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Mekiya Outini

Mekiya Outini is an award-winning author, editor, co-founder and Managing Editor at The DateKeepers, and co-author of Itto's forthcoming memoir Blindness is the Light of My LifeHis fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared in Chautauqua, The Michigan Quarterly Review, The Coachella ReviewWillow Springs and elsewhere. His novel manuscript, Ashes, Ashes, has also placed in serval contests, and its first two chapters have appeared in the West Trade Review

As an editor, Mekiya loves supporting ESL writers who are striving to convey their insights and ideas in unfamiliar languages and cultures. He brings to the table over ten years of experience with academic, professional, and creative texts, from resumés to memoirs; four years as a college-level writing instructor; four years as a tutor in university writing centers; an MFA in fiction from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; and a BFA in creative writing from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. For more information, see Mekiya's services below. Prices are available upon request. 

Last but not least, Mekiya is a homemaker husband. Learn more about his domestic pursuits here

Image: Mekiya Walters in a blue button-down and black pants, seated in a black booth at a wooden

New Award

Winner (1st place) of the 55th New Millennium Award in Fiction ("Baptism by Earth"). July 2023.

Mekiya's Services

Academic Tutoring

Are you struggling with an academic paper? With 10+ years of tutoring and teaching at the college level, I’ll help you hone your paper while building your skills. (Expertise: supporting ESL writers.)

Consultation Manuscript Preparation

Are you preparing a manuscript for publication? I’ve worked on everything from academic articles to memoirs and can help you refine your language and adhere to the appropriate style guide.

Consultation: Resume & CV Preparation

Do you want to land your dream job? Then you’ll need a stellar resume or CV. I’ll help you with everything from morphological parallelism to diction and punctuation to make your experience shine. 

Developmental Editing

Developmental editing addresses deep issues (i.e. plot holes or logical fallacies) and leads to substantial revision. If you’re struggling with an early draft, this might be the service for you.

Structural Editing

Structural editing helps refine the structure of the manuscript. If you’ve worked out the “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” and “why,” but not the “how,” you might benefit from structural editing. 

Copyediting

Copyediting addresses local issues such as awkward syntax, lack of clarity, and underdeveloped ideas. If you want to cultivate readable, elegant prose, you may need a copyeditor. 

Proofreading

Proofreading targets minor errors such as typos, punctuation issues, and formatting problems. If you’re about to submit your final draft and want to ensure that it shines, you’ll want a proofreader.

Web Editing

Are you seeking a writer who’s proficient in Wix? I’ll help you draft, develop, and refine your copy, optimize your SEO, captivate your visitors with catchy prose, and more. 

Prices are available upon request. Contact Mekiya for availability.

The Kitchen

The kitchen’s where we keep the dates and cook the beans.

It all started late in 2021, when Itto’s doctor warned her that she should be taking her gluten allergy seriously. He also advised her to watch her cholesterol. We’d been keeping our fridge stocked with cheese sticks and pasta, but that was a wake-up call. We reduced our dairy intake and started investing in gluten-free flours, pastas, pastries, breads, and more.

Image: Black Bean Nachos Loaded with Veggies, Egg, & Avocado
Image: Italian White Bean Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Parsley, & Parmesan
Image: Shakshuka, an Egyptian tomato-based stew, with poached eggs and raw red onions
Image: Butternut Squash & Spinach Pasta (with Chickpea-Flour Noodles)
Image: A Rice Bowl with Tofu, Cucumbers, & Toasted Pecans
Image: Mashed Pinto Bean Patte with Tomatoes, Onion, Cilantro, & Feta Cheese

Before long, though, I started to notice the hairs on the back of my neck standing up whenever I entered the kitchen. I couldn’t shake the feeling that someone, or something, was watching me, but this entity’s identity remained mysterious until, one day, I happened to glance at the labels on some of our gluten-free goodies. Chickpea flour in the cakes, red lentils in the pasta, soybeans in the tofu, cocoa beans in every chocolate bar…and then it hit me: even our coffee comes from beans.

Persephone didn’t even eat the whole pomegranate, and look what happened to her.

Image: Roasted Potatoes & Italian White Bean & Tomato Soup

Nowadays, we spend $65.00 on dry beans (with a standard deviation of $3.50) every time we go to Walmart. I’ve taken up occasional weightlifting using bags of beans instead of barbells. Two or three nights a week, there’s a new legume-based entrée on the table. Our cholesterol’s gone down, and so has our heat bill thanks to the bean-house gases in our atmosphere. I’ve even come to fancy myself a gourmet bean chef—just what every young child aspires to be.

 

In The Kitchen, you’ll find a random sampling of legume-based dishes, some tried-and-true classics, some cutting-edge culinary chimeras—all cool beans.

Image: A Cherry-Almond Cake from the Pre-Bean Days
Image: Red Bean Nachos with Salsa & Guacamole
Image: Sourdough Bread from the Before-Bean Times

The Living Room

The living room is where the stitches drop.  

“Take up knitting,” they said. “It’ll help you relax,” they said.

 

Clearly, “they” had never met anyone with an anxiety disorder.

Image: A Scarf Speckled with Light Yellow, Blue, & purple Coloration Laid out on the Floor to Block
Image: Family Friend Alison Dalby Modeling a Triangular Yellow Shawl
Image: Mekiya Outini Grinning while Knitting a Light Blue Shawl

I’ve come to love knitting, but not because I find it relaxing. Far from it. Producing a reversible cabled scarf with baubles is, for me, the approximate adrenal equivalent of rappelling up a rockface or base jumping off a waterfall. Whenever I get to the end of a row and discover an extra stitch loitering, I have to resist the temptation to call 911. Every minor error threatens to upend my day, my week, my year, etc. Please keep this in mind while perusing the textile babies I’ve managed to birth—for none spared me the pains of their labor.

Image: Mekiya & Itto Sitting and Talking while Mekiya Knits
Image: Mekiya and Itto Cuddling and Reading an Audiobook while Mekiya Knits a Scarf with Alternating Sections (Purple & Autumn Leaves)
Image by Nahil Naseer

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