IWSG Day, Celebrations & Remembrance

Happy IWSG Day! Can you believe we’re halfway through 2020? And despite the upheaval, unrest, hurt and anger, we’re still coming together as a community. Lending each other support. Thanks for bringing us together goes to ninja extraordinaire Alex Cavanaugh.

The awesome co-hosts for the June 3rd posting of the IWSG are: Pat Garcia, J.Q. Rose, and Natalie Aguirre!

Interested in joining us? Click on the badge above. Our Twitter hashtag and handle are #IWSG and @TheIWSG.

So what’s going on with me this month?

You mean despite living in six months of what must be a Stephen King story? Well, this month’s post, instead of focusing solely on the dreadfulness of the year so far. Today’s post I’m reminding myself that there are things to celebrate.

The biggest of all is that I’ve been made an aunt again this past weekend. Unfortunately, I’m unable to meet my new nephew until the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed and or resolved. Have several pictures of him so far and swear my new nephew and my youngest could be brothers. My nephew looks exactly like my son when he was born.

Another thing to celebrate that it’s been one whole year since I’ve made the decision to go natural. Instead of doing the big chop, my hair has been in transition since May 2019. I’d worn protective styles like faux locs and braids as my hair returned to its natural state. And couldn’t believe when I took my braids out earlier this year how thick my natural hair was. Almost forgotten. But I know it now. 

Thanks to YouTube videos, I’m learning how to manage my hair. Finally got the hang of doing braid outs but my problem is that my curls have a bit of frizz and only lasts for a day. By day two, it’s more frizzy than curly. I’ve yet to find the right curling cream that keeps my curls from frizzing and lasting longer. What’s more, I have to learn how to put my hair in protective styles too. Finally did flat twists the other night. It was big, chunky, it wasn’t parted straight and one twist in the back unraveled, but I did it. All I need to do is practice because practice makes perfect. And now I have another hairstyle to do besides a high bun and braid outs. Especially as it’ll be a long while before I return to the hair salon.

Another thing I’m celebrating is that The Match Game anthology finally came in the mail. It arrived this past week. As I’ve mentioned on other social media, I got a bit teary eyed holding the book in my hands turning to the page of my story. Haven’t read the anthology in full yet but did skim through my short story a bit and think I got a bit cheesy/corny at the end.

Another big celebration is coming soon. I’ll be another year older in a few days. Yup, I’m a June baby! And to all the other June babies, I have only one thing to say…HAPPY BIRTHDAY MONTH!

June 3 question – Writers have secrets! What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?

Hmmm…secrets? That my stories are inspired and influenced by my love of anime and manga isn’t much of a secret. Although…not sure if this counts as a secret but I have an unconscious habit I’ve become aware of. I name the villains in my stories with the same alphabet letter. The closest comparison I can make is the Duffer Brothers’ Stranger Things. They tend to kill off characters whose name begins with the letter B each season. I’m unsure whether I’ll continue doing so on purpose. Or use it as a red herring in future stories. The answer to that is as secret to me as it’d be for readers.

Do you have secrets readers would never know from your work? Have any celebrations going on in your life or looking forward to? What are you grateful for? How will you celebrate your birthday this month?

PS PitMad begins tomorrow and they’ve added a new hashtag, #BVM (Black Voices Matter). The hashtag was born from a suggestion. And is for use by black creatives pitching their stories in the event. Still have nothing ready to pitch but I’ll be on Twitter RTing pitches to show support. Good luck!

PSS My former college professor posted this on FB and so I’m sharing it with you. Spoken word poet, performing artist and LGBTQ rights political activist Staceyann Chin is holding a virtual poetry workshop. Poetry & Protest: The Personal & Political takes place on Zoom July 2nd from 11am to 1:30pm.

We Need Diverse Books the Walter Grants application is now open for unpublished diverse writers and illustrators. You have until June 30th or when 300 applicants have submitted until it closes. Hurry and apply. And don’t forget to read the submission guidelines.

Though it’s good to celebrate, we must also remember. To George Floyd and his family. To protesters and activists. And to policemen down on one knee and conversing peacefully with protesters.

As I listen to FreeQuency’s poem, I wonder how many more times I’ll think of this poem in the coming years. How many more names I’ll add on while listening to it.

I hope everyone continues to stay safe and practice caution and let us stand together.


    • Thank you. Next step is to submit, submit, submit so that more of my stories are out there.

