Blogtober #20: The Social Media Post.

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If you follow me on @frowriter on IG, you may have noticed that my last post was dated November 2019. Yes, you read that right. Almost an entire year has passed since I last posted.

Why, you may ask? If anything, isn’t my blogger “brand” dependent on having an active social media presence? Let’s chat about it.

The “Brand”. You know what, dear reader? I started This Square Peg largely as an online journal. To just keep writing, especially when the loss of my father and the resulting grief in 2005 basically took my identity as a writer and as a creative away. Maintaining a blog helped me to keep this creative mind going, to share this very interesting life of mine, and to keep a sense of writing accountability. The whole branding thing has never really been a thing for me. Yes, I’d love to eventually monetize this space. Because, passive income, right? Your girl is a singleton and has to take care of herself; why not do that on the side via something she loves? But I’m not really racing towards that. Baby steps. For the most part, I consider this space my little corner of the blogosphere and folks are finding me through my words and not necessarily my social media posts. And I’m definitely okay with that right now. (And welcome/bienvenue to my new followers! Yay!)

Social Media Fatigue. I got tired, you guys. Of posting. Of updating. There are tons of articles that discuss social media fatigue and burnout and I reached that point late last year. Personally, last year was a rough one for me. That played a large part in no longer feeling the need to update my social media pages. I didn’t feel like it. Explains why @frowriter fell off the map around November of 2019. The time will come when I feel like posting again, I think. Until then, this has been a welcomed break.

At the end of the day, what brings you contentment and allows a peace of mind trumps anything that doesn’t incur those feelings. Find your happy place, grab a cushion, and enjoy.

Bon Tuesday.

Blogtober #19: Geneva.

In 2004, I visited dear friends who lived in Pontarlier, France. Since Pontarlier is located close to the Swiss border, my friend Clara advised that I fly to Geneva, Switzerland, and she would pick me up from there. Yes, thoughts of Switzerland danced in my 24 year-old head.

It was the most beautiful place I had ever seen.

A few days after arriving and settling in, we drove back to Geneva and spent the better part of the day there. Here are some photos of that day.

• Those photos (and all the photos from that trip) were taken with a disposable camera, after which I developed the film at our local Walmart. If all those words seem foreign to you, this is how photography happened pre-smartphone.

• Switzerland sparkled. It gleamed. I felt like I was walking inside a jewel.

• I want to go back.

One of the best trips I’ve taken. Do you have memorable places you’ve visited? Pretty sure you do; feel free to share them in the comments.

Blogtober #13: Do Your Thing.

Since returning to my natural texture almost eight years ago (naturalversary is in December yay), I’ve had many, many, many hairstyles. Natural hair opened an experimentation door for me, undoubtedly; from varying lengths to color changes to everything in between, I managed to diffuse any boredom with styling and not shock my mother too much with my changes. All that said: I made a ‘lil natural hair compilation video: from 2012-2020. Music: Do Your Thing, ‘*NSYNC.

Bon Tuesday.

Blogtober #12: Bookworming It.

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Welcome to Monday. Since this time of year–for me, anyway–breeds even more reading than usual, I wanted to share my top four favorite books of all time with y’all. (Fun fact: I declared that I would never combine you + all once moving to Texas. So, yeah. Y’all it is. Never say never.)

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To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee. What can I even say about this inspiring book? You know it. You either read it and/or watched the film adaptation in your classroom growing up. You fell in love with Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch. You were moved by this engrossing tale of lessons and race relations in the Deep South. You loved reading about Scout and Jem and Boo Radley and Dill. You were enraptured by the trial and case of Tom Robinson. This book was everything for me. As a budding writer and just as a person, I’ll never forget how this novel made me feel.

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen. Loooooookkkkk. Let me tell you. My 12th grade English teacher was the meanest lady this side of Planet Earth. I wish I were exaggerating. Nevertheless, I will forever thank her for inciting my enduring love for Jane Austen and her writing. Never have I loved fictional characters more (Elizabeth Bennet: personal hero; Mr. Darcy: husband), for one thing, and never have I adored the witty writing style and voice that an author created even more. It felt as if Jane was talking to me privately about these people she knew.

A Good Man is Hard to Find (and other stories), Flannery O’Connor. If Austen significantly influenced my writing style, then Ms. O’Connor majorly informed my desire to end a story with a bang. She knocked my literary socks off when I discovered her in college. Not only were her observations about human nature absolutely unrelenting, but so were the finales of her fascinating stories. (Seriously.) My love of writing short stories was also influenced by her; there’s nothing more enticing than fitting what could be a novel inside a short piece of work, which Flannery did over and over again.

