, conversations muffled by masks that had to be on at all times, individual tables disinfected  prior to our arrival.

Wait, did I tell you that, out of precaution, the library management would prefer that the workshop’s facilitator read the pieces we write instead of us reading it ourselves?


I have a sinking feeling that this will be our first and last in-person meeting for the fall. With the city barreling towards “orange”, I think that Zoom is on our horizon.

At least I didn’t run straight into the shower after coming home from being around “other people” like what I used to do when this sh*t show of a pandemic started. Tonight I walked into the shower. 🙂

It was bittersweet – nice being around familiar faces but uncomfortable enough to be thinking hard about why we didn’t go for Zoom off the bat.

Zoom or in-person, either way, I’m looking forward to taking the opportunity to draft out some diary-style pieces to add into one my old stories.

The accountability will be a good thing.

Have you been out and about (of course, following your city’s restrictions)? Share with me in the comments.