Last week I had an especially taxing day. There’s no need to go into details but lets just say there was a big box store involved, maybe a diaper malfunction, perhaps some screaming, for sure some forced smiles and definitely some tears by many. At the end of the day, I sat on my back  balcony watching the sky when I was supposed to be cleaning up and getting dinner ready and momming my kids, I sat there and I thought: This sucks.

This sucks.

All day sucked.

My mom hated the word sucked.

I can see why she hated the word sucked but words change, mom. Don’t be mad. And this sucks.

I also thought, the only way to save the day, the only possibly redeeming thing that could come from hours like these, was if i wrote it down.

If I wrote down how I felt. If I wrote down what was said and how it was said and who said what and the chaos. If I wrote down how alone I felt and embarrassed and mad and stupid and alone and incapable and mean and tired and alone. That would save me.

So then I put on instagram, “who wants to write memoirs with me?” Short ones. A few a week. We’ll write and then we can share or not share but we can write and we can feel connected and then some day we can look back on those days good or bad and they can be more than throw away days. They can be parts of us that we’ll remember even if we didn’t think we’d want to. They’ll be things we can talk about later and people can say I had that happen too. Maybe our kids down the road will say that. They’ll say, You did WHAT??? in Target and I’ll say, I did. And it’s okay if you do too. Or maybe we’ll say, never do that.

The point is, I’ve been posting prompts on my personal website and on instagram. Three a week. For eight minute memoir writing. I’d love it if you’d like to join.

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A baby, a monster and a box of markers

Dear Readers!

Carol had a baby!!! Actually her baby Elise had a baby so now Carol has a grand-baby and there’s no better news than this. A big congratulations to Carol and her family and brave Elise and the sweet little one who is in for a big treat–think of all the stories he’s going to get to experience.

In other news, which I probably shouldn’t even write about other news because the big news is enough, but here I go anyway, in other news have you watched Stranger Things on Netflix? My husband and I are watching it and we’re halfway through. It’s scary and weird and human and not human and eighties and makes me think about my mom (she would have loved it). Here’s an assignment: If you haven’t watched it or if you have and you want to watch it again, get a notebook and take notes. Who is the MC? What do he/she want? How many rocks are getting thrown and how? How do they begin and end each episode? What about pacing? Look at the major and minor plot-lines. How do they intertwine? How do they  help each other? Consider the problems you’re having with your story and see if this show can help you get ideas. You can call it research.

And finally, we got a lot of school supplies today. It’s a new year, new beginning, new teachers, new season. I’m ready. You?


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Kyra Leigh, Queen Bee

We finally got internet in the house.

It’s been like a dream! Sending emails through a laptop, surfing the web for things I don’t need {and cannot afford}, checking out Goodreads . . .

Goodreads. I’ve heard that it’s the devil for writers. Already someone has put my book up there, and I’m just waiting.

Waiting, just waiting.

Waiting for those 1 stars to start trickling in. The scathing reviews from people who haven’t read the book yet, but felt the need to rate the book anyway {This has already  happened to people on my Eversosecret Swanky17 group. It makes me sick to think someone would rate a book 1 star without even reading it.}.

Is Goodreads dangerous for an up-and-coming Author? Or for an already up-and-around Author?

Are you supposed to look at reviews on there?

Are you supposed to even HAVE an author account on Goodreads?

How do you guys feel about it?

Do you rate books on Goodreads?

Do you  READ your reviews on there?

Thought I’d throw this out there.

Also, how is everyone doing on writing their page a day? I haven’t written a page a day, but I am revising Book 2 in hopes that someone may fall in love with it. So far, not even I’m in love with it.

I’ll keep writing because writing is fun, even if it is hard. And sometimes heartbreaking. And sometimes exciting. And sometimes . . .  I don’t know. The best job ever.

*Unrelated note* There are men out in the front yard ripping out Me and Stu’s piping for the bathroom. They came to the door this morning to tell me to “Shower and pee because the bathroom is going to be out of service for the next 6 or so hours”
So there’s that.


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Friday’s Post on Monday

by Lisa Roylance


I took Carol’s writing exercise and ran with it.

7 days 7 different perspectives from 7 different characters.

Time set for 5 min each day.

I’m on take 4 and I’ve discovered a new way to introduce one of the characters. I’ve also tried for the first time to write a whole scene from a child’s perspective which was new, and quite challenging.

One thing I’ve also done recently is focus on the system that I use to write rather than the very large looming goal ahead of me. A link about this was also posted on the blog recently.

