“What kind of garbage is this?”

When I was 15, I made the mistake of sharing a short story I had written for my high school English class with someone close to me and those were the exact words that stuck to me like glue.

The pride I felt about the story I had written disappeared like a puff of smoke in the wind. I was completely embarrassed and simply wanted the floor to open and swallow me up. That was the day that I learned to never share my writing with anyone unless it was for an assignment or my own personal and creative enjoyment.

The me back then wasn’t able to brush it off or formulate a witty response to counter that negativity. I simply took the hit and allowed my feelings to get hurt. I never even thought about taking the grade I got for that assignment and shoving it into that person’s face because I allowed that negativity to steal the joy from me:

Of course, the me of years later would have reacted A LOT differently with that person.

Though the me of today would have a laundry list of slick yet bitchy comebacks, I wouldn’t even bother wasting any of them such negativity and neither should you.

If you love to write and/or blog, who cares what others think about it?

It doesn’t matter who thinks your writing or your blog is read-worthy.

It doesn’t matter if you only write or blog sporadically.

It doesn’t even matter if someone leaves a negative comment on your space.

Forget the haters.

What matters is that YOU are enjoying your writing and/or blogging.

And that is truly the only thing that really matters.






When All You Need Is To Fu*k It Out

I’m back and I deserve a round of applause for lasting out this long!

I didn’t post a darn thing on this blog like I said I would and I surprised myself.

I also didn’t write anything offline.

No flash fiction, no editing, no outlines…Just plain old nothing. The most I did was jot ideas down onto Post-Its and stick them on my writing wall for future reference.

In order to get out of my not-so-great mood, I decided to immerse myself deeper into the funk until I found myself sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.

Sounds counter-intuitive but that’s what I did.

I tried to enjoy more of this on the weekends…

I failed miserably at doing any of this…

And I was very successful in doing way, way, way too much of this…

But it’s all good.

Because like a slice of hot apple pie topped with some chocolate fudge ice cream, the writing/blogging break has made me a little hungry to get writing again.

Tell me, when was the last time that you simply took a writing break?








Being Authentic Online

Photo credit: DJOtaku via / CC BY-NC-SA

My fear of being authentic on this blog died a long time ago.

After some trial and error, making choices about what I would and not write about and being cautious in general, I’m as authentic as I can be in this space, though:

  • I don’t write about my work life;
  • I limit what I share about my family; and
  • I wait and breathe before writing about current events that get deep under my skin, if I write about them at all (though recent currents events make my fingertips itch.

But I was thinking…

Can a writer truly be authentic if they have to place limits on what they say?

Then, I came across the answer in this TinyBuddha article:

“Authenticity doesn’t have to mean complete transparency, but it does mean acknowledging what you really think and feel. Very rarely does a person think and feel only things that align with a polished online persona.”

Well, I’m not interested in having “a polished online persona”, at least, not at this point in time.

I’ll just continue striving for “authenticity” by sharing the times when my inner voice escapes my lips, I suffer from episodes of midnight madness or when I invite you to take a seat with me at the family dinner table.

For you writers and bloggers, how authentic do you feel you can be online? 

All Rights Reserved ©2017-2018 Marquessa Matthews


Power And Control

credit to and image found at:

I always try my best to bring a certain level of realism to my fiction.

So when I speak about domestic abuse, I often do it in a slightly subtle way. I want you to think about situations you have experienced or that someone close may have confided to you. And from the comments I’ve received on past fiction, many of you know the signs…

The way he accuses you of lying when you simply forget to mention something trivial, how he thinks he has the right to comb through your text messages and web browser history, the third degree you get if you are a few minutes late, how he tells you that no other man will ever want you and best of all, how he purposely creates unnecessary conflict to alienate you from your loved ones…

Those are just a few of the red flags.

A while back, watching a Grey’s Anatomy episode (Season 14, episode “1-800-799-7233”) and a powerful scene where Joe warns a woman to stay away from her ex, it reminded me of my “Woman to Woman” piece (which I re-titled for a challenge at Christmas).

My fiction piece may not be as riveting as the Grey’s scene below but the message is the same: “When your man’s former flame warns you and she has nothing to gain, listen very closely with both ears, walk away and don’t look back. Because you deserve better.”

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs below. No copyright infringement intended. I simply want to bring attention to domestic abuse and how important it is to listen to other women’s warnings.

I Wear My Sunglasses At Light

I’m guilty.

The only time I wear sunglasses is when I’m on the beach and my reason has nothing to do with the glare of the sun, UV rays and eye protection.

When I wear sunglasses, it has everything to do with people watching.

I don’t mean it in a creepy-stalker-kind-of-way like the guy I wrote about in that other post. I’m talking about the subtle and perfectly sneaky way to observe people’s interactions, body language and conversations that are within earshot.

And no one is really the wiser if you do it the right way.

Sunglasses on, nose in book and ears wide open.

The kind of observations that get your imagination pumping, that have you making up stories about the people around you, pushing you to decipher the relationships between them. The kind of observations that leaves you with questions like:

How is it that this mother and daughter duo have matching plastic surgery? Did they go under the knife together?

Mother and daughter with matching plastic surgery All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

This couple looks all lovey dovey but what secrets are they keeping from each other?

What secrets are they keeping from each other? All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

What’s the story behind this woman’s back tattoo? Does she regret it now that she is older?

Why did she get that tattoo? All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

Who was sipping on this coconut before they abandoned it on the beach? Or did it wash up onto the beach after being out in the ocean?

Whose coconut was this and how did it get here? All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

Yes, I am guilty of wearing my sunglasses to seek out story ideas when I’m on the beach.

But as a writer, YOU are guilty too.

Whether it’s on the beach, while sitting in a coffee shop, at the hair salon or on the train…I know that you do it too because as writers and readers, we observe, ponder, imagine and create tales to entertain ourselves.

But have you ever thought about who is watching you?

Images and content ©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

 Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.


















The Bots Among Us

I always knew that I had bots.

“Bots” as in spam comments that usually end up in my Junk folder where they belong.

But what’s up with the bots that inflate my number of followers?

I supposedly “lost” 1000 followers while I was away.

Yeah, 1000.

Months ago, I was constantly getting notifications about new followers and wondered how these “readers” were finding me when I wasn’t doing anything different than usual. I simply went about my business because I don’t really care about numbers.

But I still don’t understand the “why” behind fake followers.

Do they hope that I follow back without checking them out first? Will they eventually try to sell me something? Is it a creepy way to get into my electronic device?

Do you know what’s up with fake followers?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy that 1000 fakes are out of my hair.

I mean, I only want to interact and attract real living people, like readers and friends who want to follow my musings, sign up for my email list and eventually read what I self-publish.

Bots can’t do any of those things…

As a writer, does it bother you to see your number of followers drop? And as a reader, are you influenced by the number of followers a blog has?





Writing And Not Writing

What do you do when you’re not writing?

To be honest, I lead a pretty boring life that is very busy. Then again, most of us lead boringly busy lives to some degree, right?

Nothing fancy, super exciting or Hollywood-esque.

Could “boring” be the new black?

Somehow I don’t think so.

I guess the trick to livening up life is to sprinkle a little of the things you enjoy into your day-to-day whenever you can.

When you are not writing, what do you do shake things up and enjoy life more?

I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours…

©2018 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved. (updated from 2015)