A to Z Challenge 2019 Reveal! @AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary Blogging Theme Reveal

The A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal for 2019 is here!

This will be my fourth year participating in on this challenge.

If you don’t know what the A to Z Challenge is, you can click here. There is still time for you to sign up and join in on the fun! It’s a great way to meet other writers, bloggers and readers.

As usual, for this year, I want to try something a little different but still fiction based yet inspired by a “real-life” situation.

Earlier this month, I gave my newsletter subscribers the scoop on the backstory of my inspiration so I’ll tell you about it next week as a #TeaserTuesday.

In the interim, I will leave you with this question:

Do you believe in serendipity?

“Serendipity” is my theme for this year’s challenge.

There are a bunch of different definitions for serendipity but I like this one:

I’ll do my best to keep up and hope that you follow along!

Bisous,

M xoxo

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Monday Musings: A Different Kind of Flirting

I’m on social media to learn the few ins and outs because of my author aspirations. I’m also around to follow other indie writers, indie artists and all around awesome people whose work I admire.

And over the few years that I’ve been social media, I’ve made a number of online friends with whom I chat on different social media platforms. You know, emails or DMs about regular stuff like the craft of writing, fiction writing, travel, work, that hot guy on Hawaii Five-O celebrities…regular stuff.

I also exchange one-on-one quite a bit with those on my newsletter list too.

It’s one thing to get “helllloooooo cutie” and “how you doing?” from creepy-ish guys that I don’t know. No go, no thanks.

But what I don’t understand are guys that I’ve already exchanged with who start off as “okay” with funny and maybe off-color jokes but then quickly slip into the risqué zone and then nose dive into the “hell no” category.

It’s almost as if these guys were simply waiting for the perfect opportunity to take the conversation in a totally different direction.

Funny enough, a blogger friend of mine was recently surprised by a d*ckpick from a fellow blogger she had been DMing with for a long while.

Of course, after the shock wore off, she blocked him but not before sending him this GIF:

I fully understand that people are online for all sorts of different reasons and I’m not judging.

All I’m saying is that like most of us who are online, I’m here for the fun and friendly banter of it all, while trying to avoid the creepier stuff. That’s it, that’s all.

And even if you look like the spitting image of this draw-dropping specimen of a man below, I still wouldn’t want him to send me a d*ckpick…

Bisous,

M xoxo

Monday Musings: Feeling Sexy, Flirty and Fun #A2ZChallenge

March has just begun and I’m thinking about April.

Why?

Because I’m mulling over a handful of ideas for the April 2019 A to Z Challenge since I signed up for the challenge a few days ago.

From experience, I know better than to prematurely declare my idea this early but I will run down what I did for my last three A to Z Challenges…

In 2016, I wrote a bunch of cliffhanger-type scenes based on song titles and characters I plan to use in future stories.

In 2017, I wrote a story about Kate, a 39 year-old woman facing her mortality and her regrets of not putting herself first for so many years. This is the novella I’m editing right now.

Last year in 2018, I posted a diary-style story about a woman and her abusive boyfriend. The story drained me but I succeeded in what I set out to do – I wanted to share the Wheel of Power and Control and the red flags associated with abusive relationships.

This particular story has a special place in my heart because a handful of concerned readers found my posts mid-story and reached out thinking that “I” needed support because I was writing in first person narrative. I was also touched by the comments/emails from those who recognized the ugly and raw truth of some of the scenes I included. This will be my next novella to revise and edit.

So what will this year’s 2019 A to Z Challenge bring?

It will be fiction-based, sexy, flirty, fun and maybe geared to a slightly seasoned reader. My biggest challenge will be figuring out how to post “snack sized” posts while sharing a full version with my newsletter friends for their feedback.

I’m thinking hard…but not too hard. 🙂

The official Reveal day is usually the 3rd week of March so that’s when I’ll share my theme with you here.

For my email subscribers, I promise that I’ll give you the FULL SCOOP in March newsletter.

Will you be joining in on the A to Z Challenge this April 2019? If so, let me know in the comments.

M xoxo

Monday Musings: I’m Black…So What?

Since it’s still Black History Month, I was inspired to write today thinking back to what I said last week.

Being Black is only a small part of who I am.

I’m a woman.

I’m a Black woman.

I’m a Black woman of South American heritage.

