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This Square Peg.

Happily Not Fitting In Since 1978.

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Unrelenting Excitement. (And Other Things.)

I think that best describes how I felt when I heard that my favorite royal Ginger, Prince Harry, had become engaged to his sweetheart, actress Meghan Markle. I won’t even link to any articles about this news; if it’s the first time you’re hearing about this engagement, we just…we have nothing to say to each other. But I will at least share my favorite photo of the couple during the engagement announcement.

harrymegs

Fresh-faced, happy, excited. Love it, love it, love it.

Needless to say, I will be throwing a royal wedding watch party for my friends and I to enjoy and squeal and point and swoon over. Because we’re 12 and we don’t care. Very few things are happening right now in the world that cause any kind of excitement and joy, so this one is it. 2018 royal wedding, here we come.

What else do we need to talk about? Are you wondering where in the world I’ve been?

I’ve been here. Well, not per se. But “here” as in around and attempting to  thrive and survive here in the Lone Star state. I’ll do a quick rundown of life so far in the land of Square Peg:

  1. About a month ago, I moved into my brand new apartment. Interestingly enough, with good planning, moving doesn’t have to feel like spikes being introduced to your flesh. Imagine that. (Thanks a lot to my sissy, who is far more organized when it comes to that kind of thing and supplied advice and links to moving articles for my reading pleasure.) The process went well. And I love my new apartment. It’s closer to town and to my friends and my place of worship: good, great, and excellent.
  2. I’ve been officially added as a paid contributor for The Maria Antoinette. Getting paid to do something I love, my dear reader. It’s surreal. Not only that, I’ve been invited to write submissions that deal with a topic I’m very passionate about: empowering women. My pieces will always deal with how a woman can look in a mirror and see her roccrown, and the journey to getting there if she doesn’t. Utterly grateful and happy.
  3. Work is good.
  4. I still love Idris.
  5. The End.

Honorable mention: I’m still working on my other writing projects. My third collection of fiction. A book of essays. Another book of essays. An actual novel. When will I accomplish all these things, you wonder? I’m wondering the same thing. Apparently I must enjoy juggling. But hopefully 2018 will lead checking those projects off my list.

C’est tout, folks. (That’s all.) Tell me what you’ve been up to.

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The Frompadour Files.

Oh, hey. Have you missed me as much as I’ve missed you, dear reader? Have you longingly gazed at your notifications, hoping to see that I’ve reached out to you with another post? No? Well, I love you anyway.

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about this fro (known as She) on my larger-than-average head. Let me catch you up: for the past several months or so, She’s been giving me life. Why? Because She’s been obedient! We all know how She does her own thing and follows her own rules and decides when she wants to feel moisturized and so on. But for the past several months, She’s been actually responding to my attempts at styling and care-taking. It’s been slightly surreal. But I’ll take it. Anyway, since the dawn of summer, I decided to start fashioning her into vintagey pompadour styles that She’s really responded to. Take a look.

I’ve loved the creative, natural hair updo look forever. Throw in that retro feel that some of the styles evoke and I became an immediate fan and decided to try my hand at them. Even better: the style protects my dear ends, which are tucked away comfortably while I wear these styles. Here’s a quick how-to (or how I do) on them:

  1.  I start with hair that’s been stretched by an old twist-out, or Bantu knot-out, or really any style that I’ve worn for a while. Note that stretched doesn’t necessarily mean straight. Some naturalistas do these styles on straightened hair, but I like to just have my hair stretched to a malleable point.
  2. I then apply moisturizer or whatever styling cream I want to use. Before that, I like to spritz my hair with a tiny bit of water and/or leave-in conditioner, but not so much as to lose the stretch and bring on le shrinkage.
  3. Now I style. Perhaps here, you’re waiting for some rhyme or reason to how I style the hair into the frompadour (fro + pompadour)? Sorry. I don’t have one. I literally stare in the mirror and start moving my hair around to see what I like. Sometimes I want a front swoop thing like you see in the photos. Or I want to create a “flower” with my hair in the back. It’s really up to what I end up doing. As long as I have an abundance of pins and a bristle brush to keep sides and edges smooth (to no avail), I just end up with a nice style that I wear for a week or so. img_0312

That’s all she wrote. I get some of my ideas from Pinterest, of course, where you’ll find plenty of ladies with similar styles. Barring the falling into the Pinterest rabbit hole, that’s a great resource for ideas. YouTube, as well.

