This Square Peg.

Happily Not Fitting In Since 1978.

the writer.

Simply put: the works that I produce need to thrive and be shared. We write for ourselves first, yes, but an audience is intrinsic. My family and friends have long supported my writing. And that was enough for me for a long time. It’s a big world. If 10 people I know and love like my work, hey, let’s throw a party. But there’s a comfort level in that. (See the above quote about shyness. That’s part of it, too.) Those you love are those you love. They aren’t the random reader that may stumble on your book and love it or hate it or scratch their heads or wonder who you think you are or applaud who you know you are. 

I’m looking for readers outside of my world, my comfort zone, my people. It isn’t about money. (Although, I mean, come on…) I want my audience to grow. I want to share my passion with more people. 

I have a new Instagram page: @sodavis_thewriter 

Kindly follow it, won’t you? Other than TSP as a platform to occasionally share my work, I’ll share here, as well: one clever hashtag at a time. 

breathe deeply.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

Why I walk through the stacks and inhale. 

Why I meander through libraries and bookstores, often with no intention of reading or buying, just trailing my fingers down endless rows of spines and consuming the sweet aroma of books. 

Why books can be desserts, too.

(I dedicate this post to my beloved Ms. Lindquist, who let me escape the battleground of recess (when you’re shy and slow and new to the area, recess becomes a battleground) by letting me make a home in the library while the other kids played. In there, I discovered stories about girls like me, about faraway places, about adventures and pesky little sisters, and everything in between. Ms. L., You opened up my world.)

that skin(care) thing.

By now, you get that I like when things are low key and simple, right? Low maintenance rocks my quiet world. I watched a YouTube video today about skincare products and was reminded of just that: when it comes to skincare and beauty regimens, you can imagine how utterly unfussy I am. If it takes longer than 5-10 minutes to do any of it, just no. Give me my Mac Studio Fix and my Ruby Woo. Give me my Neutrogena face scrub, a moisturizer, and let’s be done with it. Words like toner and serum might as well rhyme with binomial and integer: they mean nothing to me. (Big ups to all my Math side eye people–uninterested and confused, one fraction at a time.) The word regimen itself makes me tired.

But a girl gets older and the acne from 10th grade wants its home back, right on my forehead. Or a girl gets her face waxed and the pores become hotels who always have a vacancy. Or weird blemishes pop up and have me wondering what happened to all those superhero African juices that, post-puberty, combated whatever pimple tried to disturb the peace. And when This Square Peg realizes that her status quo must change…she reluctantly realizes that she must change it.

My current “regimen” for skincare:

  1. Wake up.
  2. Consider calling out sick. 
  3. Wonder if a murderer or serial killer is also waking up at the same time as you, being that it’s 5 something in the morning and that hour is reserved for killers.
  4. Trudge to the loo.
  5. Pull out your Neutrogena Oil-free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub and apply a dab to your brand new Vanity Planet facial brush. (You’ve used your hands to wash your face for, oh, 23 years, up until a month ago. But you saw a YouTube video and the wallet was close by and there was a discount, so…) Start cleaning. 
  6. Finish, wipe face.
  7. Apply light moisturizer. Store brand or Equate.
  8. Crawl back into bed. Kidding. Maybe.

That’s all, folks. No face masks, serums, toners, brighteners, prayers to the good skin gods. But the blemishes keep coming. Not every day, but they pop up here and there. Might be the stress from all the changes I’ve gone through these past few months. Might be the reactions to said stress, which typically involve carbs and liquids that aren’t water. I’ve long known that skincare has a lot to do with diet and nutrition and not necessarily just superhero African juices. Anyway, I’ve used Neutrogena for years, and decidedly the acne combating brands, since, as stated above, pimples were my main issue since age 15. The clusters have long gone, but one likes to decorate the center of my head every now and then. But perhaps it’s time to find something different, a new product.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it (and you will, because you love me):

  1. Tell me what skincare products work for you. 
  2. Do you sometimes battle a blemish here and there? Acne?
  3. If you understand what toner is and its point, please: share with the class. Convince me. Remember that I’m still doubtful on whether fractions mean anything in real life. (Says the woman who can’t figure out the difference between 1/2 and 1/3.)
  4. Do you have a–gulp–skincare regimen? If so, please share that with the class in the comments.

All for research purposes. My forehead thanks you. 

p.s.: I’ve recently discovered Melanglow, an awesome place to get beauty and skin advice and recommendations for us brown girls. So yay for that. Check it out. 