I’m a Black woman of South American heritage in her forties. I’m a professional Black woman of South American heritage in her forties.

I’m a professional Black woman of South American heritage in her forties who writes and aspires to publish the kind of stories that I think are beautiful too

I’m all of the above and according to Chaka Khan, I’m every woman.

Naturally, some of my fiction writing is infused with my experiences as an individual who is all of the above and so much more.

But my writing is also not limited to the above.

As a storyteller, I write to themes anyone should be able to relate and though some of my main characters may not always resemble the ones that are still considered “more mainstream”, themes of love, fear, rejection and hate are universal.

My goal is and will always be about being “inclusive”.

If along the journey some readers don’t appreciate when I blog about issues of representation, diversity, and inclusion, I can’t do anything about it.

I’m just going to keep on walking and doing what I do.

Monday Musings: Doing It

When I started revamping this blog, I had planned to stick to topics to which all readers could relate. I thought I could write posts that could please anyone and everyone who stumbled across this space.

Nothing too controversial.

Maybe a little more on the plain-side.

Safe.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that my “plan” was based on fear.

Fear of readers losing interest, fear that some readers may not relate to what fuels my stories and the types of topics I think are important to speak to within my writing.

So…no, I’m not going to limit myself to posts that don’t resonate with me just to keep random readers or even dedicated reader-followers.

I’m not going to let fear dictate the kind of writer I desire to be.

My updated About page speaks to who I am so if I lose readers along the way, oh well.

Like the lyrics of that old song, “ya can’t please everyone, so ya got to please yourself”.

And that’s exactly what I’m going to do…

A Little Valentine’s Fiction

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Since this excerpt is based on Valentine’s Day, I thought that I would share it with you. If you like it, let me know.

M xoxo

***

I was in the middle of a perfect spin when someone turned the volume down on the song I was choreographing to.

What the fuck?!

Before I knew it, two of the girls were racing towards me. A tight knot formed in the pit of my stomach as I slid down the pole. Everyone knew better than to interrupt me while I was creating new sets so whatever it was had to be a important or an emergency.

“What’s wrong? Talk to me.” I grabbed my towel from the floor and dabbed the sweat away from my neck. When smiles spread across both of their faces, my blood began to boil. Their smiles meant that there was no emergency and both of their heads were going roll.

“Ella, that guy from the other night is out front asking for you,” Li Na giggled like a schoolgirl.

With or without make-up, Li Na could pass for a teenager though she was in her early-twenties. It had become clear that her jailbait looks were what had made her very popular with the freakier patrons at the club. Li Na was a smart girl and knew exactly how to work her looks to her advantage to get more tips.

“Who are you talking about?” I feigned ignorance but I knew who she meant.

“Your boyfriend,” Saanvi eagerly clarified, not able to contain her excitement. Saanvi was the total opposite to Li Na and was clueless about men and the business. Sheltered and freshly on her own after moving out from extremely controlling parents, there was no way I would allow her to get near the stage. Until she mastered some everyday life skills, I had found part-time work for her helping with the club’s social media side.

“I don’t have a boyfriend.” I couldn’t help but roll my eyes as I walked away to retrieve my bottle of water. They followed me like two hungry puppies. They were both still young enough to think that working a pole and having a real boyfriend all at the same time was possible.

“Okay, well maybe he wants to be.” Saanvi’s eyes twinkled bright and hopeful. “It is Valentine’s Day you know.”

Whatever.

“Well, Happy fucking Valentine’s Day,” I sneered. “Tell him that I’m busy. You know that I don’t like being disturbed when I’m …”

The clicking of hard shoes against the studio floor made us all turn around to observe Jake sauntering over to where we stood. Li Na and Saanvi’s deep intakes of breath synchronized and rebounded hard against the studio walls. Holding a single red rose and now standing inches away from us, Jake was beyond looking like a tasty snack. He was a delicious five course meal and was making me hungry. I’m sure that I wasn’t the only one squeezing my thighs together uncontrollably at the sight of him.

“So…I can’t be your Valentine today?” Jake’s voice was deep and raspy. He grinned and extended the rose to me. His eyes locked with mine for such a long moment that I didn’t realize that Li Na and Saanvi had vanished into thin air.

Don’t let him rattle you.

“No.” I managed to keep my aloofness with a smile and ignored his outstretched hand. “You can’t be my Valentine.”