My new system:

Take five minutes for a writing exercise before I jump into the big stuff. This can be anything, blog suggestions to free writes that can range from nightmare retells to dating disasters.


Set the timer for 15 minutes and revise a chapter of my first novel.

If the timer dings and I’m on fire then I keep writing, but I always write for at LEAST 15 minutes a day. It feels less daunting and I’ve gotten a lot more revised.

So you know your goals, but what are your current “systems?”

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Three Thing Thursday


Last Monday afternoon I left my writing critique group feeling like I’d chugged a 32 oz. energy drink. In the good excited, can’t-wait-to-get-started way, not the jittery, sick-to-my-stomach way. Even though there was only two other people there that night, they had helped me find a breakthrough in a problem I was having with the ending. I was in love with the story again! I was in love with my group for helping me!

The outcome of a writers group session isn’t always this good, and I often am stressed out the day leading up to writing group because I have serious doubts about what I submitted to the other members. Or I procrastinated. Or both. I know that they are going to figure out I’m faking it, that I can’t write at all. Still, I write. I submit. I go.  There is no other way to have that rare breakthrough, like I had on Monday, without working regularly with a writer’s group. Even though some meetings are a bit boring or you sometimes walk away feeling misunderstood, stick with it. What happened the other night could not have happened on my own. It took brainstorming, and feedback from others’ points of view, that would have been impossible by myself. Writers group gives you someone to be accountable to, helps you know what’s working and what’s not. It pushes you to keep going. It’s affirming and funny. If you don’t have one, find one. Create one, reach out to those you meet at conferences or join writing social media groups. It’s worth it a hundred times over.


So, you’ve knocked out your beginning, plowed through the murky middle, and now you’re up against that terrifying monster…THE END.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably had this planned all along. You’ve thought over that last line a thousand times, revised and perfected it in your head until you are finally able to type it out. But sometimes it’s not that simple. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our character’s life that we want to just keep going after the story ends. We want to tell everyone what happens a few days later, and maybe a few weeks later…oh, all right, let me just quickly tell you all what happens 30 years later!
But we can’t do that. When the story is over, it has to end. So how do we determine that it’s over?
First, we have to be very clear on what the story problem is. The story is over when the story problem is solved. Period. But is the problem part of the plot line? Or is it part of the character’s development? Only you will know for sure. But once you know for certain what your story problem is, the ending will fall into place.

Using these ten words, write a romantic scene.












I already can see this coming out in a good way, a bad way, or with lots of kissing.

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Kyra Leigh, Queen Bee

Writing is hard.
Writing on the blog is even harder.
I’ve been so caught up in my own life, that I’ve neglected both. I don’t know how Ann Dee and Mom do it. They have kids! And almost even grandCHILD. {mom}

I’m going to try and find some authors and see if I can get some interviews! Not just about how hard writing is, but how much fun it is, too! And what inspires people to write.
I’d also like to do books reviews. I haven’t read a book  {other than the one I’m revising} in months. I miss the book life.

Stay tuned. I will find something interesting and magical to post.


PS. My friend told me August is the month where you write a page a day! Is that true? If so, I’m ON IT.


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This morning I woke up at 5:30 and I had two options: Exercise or Write.

Usually, almost always, I take the exercise route. This is because I struggle with sadness and sometimes anger when I don’t get some time to myself in the early morning to get my blood moving and my mind flowing. However, this morning, because my heel has been aching and because I didn’t have a clear exercise goal, I decided to write.

It was the best decision.

I feel invigorated and excited about my WIP. I feel ready to face the day and the dishes and the cub scouts. I feel like I’ve done something for myself that is meaningful already and it’s only 8:30 in the morning.

When you have to choose between two good things: Writing vs. Exercise, Writing vs. Hanging out with a loved one, Writing vs. Gardening or crocheting or reading or eating, how do you choose? Does one always win over the other? Is it a practical decision? A scheduling decision? A spiritual decision?

I  have found that it is important to go for balance. To give ourselves a break. To love sitting in the dirt with the toy trucks when maybe we think we should be inside writing. The more we make decisions about how to use our time and then commit, be fully present in those moments, the more full the other parts of our lives can be.

I am glad I get to write. I’m glad that I get to have people walking in my head that I love and care for. I also feel glad that I have real people walking in my family room that I love and care for. And I’m glad I have myself who is messed up and happy and sad and angry and impatient and kind and horrible and all the other things so that I constantly have something hard and interesting to figure out. Life would be boring any other way.

Let’s write! Or exercise! Or pull weeds! Or swim! Or read!



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