Pancreatitis Monday Challenge

I am so sorry I haven’t been writing. As of late, I have felt the icky symptoms of pancreatitis. I’ve not written at all. I’ve just clutched my stomach.

However, I have been watching and listening. This past week I’ve heard and seen things I know would go great in a novel. That would make a great incident. A great scene. An important move or change in a novel. A snippet of dialog. Something funny. Something sad.

This week I’d like to challenge you to listen for, and write down, anything that seems interesting to you. Keep a notebook or 3 X 5 cards nearby. Your goal is to come up with 100 news items. Bit of dialog, plot points, funny incidents, anything that might go into a book exactly as you write them down or with appropriate twists so you can add them in your current novel. I am NOT suggesting all 100 things are to go in your current WIP. Instead, I’m suggesting you collect things that can be used later on.

Also, Ann Dee and I will come up with a place and time for our potluck dinner.

Also also–PLEASE keep Lynne Snyder in your prayers. She’s very ill.



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Dear Friends

I have recently been reading a lot of adult novels about sprawling families. They start out small and then the characters get older and become adults and have children of their own and life gets . . . complicated. And sad. And overwhelming. And the adult kids aren’t such great friends and they don’t get along with their parents. There are regrets and mistakes and betrayals and all the things that make literary fiction a lot to take on.

As I’ve been reading these books, which are beautiful, but heavy but really beautiful, I’ve been thinking, is life joyful? Do families survive? Are parents always ruining their children? Will my children go to therapy and talk about me? is that okay? What does hope mean? How do we get through hard times? Why is connection so difficult? And so important? And sometimes, does it feel safer to isolate than to be vulnerable and real and let your heart get stomped or maybe loved but maybe stomped?

I also have been thinking about what a refuge it is to read hard things and then work through the mistakes and sadnesses on a couch in the sunshine. To feel not so alone because other fake but so real people are going through a lot of the same things I am. To see futures and try to understand what I want and don’t want. To see that healing can happen and kids are resilient and happy and true. I love kids.

I love kids.

I love that they get to feel things so deeply but also play so hard and laugh so much and get hurt all the time and scream if they get hurt. SCREAM!!!! They get to scream and yell and run around live so fully in the grass and on the tramp and in the dirt. They get to wonder at the praying mantis and touch a snake and then SCREAM!!! They get to feel love fully and truly and they get to forgive so much better than I do. They get to cling and whisper and skip and dance and I love them.

I always want them right here with me. I always want to draw with them and try to learn how to not get mad at them because they SCREAM and they eat all the peanut butter and steal the chocolate chips and put on mustaches and capes and jump from the couches and live their life and SCREAM!!!!!

I’m glad to be an adult but oh how I love the kids. Oh how I want to be like them and learn form them and be like them and SCREAM!!! whenever I want to and people still love me and hold me.

The End.


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Now that everyone has finished the writing marathon, you’re probably all thinking a lot about revisions…RIGHT?

Maybe that’s just me.
Anyway! One thing I struggle most with are revisions. I can bust out a novel in a few months, but when it comes to revisions I drag and drag and drag my feet.

Today I have a few little writing tips for revisions that have helped me, and may help you, too!

Cut distractions! 
Yesterday I decided I couldn’t be on facebook anymore. It’s too distracting. I can spend hours on there, just reading nonsense. Not to mention, I read my first “fake news” article! I nearly died of a heart attack when I did. And no one needs that. So I have deactivated my account until I’m done revising my books.

Read your work aloud. 
See if you can get your boyfriend, or girlfriend, or husband, or dog, to listen to you read your revised work. When I’m revising I do this, and it actually does help a lot.

Write notes and comments to yourself, and then organize those notes and comments. 
If your’e anything like me, you write a lot of notes to yourself and a million comments. When I first started doing this, I would lose track of a comment here, or a note there. Lately though, I’ve been trying to keep everything more organized. It’s made revising so much easier.

Get someone else to read your work.
Maybe something you just wrote needs a revision, but you’re not sure where to start. Get someone else to read. Having fresh eyes is one of the best things you can have when working on a story. You don’t always need to do this after a first draft, but it certainly can’t hurt.

Please share your own tips in the comments below! 
And also, it sounds like we’re going to be having a potluck soon! Keep an eye out for more details.

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I think a fabulous party is the way to celebrate. We must know, like Carol said, how many of you were able to accomplish the hour a day. And even if you tried . . . most days . . . it still counts.

I did great in spurts and then would have an off day. I did try to make up for the times I missed by going longer on other days. Next time we do this, I’m going to keep log and MAKE SURE I do every minute.

Again, let us know if you would like to join us and we’ll decide a place!

Also, the three of us are participating in this year’s Writing for Charity conference.

Writing For Charity

There will agents and writers and more writers and food! Come hang out with us!

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You did it!

You are amazing! Did you accomplish 32 hours of writing? Did you take weekends off?

Did you reach your goal?

While I didn’t write every day, man, I tried. And I accomplished two big things. (I had hoped for three, but I am thrilled with the two.)

So, how do you feel?

Share your goals, if you’d like. What did you do? How would you have changed this challenge? How did you get your time in? What was the easiest part of the challenge fo you? What was the hardest?

I can tell you the hardest part for me. Even though I told my family for days that I was taking the hour in the mornings, they still intruded on the hour. I whined about this with the first interruptions, then I figured out I was going to need to figure out how to work anyway.

What was the best part for you?

The best for me was knowing out there, somewhere, other people were giving an hour a day to their writing. I loved the idea of community.

Ann Dee, Kyra and I will let you know where we’ll eat. Would you love to do a potluck? That might be great fun. Go to Olive Garden again? Whatever we decide, let’s make this an annual tradition.

And remember this–YOU ROCK!

PS Guess what awaits you? REVISION!


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You have just one day–just these last few hours–to complete your writing goal of One Hour a Day.

When will that be for you?

Will you join me for one hour right after I post this blog?


I’ll post one more time tomorrow.

But may I just say, even if you write five times with us this last month, good for you. What we do? It’s hard. And you’ve been doing hard things.

Enjoy your last hour on this challenge.


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How will you finish the challenge?

We hope you’ve been writing.

I know I have tried to write Every. Single. Day.


Put your head down.

No need to try and make up lost time. Just WRITE today.

And tomorrow.

Enjoy these last two days.

Love your words.

Love this chance.

Love your story.

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