Tag Archives: marathon

How Many are Finished? How Many Still Rocking the Writing?

I thought yesterday would be my last day working on my novel. In my secret heart (Yes, I have one of those. It’s tucked in a pocket in my fatty, over-used, heart-broken heart) I had wanted to complete a draft of my NaNo book. I really thought it was going to happen. The morning before we found out Violet was killed, I’d spent less than a half hour and written nearly my goal. Kyra and I have both both too sad to write, but we’re planning a silent marathon for ourselves when we stop bursting out in tears at odd times.

Violet, I miss you!

But this is to cheer you on.
For those of you who chose three days, Keep Going! You have this overcast-ish sorta day to write (at least it seems darker outside with my curtain shut). Yahoo! New words for you! Goals for you!
Keep going Dear Writer Friends! We think you are amazing.
Let us know if you hit your goals.

TIDBIT: by Dancing Machine Rena Lesue-Smithey

I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to participate in Carol’s Advanced
Writing class at WIFYR. It’s the best thing I could’ve done for advancing
my writing career. WIFYR introduced me to a group of writer peers who, in a
professional and collaborative environment, helped me identify the flaws in
my WIP. Plus, the relationships I built with the other writers have
extended beyond the week-long conference. I’ll be going next year.


Rena Lesue-Smithey aka Rena: [RE-nuh] n. 1. one who writes, especially as an occupation 2. wife, mother of two 3. English teacher 4. Correspondent for the Daily Herald 5. Blogger http://www.prose-spective. blogspot. com 6. Exercise enthusiast, http://www.theredbookexper iment.blogspot. com 7. Author of One-Armed Freak available through Amazon as a Kindle 8. Central Utah Writing Projectfellow, 2011 9. avid reader.

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Filed under July 2012 Marathon, Uncategorized

Mini Marathon (though I thought I was going to do a full one)

Hello Lovelies! 

How are you now? I admit I’ve had a rough go. A combination of a lot of things. BUT I am going full on tonight, tomorrow and Saturday. The best I can. Anyone who has struggled should recommit and join me! 

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Filed under July 2012 Marathon, Uncategorized


This has been a morning. Between going to see the balloons (you can still go tomorrow morning if you live around here) and trying to get my house in order (why is flushing the toilet so boring for kids? I don’t get it) I almost forgot to post.

Here are some things I’ve been thinking about while scrubbing the floor.

1. I want to go to a soiree. Like the kind in my favorite movie Thoroughly Modern Millie, where people walk around in fancy fringed dressed and talk about politics and fashion and listen to Carol Channing sing. Do people have soirees around here? Where are they? How does one get invited?

2. Why don’t I own a cabin? I wish I owned a cabin and we rented it out for fabulous writing retreats and my kids would play outside and climb trees and there would be cookouts and water fights and deep thoughts and scenes from movies. I hope one day I can own a peaceful cabin-type thing.

3. Poor Tom.

4. I wonder why we don’t have more fourth of July traditions. We used to. I should make some up.

5. I forgot to add a personal writing assignment to my website.

6. Oh. I forgot to blog on TUW.

7. Can I do a marathon next week? I think I can. I’m going to start a new NEW book and I’m going to write 2000 words a day and not second guess myself for just a week. Then I can stop and decide if it’s worth it to keep going.

8. I hope I finish this memoir today. I’ve been reading a lot of memoirs for my upcoming class in the fall. I know I said I was going to read a bunch of YA/MG, and I still plan to but right now I’m on a memoir kick. So far I’ve read PERSEPOLIS, NIGHT, DRESS YOUR FAMILY IN CORDUROY AND JEANS. I’m working on THE LIAR’S CLUB and GRIEF OBSERVED. If anyone wants to join me, I’ll send you my list. I am learning a lot about writing. So much. And if you have any memoirs you’ve loved, let me know.

9. We need to fix up this blog/website. Kick off Chris because we miss him but he’s no longer blogging with us, update the links and add more search friendly options. We also need to do some more market and author interviews. Are there things you’d like to see on this site?

10. I wonder why my boys never flush the toilet.

I think that’s all. I am excited to marathon next week. Tell your writer friends and lets see how many people we can get to join the fun. Maybe we can get some kind of record, send out some prizes for goals, email each other encouragement and chocolate, etc. etc.

I hope you all have a safe fourth of July with no wildfires and lots of hot dogs. Happy Birthday Tom Cruise and America.


Filed under Uncategorized

Hey Ann Dee . . .

. . .what do you say to another marathon?

I’m calling you sometime today so we can plan our March Madness Marathon.

The rest of you–we want you to start preparing for the three days we’ll all write together. It’s still a weekend or two away but . . .


Here’s what we want you to do:

1. In 25 words or less, write a simple plot of what your story is about–even if you haven’t much of an idea. If I had done this before for Miles from Ordinary, I would have said, “A girl is left to care for her crazy mother and her dead grandfather keeps showing up.” That was sort of the idea of the story when I started the book. I think.

2. Write up a list of characters that might in the book. Remember that big long list we had you do some time ago describing everything about a lot of people you know? Well, that’s gonna come in handy now. Draw from that list.

3. What is it your character wants? Spell it out–even if you’re kind of vague. In my book it might have been Lacey wanted to get rid of the ghost, or that she didn’t want to do things alone.

4. Jot down several subplot ideas that you might use for the marathon. Writing them down doesn’t mean you have to use them. But thinking things through a bit might help you as you write. These ideas will help you as you plump your story up. They’ll offer the main plot support and get you through the icky middles.

5. Finally, write yourself a letter. This is a letter of congratulations before you even attempt the writing marathon. In the letter, write down how you see the story unfolding, the pacing of things, the events, the climax and then the end. Keep the letter to about two pages. Don’t fill it with all your beautiful language. You’re jotting a note to yourself saying you know you can do this and here are some ideas of how things might turn out. You’re writing a word-map.


Whew! Are you excited??? Well, I should hope so.


If you get the chance, come see me at the Barnes & Noble at 2 pm on Saturday (the one in West Jordan).

Don’t forget to wear green today.

Hug your family.

Do something for those in Japan.


Filed under Uncategorized