The Last Challenge of the Year

I am posting this here as well, just in case any of you would like to participate and you happen to be users on Medium. This is our last writing prompt/challenge of the year, so it simply makes sense to spread the news here as well. The theme of focus: love and how you like it. Read further for the details.


Writers: A Challenge

How Do You Like Your Love?

Tell me what you can creatively about how you like your love, but do so using 1–3 words only. One definition of the word love is as follows:

  1. an intense feeling of deep affection.

When you think of love, what comes to your mind? How would you write about the word love, but succinctly and in micro-poetic form? How do you like your love? What do you expect from it? What pushes you to love and love always?

Share your thoughts about love, but using 1–3 words only. That is the challenge, that is the kicker. Can you do it? Are you up for it? How do you like your love?

An example:

Always in
abundance


Let’s make this happen, people!

•Request to be added as a writer by emailing me at acorneredgurl@gmail.com with “Please Add Me” as the subject line or don’t want to be a writer in A Cornered Gurl? Simply comment with your response in this challenge post, or create your own post to your profile or in another publication, however, please use the tags, “Challenge” and “Love.”

Since this is a challenge call, all submissions received by 6:00 pm, US EDT Sunday, December 8, 2019, will be published by 7:00 pm, US EDT Monday, December 9, 2019. Any other submissions received past 6:00 pm on Monday, December 9, 2019, will be published by 7:00 pm on Friday, December 13, 2019, US EDT. CHALLENGE SUBMISSION BEGINS NOW. ❤

How do you like your love?

Also, please use the tags “Challenge” and “Love” for this particular call.

*Finally, this is a read-for-all community. There will be no metered paywall or locked pieces in A Cornered Gurl.

This is the last challenge of the year, beautiful people. Please bring it and have fun!


Non-fiction Saturdays

Photo by Adi Goldstein via Unsplash

I Still Travel With My Late Grandmother

She Loves A Good Trip

I was nine years old the first time I ever rode a train in New York. My grandmother was taking me shopping for training bras and one of our form of travel for that day was the subway. I peaked well before my time according to her and undershirts were no longer enough. I needed protection. I needed coverage. So, off we went to Lord & Taylor and Bloomingdale’s. Neither of these stores was new introductions to me as my grandmother did most of her shopping at both, but I had never been shopping with her for something as simple as a training bra and the event itself turned out to be quite an adventure.

I recall a hushed dressing room, two or three training bras handed off to me, and my grandmother knocking at the door for entry. I have always been a big fan of privacy and did not want my grandmother watching me as I figured out how to put these foreign-to-me objects on, but having her there for guidance proved to be sufficient.

She tucked and tugged, pushed and pulled, and adjusted the straps until I felt comfortable. Standing there in my Gap jeans, frayed at the seams — complete with holes in the knees (think Salt-n-Pepa, circa 1987) and a fresh pair of white socks, she eyed me up and down. She approved.

The first bra was a keeper. We put it to the side. I tried on another then another and another. We left Lord & Taylor with two training bras and headed for Bloomingdale’s. Our next form of travel was a taxi cab. Have you ever watched a fashionably aware woman hail a cab? There is an art to this — something of which I had no knowledge. My grandmother could hail a cab with the best of them. If it were not for her exceptional career at a top-notch theater in downtown Manhattan, “Professional Cab-Hailer” would have been a nice addition to her résumé.

When I was a child, my grandmother was the world to me. She had exquisite taste, wore the finest clothes, had the nicest shoes, but was still down to Earth. If I had to come up with a full-on description of her, I would say — diva.

diva (/ˈdiːvə/; Italian: [ˈdiːva]) is a celebrated female singer; a woman of outstanding talent in the world of opera, and by extension in theatrecinema and popular music. The meaning of diva is closely related to that of prima donna. Diva can also refer to a woman, especially one in show business, with a reputation for being temperamental, demanding, or difficult to work with. — Wikipedia

She was attitudinal but for the right reasons. She was opinionated but whenever it mattered most. She could cut you down to size with just a glance, yet she had so many people in her circle. A cab ride wasn’t just a cab ride with her. She entertained the Cabbies, quipped about and directed the best way to get to our destinations, and often held political and societal discussions with any of them willing to match her cultural expertise. I admired her.


