Thursday, January 17, 2019

Table for one, please.

Excerpt of "Swept up in El Nino"

Soooo, Table for One is an actual, factual thing. (Scroll to the very bottom to find out how to snag the full issue today.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Lost one


Generally svelte and stealth,
untouchable and untamed,
inaccessible and incognito.

Predator to prey.

Captured, caged and choked by fog and false mercy,
but eager to escape

back to clarity and anonymity.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Story time: Give me two pair. I need two pair.

Photo by Mikael Cho on Unsplash

Other than a fly pair of mint green mesh and suede pumas, a meh leather pair of pink and brown pumas and a random pair of white Reebok Classics, I’ve never really bought and worn sneakers.

I figured I don’t really need them, although there have been periods where I tried to be athletic and walk the 0.8 miles around my apartment complex. Thank God for the footwear I happened to have. But for the most part I’ve always been a heels and boots, sandals and flip-flops type of woman because I’m usually not that casual.

So this past Saturday was an Old Navy flip-flop day. It was also a sporadically rainy day, partly a precursor to Hurricane Florence, I suppose. I rode with my cousin to our little rural hometown so she could pick up her mom and drive her to Richmond for a weeklong staycation. It was also a little road trip and outing for us, too.

Her mom’s house is situated in the middle of a huge family plot flanked by the woods, some flowery bushes with occasional roses, peonies and figs, tall pine trees and three other homes. On any given day, it isn’t unusual to find any of us crossing backyards to and fro from one house to the next and back again. On any given day except this past Saturday, that is.


I recently had a revelation surrounding the job-seeking experience within corporate America. Perhaps I was spoiled, having known the hiring managers and most of the team members already at the last four companies where I worked. But there was still a search, albeit informal, and interview process. I still needed to know my shit and sell it, too. Either I forgot how to play that game or I was oblivious to how ruthless and calculated it really is. Other than the time when an HR representative mailed me an actual certified letter (back in the late 90’s) to tell me that I was unqualified – to which my immediate reaction was, “Bitch, you petty” – I had never encountered such blatant dismissal.

A few years ago, I applied for a math teacher position at a private school that was advertised in the tiny newspaper back in my hometown. A very eager and polite woman called me within an hour of receiving my emailed resume and scheduled an interview for the following week. She called me back less than 30 minutes later to change the date to a few days after that so that she could accommodate the acting head of the school’s schedule. The meeting sounded promising.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Story time: 5:08 p.m.

Water Lily by Jay Castor on Unsplash.

(A variation of this post was originally published in 2013 as part of a 21-day meditation challenge. Like most daily challenges, I didn’t complete it.)

5:08 p.m.

I’m finally trying to meditate. Unlike my former yoga peers who occasionally drifted into light slumber during final relaxation, I’ve yet to master meditation. My mind becomes disobedient because it refuses to silence and my body involuntarily moves because I subconsciously feel a random mosquito grazing on my left elbow, which indirectly causes my nape to itch and my right calf to spasm. Three years later I’ll watch an episode of The Haunting and listen to a woman recount how she went so deeply within that she resurfaced with something dark and dangerous.

I wasn’t trying to end up tormented and traumatized. However as I journey along this intersectional path of purpose and passion, I understand that meditation and prayer are maps to confirmation and clarity.

But fortunately for that particular day’s challenge, my task is to only reflect on my inner dialogue. Deepak Chopra stated that he meditates for two hours but obviously realizing he was talking to mind-control virgins, he quickly added that 15-20 minutes should suffice.

I lay down on my side, my left arm crooked at my not-itchy-in-real-life elbow, my left hand is numb by my heavy head. My heart races. I attribute it to the fact that I’ve just carried an overfilled laundry basket of clean clothes.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Monday musing: The evolution of Pencil and Chalk

  1. I can’t believe I launched this blog a little over five years ago. 
  2. I’m glad I bought this domain because didn’t introduce me as a boss bish. I’m also glad I didn’t leave it as The Skinny DC Writer because somewhere along the way, I outgrew DC and longed to live in a new city. 
  3. I’m mad that I didn’t actively defend this space, consequently reinforcing outside opinions that my blog is a mere hobby. I never fully articulated that these words construct my writing portfolio, and this writing portfolio is the lifeline to some semblance of a livelihood. 
  4. I’ve accepted that a majority of my fans will be strangers, at least in the formative years, and that many who know me could never fathom that this “little blog” will ever become a serious space or at least one to rival a larger platform. But I’m learning to not internalize it as rejection or discouragement or see it as a reflection of my true talent because in reality, I’m the shit.
    That time Aunt Dee from Moesha retweeted my essay.
  5. I’m disappointed that I wasn’t in a position to remain consistent. But I stretched myself too thin, opened myself up too wide to even more outside opinions of what else I could do rather than fully immersing myself into what I want to do.