Hello, lovelies! We made it through another year here on Medium and most of us still have so many stories to tell. To those of you still following us, still reading what we have to share and still enthralled by every click of each post, we appreciate you. Surely, we would not be who we are here at A Cornered Gurl if it were not for each of you. A heartfelt THANK YOU does not seem like enough, but it is what we are gifting as well as our words.
This year, in January, we launched the opening of ACG up to every writer on Medium and since then, milestones upon milestones have greeted us. Currently, we have 1,131 followers and we are comprised of 159 writers with 75 of them in an active status here on Medium. Our theme–our dedication within this publication is to give you writing that is brutally honest, vulnerable, and relative & relatable. We are writers who, “Break out of the Box” and this is shown with every piece published in A Cornered Gurl.
The last few months leading up to the end of this year gave us the last Young Minds of Medium challenge with a theme of “How Do You Sing The Blues?” We also introduced our youngest contributor, Niharika Gursahani who is currently flourishing here on Medium as well as maintaining her readership on WordPress.
The last challenge for all writers was this month with the following theme: “How Do You Like Your Love?” We had nineteen entries and I was more than pleased with each submission. Everyone was not only creative in using three words or multiple sets of three words to share how they like their love, but I also felt a sense of togetherness monitoring this challenge. I want to highlight three of those entries:
In A Cornered Gurl, we are built on community. It is important for us to not only encourage one another but to help each other grow and we are doing that by exploring many of the facets of writing available to us. The goal I envisioned, as we neared the end of this year, was to be able to present one of the local homeless shelters here in my area of North Carolina with a check or an electronic payment that would not only go toward providing meals but also a place to sleep or rest for a few nights too for those desperately in need. We did that. The amount donated to Samaritan’s Ministries was $75.00.
Not only did we raise enough funds to contribute in the fight to rally against homelessness in this area, but we were also able to gift St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital $90.00. Their remarkable care, professionalism, and willingness to help children diagnosed with cancer for absolutely no cost to their parents, blows my mind.
I have friends and family members who still want to donate and will do so and have been informed that their funds have been and will be placed in the ACG account to go toward next year’s charity donations.
Here in ACG, small monetary rewards distributed throughout the year to twenty-four writers for meeting various milestones in or outside of the publication added up to $262.00. I am overjoyed that we have been able to meet most of our goals and exceed in others.
Next year’s challenges will be totally different from this year’s and they will force us to use our thinking abilities as creatives and truly break out of the box. Stay tuned.
To anyone who has given their time, money, efforts, and support to this publication, I am honored. I cannot thank you enough and words do not seem to be justifiable given the accolades placed upon us. I look forward to what 2020 has in store and I hope you do too.
And now, a little Kelis: Get Along With You
Peace and blessings and a very Happy New Year to you!
She tells her, “You are the Universe, baby. The perfect galaxy. The reason I love the way love feels on me.” She watches. She stares. She loves the way love feels on her too but not everyone is eager to see them flaunting their version of love outside the closet.
“Alice and the rabbit hole, baby. A neverending journey. A hunt for sustenance. Blazing moonlight over cherry trees. I’d never chop you down.” She’s still professing her undying love for her. The charm that lifts itself from her skin and lands on her lips is a ten. A twenty if anyone’s counting. She’s tipping the scales tonight.
“Blue envy. Gray passion. Red all over and yellow inside. I bleed you.” She smiles. She fidgets with her jean jacket, twirls her bossy curls around her index finger, and sets a giggle free. “I would tip a mountain over, my love, if you were on the other side of it.”
Her eyes widen. She steadies her ears on every word leaving her lover’s lips and finally speaks . . .
“If I am all of this you claim, why are we still hiding? Does your mother know my name? Are your sisters aware that roommates is a loose term for what we really are? Did you tell your brother what we do when you’re “on a business trip?”
Silence is thick in the room. She slices it with her words. “The Universe never hides, baby. The Universe doesn’t have to.” She walks away.
