Young Minds of Medium

I am posting this here since it is the first challenge of the year. I will also post the last challenge of the year via ACG on WordPress as well.


snohaalegra
Snoh Aalegra

Young Minds of Medium

What Is Your Favorite Song & How Does It Inspire You?

What is your favorite song? How does that song inspire you? How does it move you? What does it engage in your mind, heart, and soul that you simply have to share how you feel with others when you hear that song? Is it the lyrics? The melody? The sampling or longevity of the artist?

Poetry
Micropoetry
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 acorneredgurl[at]gmail[dot]com 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 UnsplashPixabay, and PexelsIf you are the source for your image, please caption that.

Please subtitle your entries “Young Minds of Medium Music Call” and tag your pieces with the following: “Growth” & “Music.” CHALLENGE SUBMISSION BEGINS NOW!

The start date for publishing the YMOM pieces is Monday, February 3, 2020, and the end date is Friday, February 28, 2020. 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!


And now, my current favorite song by Snoh Aalegra:

Young ones, this is your first challenge of the year. Please bring it, loves!


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl on Medium.

Strutting In The Sun

Vol. 8: End of the Year Good Things

Kelis Photo by Michael Mora

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.

Two pieces I’d like to shine a little light on as contributions to this challenge are:

Anto Rin, Women are from Venus

Braden Turner, Southern Fried Circuits

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:

Willow T. Lovelace, Endless Endearment

Subo, Love

Rachel B. Baxter, How Do You Like Your Love?

I want to take this moment to recognize some of our newest contributors as they have shared poignant work with us toward the end of this year and I am certain next year will welcome the same: Roxana Ștefan, Esther Spurrill-Jones, Christie Alex Costello, MBA, Stephen M. Tomic, Sarah E Sturgis, and Bella Linda.

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!


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

 

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.

Young Minds of Medium Featured Writer: Nour

Nour is an exceptional young one whom I have had the pleasure of watching grow on Medium. Over the last eight months, this young one has broken out of her shell and is sharing her life and experiences with us.

She answered the Young Minds of Medium “How Do You Sing The Blues” challenge for A Cornered Gurl with the following prose-poem:


Just keep breathin’

Young Minds of Medium “Blues Call”

Hasty outlets of yours truly over the years.

Tainted blue creeps in,
An armed looming shadow that threatens,
Look fiercely into its eyes, impassive
Let the ink embrace your heart, squeeze the venom out on paper,
Chase down freedom with your words.


It’s disarming.

How the story unfolds sometimes. So many lies embedded in between the lines and I foolishly believe. Destruction calling my bones for release of its pent up anger. Seeping its sorrow on my pages, adding lines. And my brain does nothing but smirk in approval, unwinding me to the core. Now all the chaos — thrown at my feet, no sealing to its mouth that keeps running.

I keep falling down.

Entirety is disarming sometimes.
Disapproval clawing its way in my mind,

Smitten by blues, add more salt to her wounds … if only you’ve done this. If only you were this …

Just stop. Press pause, go on rewind your tape and you’ll see where it starts:

All. In. Your. Fucking. Head.

I hold still for a moment. Let the truth sink in. So many inviting claws I struggle to dodge.

Oh, how it’s easier to fall into depression … but will you let in temptation?

And that’s how it starts. I breathe my screams out on paper, rewrite the story …

I change lines.

The claws are no longer inviting. ‘Cause no hunter falls for their prey.
The lies fade back to their dimension, this territory ain’t going to be stained.

I don’t pause. I keep going. Destruction no longer smirks.
Entirety could be disarming … unless between the lines you checked again.


Originally published via A Cornered Gurl on Medium.