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.

 

Peace & Blessings, Beautiful People

May This Holiday Season Bring You Endless Joy

time for embracing
this — a beautiful season
of love and laughter

and of endless cheer
be present and honor life’s
neverending gifts

pull in and push out
boundless love to everyone
including yourself

*Hello, beautiful people. I will be taking a short break. I intend to drink in the welcoming arms of relaxation, reflection, peace, and stillness. Here’s hoping each of you will enjoy the upcoming holidays to the fullest. ACG will resume its normal publishing schedule on Friday, December 27, 2019.

Peace and blessings.

A Cornered Gurl

How We Have Evolved & How You Have Helped

Dad sitting on a couch reading to his two young children
Supriya Bhonsle via Mixkit.co

I opened up A Cornered Gurl via Medium to all writers on January 5, 2019, and since then, I have watched the publication grow by at least 388 more followers. We are currently comprised of 159 writers/contributors with about 75 of them active on Medium. We are a publication that has reached the 1100 mark with 1,123 followers. 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.

Nine months ago, I updated my “About” page via WordPress aptly titled, “Who Am I?” to include what we are doing at A Cornered Gurl and how we thought many of our readers could help support us and catapult us near our goal. This effort has not been in vain and this post is being drafted to not only thank you for your monetary gifts but to also thank you for your readership. Without readers, writers would not exist. Because some of you clicked on the PayPal button directing you to our “funds” link, we have been able to gift twenty-four of our writers small monetary payments for accomplishing certain milestones and goals both in the publication and in the real world. That dollar figure is up to $262.00 as of today. These milestones and accomplishments include:

1. Meeting or exceeding 1K claps in A Cornered Gurlvia Medium.
2. Meeting or exceeding 500 claps for three consecutive posts in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.
3. Being a winner (there are usually 3-4 selected) of any of our challenges held throughout the year.
4. Making incredible headway or impacting the community online and off (Graduating high school, college, entering a Master’s Program, or volunteering).
5. Donating time, money, and efforts to anyone in need in some way, shape, or form.

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. I find it imperative to share the works of our contributors here via WordPress as well as I believe words are gifts given to us and should be thrown into the ether in any way they can be. You have seen Featured Writers and Featured Poems for the past seven months and this will continue in the new year. Some of those featured writers are; Esther Spruill-Jones, Christie Alex Costello (currently featured), Jackie Ann, Braden Turner, and Fatima Mohammed.

Our end goal, as we are nearing the end of this year, is to be able to present one of the local homeless shelters here in my area of North Carolina with a check that would not only go toward providing meals to homeless people but a place to sleep or rest for a few nights for many of them too. The breakdown of their funding is as follows:

Donations:

  • $25 – 10 meals or 1 night of shelter
  • $50 – 19 meals or 2 nights of shelter
  • $100 – 39 meals or 4 nights of shelter
  • $250 – 97 meals or 10 nights of shelter
  • $500 – 194 meals or 19 nights of shelter
  • $1000 – 388 meals or 39 nights of shelter
  • Other

Where would ACG like to be according to this breakdown? We would like to pursue efforts from the $50.00 to $250.00. With this amount of funding, as you can see above, we would be able to change a few lives temporarily. To me, that’s us giving back as we honestly can not only with our words and talents but with a donation too. If you would like to be someone to help us meet our goal, please click on this link to issue your donation. If not, we can only hope that you gift your time, efforts, money, etc. in some other form to assist, love, and aid our brothers and sisters across the globe during this season of giving. And please, know that you have done enough and we are appreciative!

I cannot thank you enough for your eyes, minds, souls, and hearts. Having every one of you along for this ride has been an experience of the highest kind and I am humbled.

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Peace and blessings.

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!


A Short Break

Enjoy What You Can While You Can

Photo by Jakob Owens via Unsplash

know that you are worthy
of time spent with your heart’s beats—
a few moments to embrace
the world around you
and hold tight to a lover’s arm
when they offer you
a shoulder or a listening ear.


A Cornered Gurl will be taking a short break to wind down, relax, read a few good books, and embrace the peace and quiet of my surroundings. If you intend to celebrate the upcoming holiday, please enjoy every minute of it. 

Creative writing and other posts to resume on Friday, November 29, 2019. Love hard. Be well. Write with all your might. 

Peace and blessings.