      In a way it’s been kind of freeing not having to go to the salon every 3-4 months to straighten my hair. With advice found from other naturals through their YT videos and patience, I hope to grow my natural hair down to my shoulder in at least a year or two. By then, I’d have learned new styles to do with my hair.


  1. Congrats on being in the anthology. You have every reason to have tears in your eyes. Also Congrats on going natural. I went natural five years ago and through youtube videos and a very good salon that gives me an intensive olaplex treatment once a month my hair looks fabulous.
    Take care and enjoy your success and thanks for being a part of the IWSG.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Pat. Hoping to make myself teary eyed again and again.

      And aren’t YT videos amazing?! Don’t know where I’d be without them…nope, yes I do. I’d be completely lost. Before I started straightening my hair my mother braided my hair. And used ribbons, barrettes and hair baubles. Never learned braid styles like cornrows so when my hair was straightened, I kept my styles simple. Left it parted to the side and down and lightly curled at the ends, put it in a ponytail or twist it up with a hair clip and when I was feeling fancy put in big curls.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Yolanda! With everything that’s going on it’s good to remember there are still things to celebrate and be grateful for.


  2. Wow! Super congrats for you, on the nephew (like a son, without the hassle, right?), on the anthology, and definitely on going au naturale. I did that last year, as well. And now, thanks to no salon treatments and summer humidity, I have kind of a witchy crone thing going on. And you know what? I love it! Although I can tame it with a high bun or French braid.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. And I know I’m being evil but already I’m thinking about getting him the brightest, noisiest and annoying toys he’ll absolutely love but his parents will hate me for. Can’t wait. ;-D
      Now that I’m wearing my hair natural and when summer begins (it already feels as if it already has) I have to deal with the humidity and muggy weather, sigh. French braid! That’s another style I must soon master.


    • Thank you. I’m hoping to hold many more of my books in the future. Can’t wait to meet him. He looked so cute in the pictures. At least I’ve already heard his cries over the phone. Sigh, to hear a baby’s cry in the house again.


    • Thank you and you’re welcome. I came across spoken word poet FreeQuency years ago. That particular poem stayed with me so when I wanted to share it on my blog for National Poetry Month it drove me crazy when I couldn’t remember and find the name of the poet and poem.


  3. I’m so happy for you on so many fronts. Congratulations on being an auntie again! That happened to me earlier this year. And congratulations on your story!

    #BVM…I love that!

    HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY!!!! Sending lots of love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you and congrats to you too. I’m almost done reading through the anthology. And when I finally finished reading my own story at least two new lines popped into my mind that would’ve been perfect. Now I’m berating myself why I didn’t think to write it before.


  4. I just started learning to appreciate my naturally curly hair, and to learn how to handle it, the last few years. Good luck as you get to know your hair! I’ve noticed I tend to give female characters “S” names and male characters “B” names. The S part makes since, but not sure why the B part.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Shannon. I have a long way to go in handling my hair then. I Wish I could speed up the learning curve in handling curly hair. Times like these, I wish time turners were real.

      I wonder the reason why we gravitate towards things like that. I’d like to think there should be a reason why but I guess there’s no sane reason behind it when you’re a writer.


  5. Powerful poem. I have tears running down my face for all the injustice. All the senseless violence and murder of Black people. Rest in Peace George Floyd. May we learn from your death and strive to do better.

    Great post.

    Your story in the anthology looks great. I’ll get the ebook.

    Congrats on embracing your natural hair and doing your best while salons are closed!


    Mary at Play off the Page

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really is a powerful poem. It stayed with me years after I first heard it. Another poem that’s also stayed with me is by Danez Smith “the bullet was a girl.”
      I’m almost done reading the anthology, just have 2-3 more stories to go. So far, aside from my own, there’s two I liked. Even though they were written in first person. Hope you enjoy the anthology too.
      I’m finally getting the hang of doing flat twists and love how my curls last longer with flat twists. See doing a lot of flat twist styles in the future.


  6. Congrats on your new nephew baby! And congrats on your anthology story! Exciting events to celebrate. I’ve noticed I use a lot of J and T names. I’m not sure why. I just like the sound of them, I guess. Happy June Birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you and thank you. At first I thought I was the only one who gravitated towards names starting with certain letters. But maybe not. Guess I’ll no longer give myself too hard a time when I’m unable to come up with a good name for a character. Or demoan my tendency in coming up with girl names ending in a or ah.

      Liked by 1 person

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