Blogging from A to Z April Challenge

I’m going to drop this post like it’s hot before I change my mind…

I’m thinking about participating in the A to Z Challenge in April 2020.

No, no, no.

I WILL participate in the A to Z Challenge in April 2020.

I know, I know…It wasn’t that long ago that I DECLARED that I was DONE with writing challenges (even if you’re truly bored, please don’t scroll back through my old posts and say, “Yeah, you did say that!”)

So yeah, I’m in.

First, I was thinking about writing a series of 26 “background” posts through the eyes of one of the characters in one of my stories. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how much work it would be for little personal gain and so I nixed it.

Then, I thought about writing to 26 reasons why I’m writing the Wattpad story I’m still working on. I quickly realized that I wouldn’t be able to be totally authentic and open with that approach and so I nixed that too.

And that’s when it hit me.

As far as I know, there is no rule that says I can’t repost a previous participation. And if there is such a rule, don’t bother correcting me because I’m going to do what I plan to do anyways.

So…

After all that debating with myself, I’ve decided that I will repost a previous A to Z project and then use it as a springboard to ….

well…

…I won’t tell you about that just yet.

I’m still hashing out those details in my head and my head is a crazy space these days.

Stay tuned.

Will you be doing the A to Z Challenge this year? If so, let me know!

Bisous xoxo

Bots.

I’m not posting regularly so when I see an increase in my followers, I know it’s due to bots, bots and more bots.

I just don’t get it.

If you aren’t going to try to trick or spam me into buying something, why do bots follow blogs?

I understand those weird spam messages that go straight to my Junk folder but what does one gain by being a fake follower?

Do they hope that I’ll follow back without checking their supposed blog first? Will they eventually try to sell me something? Is it a creepy way to get into my account?

Can someone explain this to me?

I’m simply curious though I occasionally go further into my account and remove their follows right out of my hair.

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

I wasn’t put in the witness protection program or anything like that…

I’ve just felt the need to make myself scarce and concentrate on things that are completely non-writing-related.

To be honest, I haven’t written anything creative in months and strangely enough, I don’t feel badly about it.

I can’t be creative when my energy is focused on “life” issues that are much more important than writing.

And right now, I’m embracing the people in my life and taking advantage of their presence while I still have the opportunity.

Life is short, the clock is ticking for all of us and the time is “now” for so many things in our lives.

Would you agree?

Go take your kids for an ice cream, say yes to that barbecue invitation you were going to turn down or give someone you haven’t spoken to in ages a call.

I’ll be around here and there over the summer. Take care and talk soon until I resurface again… 🙂

Bisous,

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… 👀)

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

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