Writers: A Challenge

What makes you Unique? In “Five Words.”

Me and the crew. I’m missing one brother (Jontae) in this photo. It was our kid sister Bless’s high school graduation. This was nearly 5 years ago. It was the first time in an extremely long time most of us had been captured in a photo together. Left to right: Me, Joshua, Maurice, Bless, Michael, and TJ.

I was reminiscing a couple of days ago, thinking about how my sister is the last one to hit “all grown up” status in our sibling crew and it drew a few tears from my eyes. I am the eldest of seven children and I am also significantly older than all of them. No matter how many years pile on or what happens or who thinks they’re more adult-like or mature than me, I am and will forever be the first child. That makes me just a tad bit unique — just a smidgen. Just to give you guys an idea of the gap from the oldest to the youngest; I am 41 years old, my sister is 22. The boys (who are really men now but will always be, “The Boys” to us) are in the middle from 30–33.

So reminiscing sparked the challenge. Writers, what makes you unique? How are you different from everyone else? What special thing can you do that you believe no one else can do? Tell me this, but use five words only.

Here’s mine:

First born of
seven — always.


Writers, bring it! Please tell me what makes you unique? What is there so special about you that you believe is so different from anyone else? I’d like to know, in just five words.

This is the last challenge until the beginning of next year. I love you guys and how creative you all are. Peace and blessings.


And now, the music: Gabi featuring Missy Elliott from Vivo, My Own Drum

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Originally shared via Medium.

Writers: A Challenge

Something New “In five words”

Photo by Pixabay via Pexels

Although I didn’t envision things taking place the way they are currently shaping in my life, I’m moving with the flow. After researching and bonding with my good friend Google, for three weeks, regarding apartments, I’ve found the place in which Jernee and I will spend the next two to three years. The search is over and I am relieved.

Not only will this be our new space, it’s on a totally different side of town but keeps me close to both Highway 421 and I-40 — two major connectors of travel to various places within Winston-Salem, NC, and outside of the city also. I am content. I am relieved. I dislike apartment hunting with a passion.

So, writers . . . what’s new in your world? Aside from the raging virus, I will now call “Headache of a Lifetime”, is anything fun taking place for you? Have you started a new career? Finally, launched your own business? What’s new in your world?!

Please share with us, but use five words only


Here’s mine:

new home found,
finally . . . relieved.

Writers, tell me what’s new in your world, but do so using only five words. You can do this! Bring that creative goodness to the building, people!


Feel good music? Yes, please. Suzanne Vega, Tom’s Diner

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Originally shared via Medium.

The Great Has Been and The Ruined

Musical Selection: Queen|Another One Bites the Dust

An Audio Poem

Crack goes the whip and
every order or demand that
can break a camel’s back — 
thrown at us under a
noon day’s sun and just
like that, the fun . . . 
is done.

We’ve been asked to
pack our things, close
up shop, retire, put things
to bed and not wake up and
well, if you know us . . .
you know we’re not going
quietly.

Funny how money can shift
a mountain of growth
or how it can sharpen
the hardest edges especially
when the underdogs begin to
climb too high.

The Powers That Be say,
“Drag them back down,” 
and as we fall, they clap
and hoot and holler and
throw confetti in
the putrid air
juddering around their
safe spaces, laughing
at the marks we’ve made.

“It’s been a nice run,”
they’ll say. 
“You’ve done well, but
we have other plans
in mind and you’re not
in them,” and we knew
the hammer would come
down, it was only a
matter of time.
We were hanging on to
hope.

It’s hard to say goodbye
to family, to friends.
We’ve built a castle,
invited the village, and made
merry with thousands, and
now . . . that castle is
being demolished.

Here comes the wrecking ball.

These walls are being Jerichoed
right before us
and there is no time
for tears, we must gather
our pride, tuck it neatly
alongside our egos, and zip
the contents up . . .
Shut it down.

I wish there was another
way of saying and I don’t
want to go, but the great
has been and the ruined
are two different things and
I’m having trouble recognizing
which one we are.