Her lover follows her to the kitchen. She watches her hips as they sway. She’s in a trance. Her eyes log her every step. She pulls a thought from the air and shares it with her . . .
“But the Universe knows that living in harmony with everyone takes many sacrifices. It understands that offering itself up on a platter is not how one gets full. Please, let me take small bites until I am ready for more.”
A few pots clang in the kitchen. She’s rummaging through old utensils, searching for a spatula. Her lover’s voice lingers in her ears — on her lips. She stands back on bowed legs and reminds herself . . . reminds her lover . . .
Watch the hands wave them in, suitors and scavengers alike, waiting for their piece of American pie. They come in droves — lips coated in silver-spooned tongues raising their hands, bidding at all costs for the missing links of home. What they cannot get from the one they married, they will gladly pay the one they do not love. The wanting . . . The yearning . . . The overwhelming beasting of burly men stands at attention.
She can only be a symbol of strength — moving through the vicissitudes of life without fear, she gathers their names. She will remember them; their grunts and groans, the sounds of the room, and the premature orgasms logged in the memory bank of her mind. Three hundred seventy-five dollars will get you two hours and two positions. If you want more, add sixty dollars for an additional thirty minutes. Her time is theirs to have but at a cost.
This is a business. She is professional. Each transaction is documented. She prefers cash but will not decline plastic. Wear your words carefully and choose your tour wisely. The ins and outs of her will not be extended. Your personal escort awaits . . . Sign off and hand your ticket to Duane at the front desk.
You have been served.
The cars on the street honk their horns, their owners smile happily — satisfied . . . satiated. Their disheveled clothes are replaced by the clean items waiting in their bags. A new attitude is ordered. It arrives right before their feet meet the doors of their homes. Frequent flyers look forward to their weekend adventures — their secret life tucked neatly behind their backs. They’ll never tell. She’ll never tell.
The perfect exchange.
*Professional escorts provide their clients with undivided time and attention in return for payment. Their work can range from companionship to sexual services. — wikiHow (2019)
*Submissions Call (I am posting this here as well, just in case any of the young ones are interested).
How Do You Sing The Blues?
This is a call for submissions. Young Minds of Medium — this is your challenge. I am looking for work from the young writers here on Medium, ages 15–25. Submissions will be reviewed and posted on Mondays and Fridays during the month of November. THIS IS YOUR TIME TO SHINE! I want to hear from you. I want to feel, connect with, and fall in love with the words you would like to share with the world.
Your theme: “How Do You Sing the Blues?”
What am I asking?
How do you handle moments of sadness? What do you do to ease your pain? Are there any favorite songs you listen to, any good books you read in which to escape? How do you move through the bad times that come in and try to take control of your life?
I am looking for:
Fiction (no more than 850 words)
Non-fiction (no more than 850 words)
And, your heart. ❤
•You will need to be a current user on Medium for this challenge. Request to be added as a writer by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Please Add Me” as the subject line. For the young ones, ages 15–25 already contributing to ACG, please submit your work in draft-form directly to A Cornered Gurl for review, scheduling, and/or publishing. You can submit twice per week, your works will be published on Monday and Friday of that week.
Please have a suitable image for your work with notable credit to its source/artist (Please include the link!). You can find plenty of great images via Unsplash, Pixabay, and Pexels. If you are the source for your image, please caption that.
Please subtitle your entries “Young Minds of Medium Blues Call” and tag your pieces with the following: “Growth” & “The Blues.” CHALLENGE SUBMISSION BEGINS NOW!
The start date for publishing the YMOM pieces is Friday, November 1, 2019, and the end date is Friday, November 29, 2019. Other contributors to ACG, please, no worries. You can submit as you normally would to A Cornered Gurl and your work will be published as well, however, a total of three pieces will be published on Mondays and Fridays for all other writers, leaving the floor wide open for our young ones. I hope you will understand and accept this.
Please remember that A Cornered Gurl is a read-for-all community and there will be no metered paywall or locked pieces published here. Thank you.