So what new things are you doing for the summer summer summertime?

 

 

issa new contribution.

Yep, I’m basically going to tell you every time a write-up that I contribute to The Maria Antoinette goes live. Because of my enduring love for your support of my writing efforts. And because this self-promotion-as-a-writer thing (which we will discuss later) is a new goal of mine, and unlike my goal to avoid bread, I’ll be sticking to this one.

The new post is here.

highfive

As always, feel free to comment, share, dance with me, whatever you like.

This writing journey continues…

Confetti Explosions and Things of that Nature.

It’s official.

Like really official.

I’ve been sitting on this news for a while until it was official official. And now…

drumroll

I was chosen as a guest contributor for The Maria Antoinette, a beauty/hair/lifestyle/fashion website.

!!!!

That in itself was amazing to be chosen. But even better?

My first contribution to the site is now live.

tina

The excitement and gratitude is real, you guys. This here blog fills me with joy, of course, as well as every single thing related to my writing, my creative works, everything. But to see my contribution up and to read my words…it’s both unreal and super cool.

Here’s the link to my piece: https://themariaantoinette.com/2017/06/29/cover-girl-no-more-four-reasons-i-wont-hide-my-bathing-suit-this-summer/

Read, comment, like, all those things. But above all: thank you for your support!

*cue confetti*

speechless.

flannery

Writing fiction has been a no-go, party people. And I miss writing fiction. Yes, I’ve written some poems quite recently (here and here, if you feel like reminiscing), but I am 100 percent a writer, lover, and creator of fiction. I don’t exactly know what’s going on. Let’s think it through:

  1. Is it because I haven’t given my muse other platforms of art to be inspired by? Honestly, living here in the Lone Star state is still very much a transition: personally, emotionally, and especially artistically.  I’ve yet to stroll down the cool, marble hallways of an art museum. I have been to a few concerts, yes. Most recently, I sat in the audience, tears cascading my face, while Alvin Ailey dancers took my entire life with their powerful, breathtaking performances. That was inspiring, absolutely. It got me writing. But the moment was kind of fleeting. Is it because I’m not exploring art more?
  2. Is it because I’m a lazy writer? Look, there are times when an idea comes to me and I start typing and…I stop. Because I don’t want to do it anymore. Because I don’t feel like it. Because I just want to read People Magazine online and mentally judge the choices of silly celebrities.  Because I want to scroll through Instagram and “happen” to find photos of Idris. Because because because. But real talk? Even though the distractions are awesome and it’s nice to turn off the creative brain once in a while, I feel queasy when it happens. I want to write. Is it because I’m not trying hard enough?
  3. Is it because I’ve run out of ideas? Notice above that I respond when an idea comes to me. So they still come. In fact, some great ones have come and they continue. So what’s going on, dear reader? Is it because I let some of them just sit there, unacknowledged?

I’m sure you’re sitting there shaking your head and muttering that some of these questions/problems have obvious solutions. Go to the museum, then. Stop being lazy, then. Acknowledge those ideas, then.

Yeah yeah yeah.

I just wanted to write this post. Get it? I just need to keep writing. Even if it’s not fiction. Maybe that will come. For now, just keep writing, Square Peg. Just keep writing…

A to Z…

I saw this while strolling around in the blogosphere and thought it was a neat, creative idea. Not that you don’t know almost everything you need to know about This Square Peg, but like the waistband of all my winter clothes, your author keeps changing. See below and if you’re a blogger, have a go, won’t you?az