Everything written by Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, and Lois Lowry. You’ve likely heard it before, but most writers begin as voracious, devoted readers. Well, these three authors began the ball rolling for me. Memories of ensconcing myself in library stacks surrounded by their stories of intelligent, verbose heroines, annoying siblings, and the pain and discovery of girlhood are never far from mind. They began the blueprint for me. And yes, I’d read all those books over again now and still relate to them.

I have tons of booky favorites, needless to say, so another post with a new batch of favorites will come. Here’s where I’ll tell you that gone are the days when I had stacks and stacks of actual books that my mother threatened to get rid of if I didn’t arrange them with some semblance of order. These days, I enjoy maintaining a digital bookshelf and read everything on my Kindle app. (I’d love an actual library, but the living arrangements don’t presently have room for that. Maybe in the next place I find with more room.) I also have a Kindle Unlimited membership through Amazon and yes, it is awesome. A friend of mine knew how much I loved the whole library book borrowing system and recommended Kindle Unlimited–and I’m glad she did. With this membership, I can borrow books and discover an array of authors whenver I like. At present, I’m reading Mindy Kaling’s latest six series essay collection, Nothing Like I Imagined (Except for Sometimes), and the convenience of borrowing the titles and simply returning them when I’m done is the best. Gift the membership to yourself and/or to other bookworms in your life here.

Happy Reading and bon Monday.

Blogtober #11: Sundays.

Sundays were my favorite growing up.

Comics. Some of you out there remember newspapers. I still love them. When I was a wee Square Peg, my pops would buy the giant Sunday version of The Washington Post, which meant a voluminous comics section, which meant a color comics section, at that (the weekday comics were black and white), which meant me spending hours upon hours in our basement, reading and laughing at the antics of Beetle Bailey, Blondie, Cathy, and breathlessly seeing the latest in Peter Parker’s unrequited love for Mary Jane Watson. It was glorious. I also loved reading the Style section and perusing others parts of the paper, filling my mind with facts and people and stories. I’d wait for my Dad to finish reading and then he’d over a section to me. These were our moments and I remember them well.

Coffee. This didn’t only happen on Sundays, but the memory of Sundays and doing this is vivid: my mom would drink her warm cup of java and leave a little behind for me. I’d “sneak” into the kitchen and finish it up, swooning over her masterful mix of coffee, cream, and sugar. Glorious. These days, I can’t handle the caffeine like I used to, but boy, did I love standing by the kitchen counter and taking in that warm sweetness.

Feeling nostalgic today. Did you have a favorite day growing up?

Blogtober #10: but for why, Target?

Saturday means groceries and apparently, this Saturday meant breathtaking sticker shock when the lovely cashier pronounced my total at the Target register.

Are those numbers correct, ma’am?

Sure, there were a few things in my cart that I didn’t originally have in mind when making my mental grocery list. But still. Did I purchase furniture? No. So why did my bill look like I bought a gold-plated lamp?

Le sigh.

I enjoy Target for a variety of reasons, the adherence to masks and social distancing by most of the other shoppers being the main thing. But does anyone else feel a sting in the wallet when it comes to paying for purchases??

Ah, well. C’est la vie and bon Saturday.

Blogtober #5: Autumn ‘Fits.

So, I mentioned the intent to de-bum during this pandemic. It’s become a bit easier these past few days because I’ve been forced to actually get dressed and look decent for video meetings at work. All that said, largely being comfortable while working from home hasn’t stopped me from perusing Pinterest and pinning outfit inspo. Pandemic or not, planning to look fly remains a thing, no? Here are seven outfits that slayed my eyes. Commentary will follow.

Signs of Outfit Slayage

1. Color! This time of year tends to elicit (from me, anyway, when I left the house) plenty of brown and black. These outfits shutter all of that. I absolutely love all the color and shades I see here, especially mustard. Big mustard lover.

2. Patterns Shmatterns. Do you see polka dot against polka dot there? I mean, come on. Full on adoration. These ensembles are just creative and not tied to so-called “rules” of styling and fashion. Super stylish and unique.

3. Basics but not basic. It’s me, so you know a pleated skirt had to be in there. My tried-and-true styling pieces and general aesthetic are evident with all of these ‘fits: feminine, chic, modern with a still vintage-y touch. That said, I recognize a change, even in these outfit choices. My sense of style (and you’ll see this via my Pinterest page, too) seems to be shifting toward a more modern feel than usual. I welcome this. It’s refreshing.

I’d love to find my versions of these ensembles and play around with them this autumn. But: pandemic life. Nevertheless, I’m not above online shopping and in-home fashion shoots. Let’s?