Here is how to use tension to develop a love story.

Darius Lovehall in LOVE JONES, 1997

A key element to moving a story forward is tension. This is the push and pull between maybe two characters, or a character and nature or a character and himself. In romance, tension is usually between two characters, though often there is an inner conflict between each of the characters that amps up the stakes.

The 1997 romance movie, LOVE JONES, uses tension very well. The movie follows the love story of Darius Lovehall and Nina Moseley.

Without getting too bogged down on plot points, the story is as…

Here’s a little tip for maintaining confidence in the post-pandemic world.

Photo by Cesar La Rosa on Unsplash

One of my favorite Instagrammer’s — @noordinarynoire — dropped a gem a while back that has stuck with me. WEAR THE OUTFIT! The beauty behind the account, Achieng Agutu, is known for dropping self confidence tidbits through humorous videos in which she is always dressed to the nines. As someone who has hoarded beautiful outfits for years, Agutu’s advice stood out to me and I claimed it. As we are all deciding how we want to exist in a post-pandemic world, being well dressed is a must for me…

Everyone is judged on their physical appearance, but the gavel comes down much harder on Black women.

Photo by Dom Aguiar on Unsplash

I held off on writing about this topic because I wanted to sit with Monique’s comments as she presented them — as advice, wisdom and an observation — instead of how the Internet ran with them — as judgment and criticism. When it comes to the topic of Black women, things tend to turn to humor very quickly, with Black women becoming the butt of the joke from every angle. Monique did not present her comments as a joke — she wasn’t making fun of anyone. She was providing useful advice that many of us know is true, whether we…

Humanity has no hierarchies.

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My high school was very big on community service. This makes sense when you consider the fact that it was an institution full of extremely wealthy children located in a very poverty stricken city — the nation’s capital, Washington, DC. I was a member of that elite community but I was also a member of the impoverished one. For most of the other students, community service trips were framed as helping the less fortunate but for me it was giving back to my community. Retrospectively, I believe we all should’ve seen it the way I did.

I remember on one…

Love yourself enough to pour back into your body more than you demand out of it.

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It is your first time getting a Brazilian wax and you tell the lady as much when she asks, despite your desire to lie.

“It’s not that bad,” she says with a laugh. “Don’t worry.”

“I’ve had two kids so I can’t imagine it will hurt more than giving birth.”

She smiles. “Oh, you’ll do fine then.”

You and she get to talking, mostly about your children (she has a 5 year old) and after a while she blurts out, “how old are you?”

You hesitate before answering, then reply, “30.”

Why did she ask, you wonder. Probably for the…

The mainstream Christian reaction to “Montero…” is disappointing but not surprising.

Rapper Lil Nas X (source: Lil-Nas-X-‘I-100-want-to-represent-the-LGBT.jpg (1200×720) (

A few days ago, rapper Lil Nas X released a music video for his song “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”. It’s an interesting video with a lot of eye catching imagery. What’s got people most upset is a scene depicting the rapper seducing Satan and becoming the King of Hell.

Mainstream Christianity has been condemning queer people to Hell for decades. More “liberal” Christian’s express their homophobia in more delicate ways, with terms like “tolerance”. They will tolerate you but they will not really accept you. …

Read this before checking up on your ex.

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“Much as drug addicts are urged to erase the contact information of their dealers from their electronic devices, when we find ourselves cyberstalking someone repeatedly…we have to realize we are playing with an old wound…if we want to avoid deepening the pain we feel about a fresh loss or reactivating the wounds of an old one, we have to eliminate our ability to do so…” -Guy Winch, ”How To Fix a Broken Heart”

Last week, I found myself stalking several people on social media. My stalking was not just old exes. It was ex’s exes and former friends and friends…

How to navigate the internet — and life — unbothered.

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Every time I find myself in conflict with a stranger or someone I don’t know well, I remember a conversation with a friend of mine from our college days. This friend was discussing an issue of tension between herself and another girl on our campus. My friend had said something and this something was repeated and the afore mentioned girl got an attitude about it.

The details aren’t relevant but what is, is that the girl was far more invested in the “beef” than my friend was. My friend’s conclusion on the situation was simple, “she doesn’t have a problem…

Is there any virtue in the world of online reselling?

Photo by Erin Song on Unsplash

I recently came across a tweet where a girl was trying to sell some of her old clothes to help with her college funds. Totally fine. However in the post, she made a comment about how “Depop girls” are terrible, or something to that degree. While I am far too old to be considered a Depop girl (I’ve been selling on Ebay since long before Depop even existed) the comment didn’t sit right with me.

Someone asked the girl what she meant and she explained that, it was bad to go into the thrift store, buy something that someone else…

Stop calling them to solve problems. They don’t.

Photo by Nina Strehl on Unsplash

Police do not stop or solve problems. It’s not what they have been trained to do. It’s not what they have a vested interest in doing. Police do not protect people. Again, not what they’re trained for, not what they have an interest in. There is a point, obviously, with cases that have escalated into violence, where law enforcement has to be called, but they do nothing to prevent violence in the first place.

In the case of the 9 year old Black girl from Rochester, New York who was pepper sprayed…

Kesia Alexandra

creative writer, creative speller.

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