Fabu Fashion Round-Up: Elevator Runways

Hi there. You know about my new job. Prior to starting last week, I did a bit of shopping for some new wears, being that a number of my things were mostly ill-fitting and above all, I wanted to start nice and fresh for this new environment. I hit up Sears (seriously, their business-y stuff is awesome) and my boyfriend Ross for some pants, blouses, a new blazer, etc. Good finds. So when I arrived at the office last week: lo and behold, dear reader, the elevator taking me to my floor was filled with mirrors. (Yes, there were a few stars in my eyes following that discovery.) No more bathroom selfies for us, honey. And so courtesy of said mirrors, shown below are my office fashion choices from last week. I missed Thursday for reasons these gray streaks in my fro won’t allow me to remember. 

Day 1, aka Blurry Monroe: I snapped a quick pic, which explains the blurriness. Anyway, I went with your basic pantsuit. But that blouse gave me life. Have I told you that I love (no, love) tie-neck blouses??? Here’s a close-up.

Was drawn to the long tie, the sea of colors, the simplicity. One of my Sears finds. More tie-necks will be had, that’s for sure. (That’s my new bathroom by the way. That pose, however, isn’t new.) 

Day 2, aka Thigh Goals: “thigh goals” was the comment a friend captioned this when I posted the outfit on IG. I blushed and laughed and silently thanked my mum and all those squats. Anywho, still basic, still simple: blouse, blazer, pants. However, you’ll notice the scarf and the plastic bag. Inside the bag was my newly purchased space heater. Combined with said scarf, I came to battle, determined to beat the North wind blowing through my workspace. 

Day 3, aka Autumn Surprise: the weather forecasted for that day was significantly cool for the Dallas area, very fall-like and autumn-y. So I gleefully pulled out my beloved turtleneck and sweater and wore them to the office. A few co-workers raised their eyebrows. No comment. 

Day 5, aka Casual Friyay: I was told almost 100 times to remember that jeans were fine for casual Friyays, and so I obeyed. My tried and true skinny jeans with an animal print blouse that you can’t see and that long sweater. The yellow scarf topped it off, along with ankle booties that you also can’t see.

That’s all she wore. Oh, my hair: as you can see, straight for two days–following a much-needed trim–and then blissfully back to twist-outs and updos by the end of the week. 

What fashions are you sporting lately? Is your office occupied by the same North wind as mine?

try: Artists Series #1

If you’re an artist (writing, painting, singing, sculpting, dance, figuring out Math equations which, to me, is a true art form), perhaps, like me, your main medium is often influenced by another art form. For example, if you draw, you may love dance as a source of inspiration. As a writer, I find myself inspired by a long list of other art forms, most of them visual: the performing arts, fine arts, etc. I can look at a painting and fly off the artistic rails, so to speak, my creative drive climbing to giddy levels. (Or not. I haven’t written creatively in a while, save for this blog. And it’s why I have this blog. More on that later.) Anyway, the latter thesis statement is an introduction to a new feature here at TSP. Quite simply, I’ll be sharing things that inspire me. From paintings to photography to dance routines to music, I’d love to feature the works that have moved/inspired me in the past and in the now. You like? Cool, huh? First up: a music video.

I will say that music videos stopped being relevant to me when people started throwing dollar bills in the air and all the flashing lights took away from the wonder of the medium. I mean, come on. My first music video experience was watching a skinny guy in high-water leather pants stepping on a ground that lit up as he walked. Who or what could compare after that? (He also solved a potential gang war and walked on the moon. You know who I’m talking about.) These days, the videos I tend to watch are on YouTube and are of artists that I personally enjoy.

Several years ago, I discovered a music video called “Try” by Nelly Furtado. You guys. The video is just rich with story. I relate to story. No surprise there. When I first watched it, I was writing in my mind. It was that compelling. And when you combine Nelly’s lyrics to the visuals (that plaintive we are we are we are in love near the end of the song/video and the images that match continue to take my breath away), it’s hands down one of my favorite things to watch. And why am I drawn to it so significantly? Ultimately, the video reminds me of the primary topic I revisit time and again in my fiction, in my poetry, what I’m drawn to in life: the emotional connection between people. Whether that connection is strong or fraying, it’s the topic what I ultimately go back to.

Enjoy. In the comments, tell me whatever you like: if you enjoyed Nelly’s video, what inspires you, whether you also swooned when that skinny guy lit up every surface he touched. 

i ate a burrito and my stomach turned into an extraterrestrial.