As I grew older, my source of travel from Georgia to New York would be by plane instead of above-ground trains. We flew Delta. With my grandmother, it was always Delta. She would fly down to retrieve me and we would fly back together and my summers would be full of shopping, trips to the library, museums, swimming pools, local basketball courts, and shared visits with other members of my family.

I would find myself on the train to Harlem or Brooklyn with her. Whatever our day’s plans, it would coordinate between taking the train and the cab and I would be delighted to hang by my grandmother’s side as her traveling companion.

I loved the train the best, though. There was something mesmerizing to me during those years about being on a train underground. No one speaks. Everyone has something occupying their time. It was not uncommon to see people reading books or listening to music or the off-to-the-side person who smelled of scorched coffee and day-old hash browns.

On average, New York’s subway trains travel at about 17 mph and had an annual ridership of just over 1.72 billion in 2017. — Wikipedia

As you probably can imagine, my grandmother had a knack for finding two seats next to each other and I was to sit by her at all times. She was adamant about my safety, however, she wanted me to experience the real world of getting to where I needed to without depending on anyone else.

By the time I was fifteen years old, I was allowed to travel by train or cab with my friends from the neighborhood but within a certain time of day or night. Her rule was: “I have to get you back to your mother in one piece.” She stuck by this rule. I never disobeyed her curfew and could only stay out later if I was with my aunt (her youngest daughter).

I miss her wild spirit. Her uncanny ability to adapt to her surroundings instantly. Her calm and casual way of speaking her mind. Her incredible sense of fashion. It is often hard for me to travel sometimes because I still feel her near.

I fly and look to my left or right and something in the person next to me reminds me of her. I take a train and a woman may be wearing a perfume that smells similar to hers. Someone requests a drink for which she had an affinity. We pass by a bit of scenery that I know would have sparked her interest.

Perhaps she is still keeping watch over me after all these years. She did love a good trip and an even better travel buddy. I don’t know what I will do the moment she’s not conjured up during my travels. Having her near makes me feel safe — makes me enjoy getting from one place to another. However, I am fully aware of knowing how to travel because of her and this is something I will not forget.

A training bra shopping spree changed my heart— changed my life too.


Originally published in The Weekly Knob via Medium. The link shared is a friend link as this is a piece behind Medium’s paywall.

Young Minds of Medium Featured Writer: Niharika Gursahani

Niharika Gursahani (via Medium)

Niharika Gursahani  (via WordPress) is our youngest contributor. She found out about the Young Minds of Medium How Do You Sing The Blues Call via A Cornered Gurl on WordPress and emailed me to see if she could contribute even though, she is slightly younger than the minimum age requirement for YMOM. After reading a few of her pieces on WordPress and her draft for this call, it was BEYOND easy to make an exception. And now, the featured piece:


The Rhapsody of The Blues

Young Minds of Medium “Blues Call”

Photo Credits —Gary Blonder

An archaic tune plays over the dusty radio,
Reminds me of a dwindling duet I almost forgot a second back,
Every cosmic binder of the universe,
Wants me to never forget the rhapsody of our love.

Our rhapsody was melodious,
The tune was full of life,
And the lyrics of this rhapsody,
Were the loving letters I wrote to you.

This rhapsody hit me hard,
But somewhere in the lyrics, we drift apart,
And the bridge we built with committed chords,
Collapsed as you broke the guitar strings.

This rhapsody was our lovers’ call,
I sang it and it beckoned you to me when I needed you,
And you followed my voice and sang along and gave me comfort,
But now when my ears sense this tune of the Blues,
They bleed a stream of shattered love.
And I scream louder than breaking glass.

Pillows don’t comfort me the way I was comforted,
When I cried into your arms and soaked your shirt in those tears,
My pillow only absorbs my pain but doesn’t relieve me of it,
The way you did when your chest was my only pillow.

I can hear your voice hiss through the corridors of my brain,
Corridors painted your favorite colour with our pictures hung up on the walls,
With this now irritable rhapsody playing in the ballroom of my mind,
Which is my destination to be in hallucinations,
When drowning in insomnia,
Dreaming of you in my arms,
Dancing an endless dance.

I can’t sing a note anymore,
My throat is blunt of unspoken words,
The rhapsody of our love burns me down to a soulless spirit,
And this spirit can’t survive with her soul anymore.
You are my soul.
I can’t sing the Blues anymore,
Because you tore apart my vocal cords.
Pain is the only note I can produce,
But now I have a heart of stone and a spirit devoid of love,
Which has no voice of its own.