Today is the first day
of not being angry or hurt
or sad because business
is business and when
business is business, words
do not matter.


This poem was written as a “swan song”/goodbye poem to our readers and writers at P.S. I Love You via Medium. The magazine will no longer be operative after June 30, 2021. I’ve been an editor there since last June and I’ve had so much fun doing what I love most.

“It’s a Mild Case” and Now I Must Move Forward

Living with keratoconus and so long to A Cornered Gurl

This was originally published as an informative letter via A Cornered Gurl on Medium. I know some of you are writers and readers of the publication (on Medium only), so I am sharing it here as well. Hello to each and every one of you.

Workspace/Blue light glasses|Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

My optometrist diagnosed me with keratoconus at just the right time. Per my ophthalmologist and corneal specialist at the Duke Eye Center, it’s mild in both eyes with no scarring and no advanced hazing. I have a six-month follow-up to assess my status at that time and to have additional corneal images taken. At the beginning of next year, I’ll be fitted for scleral contact lenses. These will help to reshape the corneas in both eyes and continue to enhance my vision over time. This is a lifelong condition, there’s no cure — but using these methods will aid me in the future regarding my sight.

The best thing about getting this in my 40s is there’s a better chance of it not continuing to progress at a rapid rate and slowly easing up as long as I do what I need to. The follow-up in six months will determine if I’m headed in the right direction to keep me from having any invasive treatments or surgery.

My ophthalmologist showed me what corneal transplant surgery would entail by using the eye model in the exam room. Let’s just say, I truly don’t want to have to endure this surgical procedure. I would rather not walk down that scary road, thank you very much.

Not only was I given a great deal of information about my condition and what to do during these next few months to keep my vision on the up and up, I was also advised to get some Pataday eye drops to help with my allergies and keep me from rubbing my eyes when they itch.

At this point, I am relieved there is no cause for surgery or invasive treatments and I will continue to do what I can on this end to help my sight. This break away from A Cornered Gurl and a few other obligations allowed me time to rest and do other things that do not require my focus totally pressed upon, into, or on some technological device far more than I need to be.

I enjoyed it. I relished the lack of responsibility with these obligations and I wish to move forward with that. At this juncture, I am ceasing all publishing in A Cornered Gurl, indefinitely. I do not have the words to appropriately express how loved each of you as writers and readers of this publication are but I fully believe this is what I needed to show me I can no longer do what I used to.

The body has a way of making one aware when one needs to completely change one’s habits.

I am changing mine.

I will leave the publication up. It feels a bit jumpy to disable or delete it, especially when there are so many powerful, vulnerable, and expressive pieces of work here. If I published your work, I was delighted to. If you are featured in this publication, you are meant to be. If you were rewarded in any way, you deserved it.

Thank you . . . Thank you for coming along on this journey with me. Since ACG will be retired, I am deleting our Twitter account as well. A little over a year is really probably all I can stand of “true” social media.

For your time, mind, and eyes, I am grateful and appreciative and I wish all of you well.

Peace and blessings, beautiful people.


A Cornered Gurl via Medium and Twitter are the only two platforms I will no longer host or participate in; WordPress is home. I have to have a creative outlet and I’ll still be on Medium.

Underwater Tricks

Photo by Engin Akyurt via Unsplash

Boris had twenty-five seconds to escape from the chains that bound him. The blindfold was never an issue — it was always the key. Sometimes, it’d slip. Others, his fingers just couldn’t grip it in time. He had no problem holding his breath — at this, he was the state champion. Could he unlock the padlock to the chains, swim to the top of the surface, remove his blindfold, and tell the crowd how he did it?

Five seconds remaining. 5, 4, 3 . . .


This is a microfiction example used in A Cornered Gurl for writers to take note of for our most recent challenge, “Underwater Experiments” where “Microfiction is our addiction.” If you want to join us in this challenge, please click here . . . Challenge ends on Friday, January 29, 2021.