This is a story about peer pressure. Plain and simple.

Last night, I pulled up to a stoplight and commenced with my usual voyeuristic observing of the cars and drivers around me. To my right was a guy in an SUV. The first thing I noticed was what appeared to be tears cascading down his face. Second thing: he was doing major, major damage to a burrito. We’ll get to probable tears later. What grabbed my attention was that burrito. It was soft, it looked delicious, and for the first time in my entire life, I wanted one. I’ve never, ever craved a burrito, or any other Mexican food. That’s just me. But the way he held it in his hands…like a beloved friend saying goodbye to his beloved friend before utterly consuming it…

I stared at him and that burrito until the stoplight turned green. Some minutes later, I reached for my trusty smartphone GPS, searched for a Taco Bell img_4527 (there was no time to locate authentic Mexican fare, reader, not when my belly was officially running things), found it, drove there, and ordered my version of what I saw Burrito Man eating. It was delicious. Or was it? I don’t know. I ate it so quickly that I tasted nothing but air, really.

My hunger and burrito longing had been satiated. All was right in the world. Until late in the evening, when my belly felt guilty for what happened and decided to punish me with echoes of weird alien noises, groans, sighs, and other related things. This lasted into this morning, when I became convinced that maybe something was now living inside of me?

It’s better now. Much better. Maybe we’re OK. Maybe we’re out of the woods. Maybe nothing is indeed inhabiting my body. Maybe.

But let’s go back to that moment, shall we? This wouldn’t be your Square Peg if we didn’t analyze every single iota of what happened yesterday.

  1. Yes, I wondered why Burrito Man was crying. Or was he crying? Tears of food-related joy? Was it sweat? But his car windows were closed, so the air conditioning was likely on. And he seemed thoroughly unconcerned. The world, for him, was that burrito.
  2. Honestly, yesterday was a testament to the oodles of junk I’ve been eating since I arrived in this state. I don’t doubt that it has everything to do with the hills and valleys of my fluctuating emotions. Hopefully things will get back to normal and the thought of resuming my four-day workouts won’t drive me right to comfort of my armchair. Le sigh.
  3. Did he see me staring? Did he even care?
  4. The drive-through Taco Bell guy has a story to tell for ages now: when I ordered my burrito, I asked if it was soft. “Of course it is,” he replied, chuckling. “It’s a burrito.” I informed him that it had been a long day.
  5. Living in TX now affords me the change to venture and try Mexican food, no? I’ll try it. As long as there are sweet fried plantains and beans involved. If you’re Ghanaian or West African, you feel me on this.

The end. The moral of the story: the eyes may want something, but the belly will only be temporarily appeased until it turns against you. Make wise decisions. img_4528

Have you ever eaten something that turned your digestive system into a vengeful alien? In other words, tell me all about your suffering in the comments. Please and thank you. Misery loves company.

Ma Maison et Mon Travail.

Went really French on you, didn’t I? But you’re used to that. Translated, it means my house and my job. Because, dear readers, after a month in my new surroundings, I’m happy to announce that I was recently hired at a new job and recently moved into my brand new apartment. We will pause for celebration.

Needless to say, I was anxious about these two things. Initially, I was staying with a kind, hospitable friend who allowed me to rent a room in her home while I figured out where I was going and what I was doing. My plan wasn’t to stay with her for eternity, so there was that particular anxiety. The kindness of others is always welcomed, but I also didn’t intend on overstaying my welcome. Secondly, since Idris hasn’t yet arrived with our marriage license and the key to our villa, your Square Peg needed a job.

The good things: a recruiting firm that I contacted early in the year, once I firmly decided on moving, was still quite open to helping me. Also: my car afforded me the chance, on days I wasn’t interviewing, to drive around and visit apartment complexes in the area. So after a few weeks of interviews and conversations with potential employers, and visiting an inordinate amount of complexes, and lots and lots of prayer…

Enter ma maison and mon travail. Again, let us celebrate.

Ma maison. I live in a nice, simple 1 bedroom place in a Dallas suburb. (I would be more specific, but…nope.) It’s quiet, save for a Chihuahua that occasionally has something to say, but he’s largely silent. As far as furniture, I have a bed and a very comfortable armchair. So you can imagine all the Pinterest decor boards currently overflowing with all the ideas I have for the remainders of furnishings and decorating to come. I’m a simple Square Peg: I basically want ma maison to look like Paris on a weekday. Lovely, uncomplicated, filled with croissants. Updates and photos will come.