I can never cease my love for you,
You are my life and you are my death,
And now that the rhapsody has lost its life,
I dream of only death,
As I gulp down a handful of pills,
Drug me of a faraway fantasy,
This fantasy which I can only achieve,
With the sacrifice of my present life.

And the pills start their deadly effects,
As my body slowly turns into stone-like my heart,
I am nothing but a mere corpse,
As grim darkness crawls up to the ceiling walls,
And as the noises intensify of the dead spirit’s desperate insanity,
I still hear over the drunken voids,
Rhapsody which still plays over the dusty radio.


Originally published via A Cornered Gurl on Medium.

Young Minds of Medium Featured Writer: Aaska Aejaz

Aaska Aejaz

This young one popped up on the scene at Medium out of the blue one day, specifically in my feed, and she has been doing that ever since. She is passionate about changing the world–one small act at a time and believes in love, the gift of humanity, staying positive, and writing. She responded to the Young Minds of Medium “How Do You Sing The Blues” challenge by introducing a way to shift from sadness to happiness through music and dancing. Below is her contribution.


Young Minds of Medium Blues Call “How Do You Sing the Blues?”

Let it be: Just Dance — Break the Floor

Photo by Leon Liu on Unsplash

I say . . . Let it be,
Come and dance
Break the floor!
Life is just as it is,
Whenever my heart melts
Whenever my eyes flow
Whenever I feel the obstruction
to inhale the oxygen
I tried to tell myself

Life is just as it is —

It happens in this world,
If there is darkness
If there is anguish
Don’t cry —
There will be morning
after night
There will be happiness
after sorrows and pain
Just be patient . . . let it be

Come and dance
Break the floor!
There will be your weather
There will be your voice
There will be your day
There will be your time!
Just laugh now —
turn on the music

Let’s forget every sadness
Come and dance
Break the floor!


A few years ago, I didn’t know how to handle the chaos of my mind or how to sing the blues? I was an empty page — as blank as every jotting written on a wet paper. My problem was that if I got hurt on one thing, I had started to open all the doors and windows of memories — trust me, it got worse sometimes. My depression had started to increase with the degree of pain, and I’d begun to lose everything.

But, you know, sometimes we are just walking on the road and we meet some people side by side . . . We start to converse, they meet us like travel partners for a very short period of time. And in this short time, we learn some major lessons on how to live a life or sometimes we learn how we can do it! As well as, I met a friend on my travel journey, I call yet my friend even she is not with me now and I don’t know where she is in this world. But, luckily, I collided with her in the past.

She taught me a few lessons, she edified me, don’t worry, if you have a trouble, in this world, everyone faces problems, everyone has their part of sorrows, some has more — some have a few, but the key you should have in your pocket where you could lock your all pain and worries.

The key is how to neglect the dark side of your life and how to be a positive one, basically, just pretend you are okay with that, this is not a big deal and if you want to do big things — to remind yourself. Sometimes big problems also are part of big dreams. Just turn on the music loud and dance like nobody’s watching you, it sounds funny, but let me tell you — it will increase your heart rate, improve physical tenacity, mental performing, general and psychological prosperity, self-confidence and self-esteem, social capabilities and these all things will automatically make you feel happy.

And you don’t believe, I do the same — whenever I’m stuck in the chaos, I just come at home and turn on the music and dance even if I am not a good dancer. I don’t know how to dance because I never did before meeting her.

I know this is so hard to face the difficult times of our life, but it is a really good recipe to ignore the negativity or hurting feelings which we get from depression. All I can suggest you is — don’t think you are alone in this world, just dance and break the floor. Trust me for once, it will work. 🙂


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

The Simple Things #12

For the past eleven Saturdays, I have shared three things that I believe to be the simple things in life, yet things that make me extremely happy. I invited you to do the same. This is the last The Simple Things post. 

freebooks
Eliot Peper via Unsplash

1. free books
2. cocoa butter lotion
3. peppermint soap


Now, it’s your turn! Share with me (in the comments), three simple things in life that make you happy. Please reblog, share this post, and give others a smile and a little bit of love. If you reblog the post, please ping or tag my blog and use the words Simple Things” and “Happy” as your blog entry tags.

Are you ready, folks? Can we keep the love flowing by sharing the simple things that make us happy? This is our The Simple Things Share Post #12 and also the FINAL one. Have fun and let the happiness begin!