“And why not?” Jake took a step closer and held the rose up between us. The scent of the rose and his cologne heightened my senses and all I was thinking about was wrapping my legs around his waist.

Down girl.

“You’re missing eleven roses for this to be a traditional Valentine’s bouquet…” I purposely looked the rose and turned up my nose.

“I have no problem running back and buying more. But something tells me that you’re not the typical woman who would be impressed by a full dozen.”

It was my turn to close the gap between us a little more. We were so close that I could feel his warm breath on my forehead.

“You’re right. I’m far from being a typical woman. Even if you bought me the entire flower shop, it wouldn’t matter because I don’t believe in love or anything related to Valentine’s Day.” My harsh words made him frown in the cutest way.

“You don’t believe in love?” Jake studied my face and grinned down at me.

“To believe in love, I would have to have a heart. And I don’t have a heart.”

I really wanted to tell him that if a man was not in a position to finance my life or fuck me senseless whenever I wanted with no strings attached, I had no use for them. But of course I didn’t let those words leave my mouth. Jake didn’t need to know about the hard and fast rules I had been living by for most of my adult life.

I wasn’t about to bend or break my life rules for Jake, no matter how tempting and normal he presented himself to be.

Jake was all strings. Hot, sticky and dangerous strings.

“You have a heart. I’ve seen it more than once sweetheart. And I saw it clearly the other night too.”

My entire body tensed up at the memory of the other night and my face flushed.

“The other night had nothing to do with “heart”. It had everything to do with me wanting to fuck you and you weren’t interested.” I felt myself getting pissed all over again at how he had turned me down, leaving me hot, bothered and unsatisfied. “I mean, do you even like women? A typical straight guy would never have turned me down.”

And it was the truth. Never in my adult life had I been refused by any man.

Never.

Jake gave me a long hard stare that froze my breath. Probably sensing that I would back away, he slid his hand around my waist and pulled me in so that my chest was pressed against what felt like a six pack of hard abs.

Damn.

“I assure you that I’m straight Ella. I’m just not your typical guy, just like you aren’t a typical woman. Sometimes slow is a better way of getting to know each other…”

“But most times, fast and furious is much more fun,” I countered and watched as his eyebrows shot up.

“Do you purposely try to shock people or are you always this…unfiltered?”

“Being unfiltered has gotten me into some trouble but I can handle it. Does it scare you?” I was the one grinning now.

“It actually does but in a good way,” Jake admitted, running his hand through his dark curly hair before returning it to my waist. “But I also think that it’s your way of keeping your guard up against getting hurt.”

“No it’s not. What do you even really know about me?” I failed miserably at reigning in my defensive tone.

“I know enough about you to want to know more. How about I take you to lunch and you can let me be your Un-Valentine today?” Jake lifted the rose and brushed it gently across my cheek until I finally accepted it.

When I shook my head at his persistence, Jake kissed my forehead and I was glad that he couldn’t see the hint of a smile on my face.

Something about Jake had the potential to ruin the uncomplicated lifestyle I had spent years creating for myself.

And if I wasn’t very careful, I’d let him.

(This scene will likely be included in Ella’s future story.)

©2019 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved. Feel free to sign up for MAILING LIST.

12 Inches Is More Than Enough

38 centimeters and still counting but at least we knew it was coming.

School and daycare cancellations were announced since yesterday. Workplaces strongly suggested that people work from home if possible. Radio stations warned listeners to stay in.

And all of this before snow could even hit the ground.

Remember the snow storm days from long ago when we waited for the school bus to arrive and when it didn’t, you simply had to stay home? Then your parents were miffed because one of them would have to call in sick to stay home with you? We all had to roll with the punches.

Today, the roads are empty and if you have to get somewhere fast, good luck with that. With the thick layer of ice still hidden under all that snow, it is treacherous to say the least.

Being a planner, I prepared for it – extra groceries bought and delivered to the older folks in my family, cars and snowblower topped with gas, house kept at a toastier temperature just in case there is a another power failure…

The only thing that would make this snow day almost perfect would be a tasty bowl of Pho for lunch. But as you can see from the photo above, any kind of delivery service will be impossible until the snowblower is put to use.

But I don’t mind being snowed in. It sounds weird but there is something comforting about going about my day with the snow gently falling outside and listening to “snow stories” from listeners on the radio.

How is your day going? And are you snowed in too today?

Bisous,

M xoxo