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This Square Peg.

Happily Not Fitting In Since 1978.

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blogging

connecting…

And while the wires and strings and synapses connect, sometimes blogging and writing and This Square Pegging fall by the wayside. Nevertheless, I’m here now, dear reader. Well, I’ve always been here–but life and changes and connecting  made it a bit harder to remember to talk about the process with you. This platform wasn’t far from my mind, though. And like the love of donuts, I’ll always come back. (Take some positivity from that last statement, however you can.)

So, it’s 2017, huh? Insert wide-eyed surprised emoji here. 

But years come and years go. Whatever the numbers are on the calendar, may things continue to connect for you as they always have and always will.

Onwards and upwards…

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 #20 and #21: Late Edition.

I didn’t forget about you. But Sunday got away from me on account of…

…the delivery of my new couch! Isn’t it lovely? Head on to Blogvember #21 below to discuss the new love of my life.

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Ok, so “Late Edition” has a double meaning. First, my apologies for not Blogvembering yesterday and providing a late posting for #20. 

Second, I learned just how comfortable my new couch was when I woke up this morning around 1AM and realized that I was, not in my bed, but all wrapped in a blanket on my new sofa. So in a way, I woke up late. You get it. We made it work. Anyway, yes: in love. Let’s break down why.

  1. I love the color. I wanted a charcoal/gray look and that’s what I found.
  2. The price didn’t cause cardiac arrest. And I got a discount! 
  3. As stated above, it’s certainly a comfortable one. Aside from the post-sleep disorientation of realizing that I wasn’t in my bedroom at 1AM (aliens?), it was nice to know that my new pal had already made itself welcome in my home.

Yay…

Onwards and couchwards, dear reader. 

Blogvember #2: Deliverance.

Back in the day, I was a proud purveyor of the poker face. Betraying nothing on the surface while all kinds of madness/side eye/frustrations went on underneath. Perhaps it was a by-product of growing up painfully shy: I didn’t want anyone to notice me anyway, so it wasn’t necessary to communicate, even via my face, what I was feeling. 

Dear reader: that poker face is gone. 

Its absence was brought to my attention some years ago by my bestie, who commented that my face hid nothing. “Oh, really? It used to,” I replied, shocked and slightly hurt that my poker face powers had diminished. “Not anymore, cool cat,” she said, highlighting one of her many nicknames for me. (Another one is Muffin Breath. We’ll talk about that later.)

Alas, it was true. The fact was that I was no longer that withdrawing little girl who was content to observe without reacting. I reacted. And anyone could tell exactly how I felt. Something about this change made me proud. Sure: I’m a big believer in keeping calm. I mean, unless Idris is in the room, I’ve never been a proponent of losing your cool. Being the daughter of a mother who has repeated time and time again to always keep my dignity (advice that has brought me through a lot of interesting times) means that yes, I certainly try to maintain my composure. But maintaining my composure also means that my narrowed eyes in your direction is clear communication that whatever you’re doing/saying ain’t fooling me. And I think that’s the point, dear reader. If life is a poker game, at this point, I’d rather you look right at me and know how I feel about a matter. Plus, I don’t know how to play poker so I’m basically there to eat your snacks. 

Are you a poker face purveyor? Or, like me, has your ability to mask everything flown the coop?

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?

This Square Peg: Redux.

Happy first day of November, party people. Did that greeting seem unexcited and blah? Well, blah is the operative word. I posted my feelings about November back on November 1, 2015. Re-posted below for your reading pleasure. Enjoy the redux.

*******************************

Blahvember?

Ever since I fell in love with autumn (since 1986 when we stepped foot on American soil and I experienced my first fall, in case you were wondering), I’ve wondered about November. 

What is this month that pales in comparison to October, my favorite month? It doesn’t have the roaring engines of September, when fall begins. It certainly doesn’t have the romance/je ne sais quoi and ego-inflating that I associate with October (it is the month in which I was born, hence the mild inflation of my ego when I remind my mother that her life’s purpose was realized when her eldest child was born). And by December, I’ve forgotten all about fall and begin the dreading of winter. So, essentially, November is the stepping stone between wonder and dread. The head-scratching interruption. The red-headed stepchild of the fall season. 

