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Nia Simone McLeod

At its surface, “Strange” is about a break up. But, if you dig deeper into the track, there’s much more to be revealed.

Photo by Keira Burton from Pexels

Analyzing lyrics is like unwrapping a present. Hidden themes, figurative language, and storylines are revealed that you may not have caught on first listen.

Since fellow Medium writer Maria Garcia and I share a love of music, we have decided to create a mini-series on lyric analysis.

First, we’ve recommended a song to each other. Then, we each create a post deep-diving into the lyrics of the song we’ve been given.

Maria has recommended Celeste’s break up ballad “Strange”. Let’s uncover its hidden meanings — together!

Analyzing the lyrics of “Strange”

The song begins from a place of hope, “I tried for you / Tried…


Twitter’s a gold mine of freelance writing jobs. You’ve just got to know where to look.

Edit by author / Photo from Canva Pro

If you’re a freelance writer, you need to be on Twitter. If you’re not on Twitter, you’re missing out on extra money. Period. You’ve just got to know where to look.

Use these search terms

Twitter provides quick and easy access to a wealth of job postings. The platform has a large community of editors for publications and many post their calls for pitches on Twitter.

Use the search engine to find up-to-date pitching opportunities. I like to use the searches “pitch me”, “pitch us”, and “call for pitches”. Make sure to include the quotation marks when you search for these phrases.

The immediacy…


Letting it all go feels nearly impossible. But, here’s how I’m going to try.

Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels

My past mistakes haunt me all the time. The memory appears when I’m least expecting it. It’s like my brain jump scares me. I experience a horrible bout of anxiety and dissociate for a few seconds.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the one time I bombed a group project in college. This happened five years ago.

Like, what gives brain? I drink tons of water; I take daily vitamins; I eat broccoli; I listen to Hannah Montana’s iconic song “Nobody’s Perfect”. She sings, “Everybody makes mistakes, everybody has those days.”

But — maybe I haven’t let it go like…


In Black hair, there’s poetry. You just have to look.

Photo by Joshua Mcknight from Pexels
  1. Honey-thick castor oil
  2. Wide toothed comb, basically a pick
    with a mismatched handle,
    a strange, yet-talented twice removed cousin
  3. Moisturizing smoothie cream
    that’ll make your coils hug each other
    appearing like magic amongst
    a cloud of frizz
  4. Silk scrunchies that don’t pull your hair
  5. Stretchy, nylon-based scrunchies that do
  6. Extra-large wig cap that will fail to contain
    all that makes you, you, but it tries its best
  7. Bootleg Denman brush
  8. Rattail comb for making laser-sharp parts
  9. Curl-defining mousse for
    the wash and go you’ll try and fail at
  10. A pick with a Black power fist at its handle
    for the…


Beauty was her greatest weapon. I just wish she didn’t use it against me.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

Trigger warning: disordered eating

As we walked into the front entrance of the mall, boys damn near broke their necks to stare at my best friend — and her only.

Her beauty was equal parts effortless and well-calculated: straight sew-in weave, low-rise jeans, and pink lip gloss that glittered under the mall’s fluorescent lighting.

The intrigue in their eyes disappeared when they looked at me. My denim Bermuda shorts, frizzy French braids, and Payless sneakers stunk of girlhood.

Sometimes a boy would try to get at her. Her reaction depended on their attractiveness.

Ugly boys were quickly dismissed. She said…


We chat about BROCKHAMPTON’s new album, the passing of DMX, and more in this week’s Content Consumed.

Photo by Bryan Catota from Pexels

Content Consumed is a weekly pop culture segment where I share my favorite content of the week, along with my hot takes. Let’s spill some tea.

Spoilers for Two Distant Strangers below.

1. BROCKHAMPTON’s new album “ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE”

I ate ROADRUNNER up; it was great. I loved how the album mixed genres but still felt like a cohesive body of work. Some songs were boom-bap, real niggas only-type rap posse cuts. Others featured NSYNC-inspired boy band harmonies. It all meshed together well.

My favorite tracks are “BANKROLL” and “I’LL TAKE YOU ON” featuring the legend Charlie Wilson. “THE LIGHT PT.2” was also a fantastic end…


A free verse poem composed of lines I’ve posted online over the past decade

Photo by Binti Malu from Pexels

I am not sunkissed.
The sun and I made love.
Mother Nature and I are distant relatives.

At 3AM, all ideas sound like good ideas.
Should I talk to the moon and ask it for guidance?
I long to find someone who finds comfort in our silence.

I can shed my wants like a dog’s fur.
It’s only a matter of time.

How can I win against my demons
when they suffocate not only me but you too?
Why obsess over the thorns of a rose? …


The idea for your next story is waiting for you.

Photo by Zen Chung from Pexels

Writing prompts are an essential part of my creative process. Every week, I dedicate time to freewriting a specific prompt. You never know will spin off a nugget of an idea.

If you publish a story inspired by one of my fiction writing prompts, be sure to tag me in it. I’d love to see where you took it. Happy writing!

  1. Write a rom-com inspired flash fiction story between two inanimate objects. (i.e. WALL-E)
  2. Your character wakes up to a letter from an address they don’t recognize. They have been invited to compete with ten strangers in a game in…

Nia Simone McLeod

Freelance writer covering pop culture, creativity, race + other fun stuff | she/her | Subscribe to my newsletter: https://ohwrite.substack.com/welcome

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