  1. Age: 38 and feeling great.
  2. Bed size: Queen, but I honestly feel like those chumps fooled me. Or maybe I’m having twin bed PTSD from back in the day?
  3. Chore that you hate: Hmm. Most of them allow me to daydream and come up with ideas for my fiction, so…nah, let’s be real. Something about a sinkful of dishes gives me the dry heaves.
  4. Dogs: None, but there’s a teacup terrier waiting for me out there.
  5. Essential start to your day: A nice drink of cold water to restart my system.
  6. Favorite color: Brown.
  7. Gold or Silver: I tend to favor silver, but there’s something about gold.
  8. Height: I think I’m 5’7, but my siblings insist that I’m 5’5. Not true.
  9. Instruments you play: I play a mean recorder. In other words, none.
  10. Job title: Exec Assistant
  11. Kids: 0
  12. Live: Texas
  13. Mother’s name: If I won’t share my Government Name with y’all, I won’t share hers, either. But it’s a lovely name.
  14. Nicknames: Princess, Muffin Breath, Cool Cat, the Hamburglar, etc. Out of them all, Princess seems like the ticket to Buckingham Palace, no?
  15. Overnight hospital stays: They kicked me out.
  16. Pet peeves: The word “foodie” makes my teeth itch. There are others, but you don’t have the time and I can’t type for an eternity.
  17. Quote from a movie: “This is America, Jack.” — Coming to America (I quote that movie more than should be allowed, I think.)
  18. Right or left handed: Righties rule! (But I secretly have always been intrigued by lefties. There was a time when I was shooting for ambidexterity.)
  19. Siblings: 3 of them: younger than me and super bossy.
  20. Time you wake up: 615AM-ish. The alarm goes off at 5:50AM, but nah, that’s just not happening.
  21. Underwear: YES. Oh, the type? Uh…The safe kind, where everything stays in place.
  22. Vegetable you hate: All of them. But I force myself to eat because I don’t want scurvy.
  23. What makes you run late: If I don’t pick out my clothes the night before, standing in the closet and trying to make decisions. Le sigh.
  24. X-Rays you’ve had: A lot.
  25. Yummy food that you love: Fried plantains and every pastry ever created.
  26. Zoo animal: Baby chimps make me want to adopt them.

All she wrote. Try it!

Blogvember #30: The Final Day.

Well, dears, today ends 30 days of Blogvembering. Went by pretty fast, no? I enjoyed every minute of it, even those moments when I was about to drift off into sleep and recalled with panic that I forgot to blog. And I admit to cheating when those times happened by blogvembercombining days, but a blog post is a blog post. Don’t sue me because I’ll represent myself and win, owing to several years of watching lawyer shows. Anyway. It was a pleasure. And it was awesome to be mostly regular with blogging, which is what I try to shoot for.  What I learned:

  1. I honestly don’t prefer blogging on the WordPress app on my phone. You know? Is that weird? I like the clickety clack of an actual keyboard when I’m chatting with you. Phones are for Pinterest rabbit holes and sending social media screenshots to your enablers friends. Not blogging. Next time, I’ll set aside time to actually get in front of my laptop rather than my phone.
  2. There were days when I had nothing to say. Like life. So a photo blog post was the next best thing. They really are worth 1,000 words.
  3. There were days when I had plenty to say. But peering down at my phone to type…I just wasn’t about that life. So we’ll revisit those discarded topics for general bloggery.
  4. November actually came through. What a concept.

It was fun. And now, because it’s also Wednesday, let’s end with one of our favorite features, shall we?

mpg1
Do you know this guy?

Let me provide a reminder.

mpg2
Yes. That smoldering face from the first photo was your first crush and my forever boo: Zach Morris, the star of Saved by the Bell. Mark-Paul Gosselaar. He’s aged well, no? Like unrecognizable well. Anyway, grown man status. Those memories of sitting in front of the TV, chin in palm, dreamy-eyed and wishing I attended Bayside High will never fade. Happy Wednesday, MPG. We’ll always have The Max.

Bon Wednesday and thanks for your support during Blogvember. Onwards and upwards…

Blogvember #1: Sorry, Blogtober.

Oh, did you think you’d only receive one post from me today? Not so, dear reader. I’m officially announcing that today begins Blogvember: I’ll be blogging every single day this month. Woo hooooo…

If you remember, I participated in Blogtober both in 2014 and in 2015. But since October kinda got away from me as far daily blogging, we’ll try for this month.

Blogging daily during my favorite month would have been a treat. But life happens. And honestly, the absence of a traditional autumn happened. By now, you know that I left the East Coast for Texas. And though several locals here have assured me that it gets chilly around this time of year (as 84 balmy degrees currently makes itself home in the atmosphere), there still won’t be the crispness and beauty and orange that encompasses the electricity I feel when autumn comes. Without that personal, seasonal, visual excitement to accompany this year’s Blogtober, it fell by the wayside for me.

But we always say onwards and upwards, around here, don’t we? Burnished leaves and orange moons or no, here comes Project Blogvember: 30 days of posts from yours truly. Will you join me?

306.

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.

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