Tag Archives: Three Things Thursday

Three Thing Thursday


For the first time in a year, I’m not in a writing class. And it’s weird.  My writing group is sort of on hiatus since last semester ended. So there isn’t anyone I feel accountable to. I don’t report a wordcount to anyone, or turn in a revised chapter. I’m forced to examine if I’m going to write every day, on my own, without the points tied to grade, like a carrot dangling in front of me. Do I do what I say I love to do?

I’m happy to say yes, I am writing, and enjoying it. I’m having fun watching my characters unfold and surprise me. It’s not as often as I should be writing.  It’s several times a week, but not daily.  I’ve decided to set some personal goals in this season of goal setting — one short-term daily goal, one mid-range goal, and one long-term goal.

1.       Writing is like exercise – it’s better to do even a little bit every day, than to do nothing and atrophy, or try to do a huge marathon session in one day and have a stiff brain and wear yourself out. Just 100 words keeps your creativity muscles toned and ready whenever an idea presents itself. I always feel better about the day ahead of me if I’ve written in the early morning. I’m not looking at writing as a chore anymore, but something I do because there are moments of fun for me. Those moments are coming more often than they used to, so I keep plugging away. My only problem is do I write or do I exercise? Writing is winning hands down – literally. My hands are down on the keyboard instead of on a yoga mat.

2.       My mid-range goal is getting my writing group back together. We miss each other, and I enjoy their stories, and their insights on my story. A once-a-month meeting should not be that hard. Hope they are reading this. I’ll be sending an email today, girls 🙂

3.       Set a long-term goal, like attending a conference, and sign up where possible to meet with an editor or agent. I’ve signed up early and pushed myself out of my comfort zone to do more than sit and enjoy the speakers. This way I can make progress towards my goal of getting published. When you sign up for a workshop or writing conference, plan to have something critiqued, then let your daily writing work towards writing your piece a little every day.

What strategies are you using to set your writing goals this year? See you at the conferences!


Last night, Ann Dee Ellis, Kyra Leigh and Kristyn Crow traveled to my class to speak about writing. Each girl has a book coming out this year and they all read from their work. AMAZING!

Carol Again:

Don’t forget Friday’s party!

Go here to register: http://www.wifyr.com/events/

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Filed under Ann Dee, Exercises, First Line, three thing thursday

Three Things Thursday


I thought back about the times when I was the most productive with my writing, and it was always when I was in a group. I had a phenomenal group of some of the most talented writers you’ve ever seen. We each had a specialty and we complemented each other beautifully.
But marriage and kids and jobs moved us all away from each other.
However, I decided that I needed a group. So I reached out to everyone on Facebook to see if anyone else felt the same. It was amazing to reconnect and see what everyone’s been up to. And the best part? Some of them had been feeling the same way.
So now I’m writing, and writing consistently. It’s incredible. Every time I start to get all crazy, they tell me to “calm the junk down!”
This is why writers need writer friends. It’s such a lonely and harrowing thing to experience alone. We need friends to love and help and encourage us.
So if you don’t have a group, there’s never a better time to find one. You’ll be surprised at how many others feel the same way you do.
You’d think ONE Life Time would be enough for most people. But, when I was a kid, I had so many different things I wanted to do. I ALWAYS knew I wanted to be a teacher. And so I was for 52 years. But I thought, back in the day, that I’d like to be an airline stewardess during summer vacation. And an actress. (I didn’t know things didn’t work that way, so I dreamed on.) As I got older, I wanted to do more of the same: travel, airplane or not, became an interest, though the only time I did the “during the summer thing” was the year I quit my first teaching job after 6 years at it, drove to California with my brother and a friend, sent my car home with them, and flew to Hawaii, where I’d grown up (until I was 10). A week later, I boarded a ship and took the long way to get to London, bought a mo-ped on a whim, and went up the west side of England, into Scotland at Glasgow, turned northeast to go as far as just past Perth, down again in the east and through Oxford back to London. I put the mo-ped in a train’s baggage car and rode to Paris. From there I traveled south through France, half-way down the coast of Spain,  back up and around the whole French Riviera, into Italy. I sold the mo-ped, flew to Copenhagen for a day-and-a-half, caught a flight to New York to stay with cousins for a few days, flew back to Utah and started grad school and teaching, again, at BYU.
See there?  Now I’ve re-lived my trip in very vivid details (most of which I didn’t take time to note here). But it’s like living my life over again, and every bit as thrilling the second time around. Use the details of your life when you write. Make the places and people “real”. They’ve been to places you’ve been, lived where you’ve lived. And you get to live it all over again by writing it down. All  our lives can be lived again: the good, the scary, the sad, the exciting . . . every wondrous thing that you’ve ever done can feed the writing. And be lived again. If you get the details down, and get them right, the reader will “live it” with you.
Hello guys!
So I’ve been unemployed for almost two weeks now, and I have to say, I am LOVING it.
It just makes me wishohwish that I could be a full time writer for the rest of my life. {I suppose I have to get some words on the page to do that} Someday, I will make this happen!