All that said, I’m officially making an effort not to do November wrong like this anymore. And, hey, I’ve always had a place in my heart for gingers and forgotten stepchildren. So this November:

  1. I resolve not to long for October. Much.
  2. I resolve not to side-eye a month as if it were the pesky seat-dweller next to me on the train who is determined to squeeze me in until I stop breathing.
  3. I resolve to do fun things during Blahvember–I mean November, such as weekend trips to see the fall leaves (even though, let’s face it, November means they begin to lose their vibrant colors, but whatever), spending much-needed time with friends (not complaining about dulling leaves), and eating all kinds of pumpkin-related pastries because it’s still fall. Thanks, November! (Even though my belly doesn’t thank you, but whatever.)
  4. I resolve to remember that November (you’re welcome for that rhyme) actually holds dreaded December at bay for several days, so this is good. Kind of like a moat around my castle. Wait. Did medieval marauding bands really find watery ditches all that intimidating? Don’t answer that.

And so, dearest November, you will suffer from my irritated and/or apathetic regard no longer. I will change the parameters of our uninspiring, tedious relationship. If it’s the last thing I do. Unless something else comes up. Anyway, I wanted to leave you with an inspiring quote about November, but–there weren’t any.

Happy November…

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.

I Didn’t Forget.

In July 2005, my family lost my beloved father in death. Naturally, all things suffered because of this loss, which meant my overall desire to do anything. One of those things was writing. desireSignificant because writing has always been my tool for dealing with personal pain; my longstanding avenue for catharsis. But I didn’t want to pick up a pen or type a few words on the computer. I didn’t want to do anything. And yet, because writing chose me and not the other way around, my art didn’t thoroughly abandon me. I found myself penning a few poems here and there, some about my father; I started a short story or two. But by 2007, I was done. Even if your art chooses you, you have to feed it with inspiration if you want it to remain by your side. There was no inspiration. I was blocked, absent of ideas, and basically a functioning griever, going through the motions of life and work and all that came along with it. At that time, I was temping at an architectural design company. Eventually, they decided to take me as a permanent staff member. One afternoon, I mentioned my two-year long writing block to one of my supervisors. She asked me if I blogged. I replied that no, I didn’t. She said the following. “Blogging will help you get the ideas and your creative mind flowing. Believe me. Try it. It’ll work.” Well, This Square Peg tends to be obedient when given suggestions. (Don’t confirm that statement with my mother. She will refute it.) That very evening in 2007, I started my first blog.

ecoI knew that there wouldn’t be fiction or poetry flowing from these fingers. Not yet. No, I simply began to document my thoughts. Having kept a journal since I was 13 years old all the way through college, I knew how to pen the endless sentences that ran through my mind. (I still have those journals and I still read them from time to time and oh, boy.) So I began to look at blogging like journaling, except it was online and open for a few people to read whenever they found my little corner on the web. And I wrote and wrote and wrote. About my days, my adventures at work, my sadness, my goals and dreams. I wrote with the intent of merely occupying my mind. That happened and then some. It was also a great source of accountability–whereas a physical journal could just sit there, hopelessly ignored by me, each post I wrote helped me to be accountable to my goal of writing regularly. Eventually, the blog became almost like a friend who was there to listen while I talked to myself and whomever was reading. For six years, I blogged faithfully, even after the creative side of my mind stretched its arms, did away with the cobwebs, and began to churn once again.

My first post on that blog was entitled “So I Don’t Forget.” Blogging/journaling so I don’t forget my love of words, the utter joy of stringing words together. Needless to say, that little blog restored that joy exponentially. After a slight break with blogging, I came right back to my old friend through This Square Peg. I didn’t forget.

Shout out to that former supervisor who gave me that advice years ago. And everlasting thanks to my father, my Daddy–he was Daddy from the start and always will be–who loved the arts and generously gave that love with me.

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