Ma travail. It’s my third day at this new environment (a direct hire via that recruiting firm, yay), so everything is still minty and fresh and new. Nevertheless, my colleagues have been great so far and I’m acclimating well. Of course, the same Norse gods that secretly lived in my cubicle at the old OK Corral and blew icicles in the air apparently followed me here (search under “cold” to learn about my inability to stay warm; according to my mother, this is why), which resulted in purchasing a space heater and walking these halls draped in my usual scarf. But c’est la vie. I’m hopeful for this new professional path.

So here we are. Living on my own once again (it’s been twelve years since I had my very own place) and starting fresh with new employment. Onwards and upwards…

Oh, you want to celebrate again? Let’s.


No, not the number of tears I’ve cried. I’m actually doing much better here in the Lone Star State! We’ll get to the specifics in tomorrow’s post, but for now, I’d like to acknowledge that number. 306 is the number of people currently following the adventures and antics of This Square Peg! It was official yesterday. That means that 306 of you stumbled on you my little nook in the Interwebs and decided that my posts about…

  • Italian villas with Idris
  • Lupita love
  • my beloved fro
  • fictioning and poetry
  • random memories
  • Pinterest rabbit holes
  • my travelista tales
  • life as a brown, African woman who found herself, accepted her uniqueness, and decorated her lips in red
  • and everything in between

…were worth clicking on the Follow button.

And I thank you.

A thousand bowls of Jollof rice at your collective feet thank you.

Abundant e-kisses thank you.

When I returned to the blogging world with This Square Peg, it was my intent to speak on the wonders of embracing all the different nuances that make me who I am. Numbers, followers, readers–these would all be great, but I just wanted to tell my story via this blog. But what would be a blog without numbers, followers, readers? Still a blog, but certainly icing on this particular cake.  Thank you, dear readers, faithful commenters (you know who you are), and family members/friends who give This Square Peg so much love.


Yes, I moved.

Yes, I hitched up my lady pantaloons and made the decision to start over with new people, new new places, and new things.

Yes, I wept when leaving my mother, my brothers, and my sister.

Yes, I continued to weep on and off days after arriving in the Dallas area (specifically Carrollton) and still nurse a weepy homesickness that consumes here and there, especially when I’m driving. (Why do we weep when we drive? Or is it just me?)

Yes, I realized that this was a pretty significant step to take in my life and I have to say: I truly underestimated the emotional upheaval that was poised to come.

Yes, it’s lovely here.

Yes, I’ve reconnected with/met a few friends who’ve helped to assuage my aching for home and the familiar.

Yes, I’ve gotten lost on these long, winding roads and have become besties with my GPS.

Yes, I’ve slowly created a routine that I’m getting used to. quotelion

Yes, some roads have already become so familiar that I turn off the GPS when driving, and I realize that my mobile phone’s data plan thanks me for this.

Yes, it’s really hot here. For real. Like really.

Yes, I want to go home. But right now, I won’t.

Yes, the quote to the right explains how I largely feel about staying here.

Yes, I’ve wanted to blog since I got here, but I needed time to wipe these tears. And a wet laptop keyboard wouldn’t have helped anyone.

Yes, I FaceTime my people whenever I can. And I worry about them. And I think of them constantly. And I’m back in kindergarten.

And yes, despite that ache mentioned above, and the homesickness, I’m happy, excited, and curious about the future.

It’s nice to be with you again, dear reader. If you’ve ever made a move, please tell me about how you dealt with it in the comments, won’t you?

Blog at

Up ↑

Lifestyle By Cocoa

Welcome to my cozy corner of all things beautiful and inspiring.


The Young Adult's guilty pleasure...

Travel blog




sharing my experiences with the sole aim to entertain, inspire and bring joy

Murder, She Blogged

Life Lessons from the Desk of JB Fletcher


natural hair. style. mommy life.

travel, beauty, fitness, poetry, life & other random dopeness

Lauren's Lip Glossary

Los Angeles. Esthetician. Beauty Enthusiast.

Chocolaty Prints

A Ugandan girl's perspective on fashion, beauty, travel and bits of Life.



bom dia, la!

travel, poetry, and all things lovely...

ChunkyGirlCoalition (CGC)

Just because you're CHUNKY, doesn't mean you have to be FRUMPY!


Enhancing beauty with one brush at a time


“Fabrics don't make exquisite dresses, stitches do.” ― TS


Stories about one girl exploring a big world