While I’ve been taking this little break, I’ve been writing a lot more.
I’ve started making a list of small goals for each writing day.
A certain number of words.
An hour with no distractions.
Create a new character.
Revise a certain number of pages.

It’s been pretty helpful to shut off my internet, hide my cell phone, and just focus, for a solid hour. I didn’t think I’d be able to work that way, but so far I am liking it.
This new book I’ve started feels like it could be something, at least it does while I’m writing on it. You never really know.

I’ve also been doing a lot of reading. Right now I am reading an unpublished novel by a friend of mine. I am hoping that she can sell it soon because it’s just fantastic.

ALSO! Tonight I am doing “Write/Art Night” with a couple writer and artist friends of mine. If anyone is interested in joining, feel free. The more the better! We just sit together, write a little, gossip a lot, paint, brainstorm, stuff like that. I have a remix of angsty music I like to play while working. It’s pretty fun. And mostly helps me feel inspired.

Today I hope to write another 2,000 words. I know it’s a bit of a “lofty” [is that the right word?] goal, but I think it’s possible!

Back to work!

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Filed under CLW, Kyra

Three Things Thursday on Friday

From my dear Cheryl:

Sometimes I think we put a little too much of our real life into our stories. I know my first draft characters always  come out too much like me. It’s good, in a way, to model characters after real people, because it makes them relatable. On the other hand, real people are boring. 

So switch it up a little. Maybe she has an aunt that works as a psychic. Or a dog that’s famous in town for having saved the life of a Boy Scout. Or maybe her dad keeps a pet alligator in the bathtub. Don’t ever limit yourself to reality. The whole point of fiction is to escape reality. We might as well have a little fun doing it.
And my dear Brenda:
Last Saturday I helped at the “Spring Into Books” Event held at the Viridian Event Center.  This was started by the Oquirrh Chapter of the League of Utah Writers.  The year before they had held a “book signing” event, mostly populated by chapter members. This year they began, in the first meeting of the planning “committee” (of which I was a member, and dragged my husband into it as well), to expand their idea.  It just kept getting bigger and Bigger and BIGGER.  One of the committee is on the board for the Viridian — and said he could get the venue for free.  Eventually, we were co-sponsored by SL County Library System, West Jordan Arts Council, Jordan School District, Salt Lake County and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Best guesses to date are that 58 authors were there to sign books for the approximately 1,000 people who showed up (I’ve seen guesses of 200+ more than that).  Authors rented tables or half-tables to show their wares  And admittance was FREE.

Kids were entertained with games, prizes, a clown making fantastic balloon animals, flowers, and tiaras, free popcorn and so much else. One genius came up with a “scavenger hunt” list of items to find: soccer ball, mermaid or merman, a dragonfly, a candle, etc. All of them items pictured on various authors’ covers. If a child could get initials from each of the authors that he’d seen their cover, he could show it at the front desk to receive a free, colorful pencil.  Simple, but tremendously popular.

Just under 20 authors took a 20 minute slot to read to interested parties from their books.  That ran, like the entire event, from 3pm to 7pm.  Another room had hourly round-tables: 5 separate tables, where audience members could listen to authors on a variety of subjects, or come watch an illustrator and hear what his/her job entailed.

The Copper Hills H.S. poetry-slam group performed from 5 to 6 pm.  They are an award-winning group (and there’s already been SOME talk of including a poetry-slam contest next year).
There were also hourly drawings for various prizes, a choice between a free book or a T-shirt with writerly notes printed on them.
Every “sponsoring” entity sent people to  check on the event, to see if they would still  be interested in sponsoring next year.  ALL of them have put in a “We want to help next year” — and there are talks of making it even bigger — which we’ll need, if this kind of response repeats itself.
It will probably be held about the same time of year — You Will Want To Be There — late March of 2016, or so.  Watch for it in the newspapers, on TV, through online announcements, etc., and come join us as we Spring Into Books!
And from me:
Today, I’m going to plant flowers with my youngest.
I need to. I’ve been writing a book that has brought some icky parts of my past to the surface, and I’ve been sad. This compounds my already depressed mood.
It’s okay, though, to lift my face to the sun. Dig in the dirt. Paint a room a bright color.
This part of my life is over. And yes, it still touches me, wrapping memory around my heart and lungs. But. But now I can write it down. Loose it a little. Maybe free myself from some of the anguish.
How does writing help you?

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Filed under CLW, Depression

Three Things Thursday

1.My husband sent me this link on nanowrimo because he knows I need all the help I can get. There are some good ideas. I especially like the 750words website because we all know point systems make the world go round.

2.  Another useful (maybe?) site for nanowrimo or for whenever you get in a writing rut is this little space.  It’s like having a writing teacher throwing exercises at you whenever you need them.

3. I like this girl. I dare someone to use her as inspiration for their next novel.

That’s all for now. I hope you are all having a wonderfully productive Thursday. Cheers.


Filed under Ann Dee