Tag Archives: writing challenge


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.



Leave a comment

Filed under Ann Dee, CLW, Kyra, Life, Voice, Writing Marathon, writing process

Eight Writing Days Left

How will you spend your last week + one?

Will you write every day?

Have you done well so far?

What is the biggest thing you have learned about yourself during this past writing experience?

My advice today is you can do this. Even if you haven’t written a word this whole time, you can start today and write for one hour. Each morning or each afternoon each evening. Or you can do as a dear friend of mine did and write 15 minutes at time until you have logged your one hour.

Big breath.

We’re  counting down! Eight Writing Days Left!

Can’t wait to hear what you have done!

Leave a comment

Filed under Ann Dee, CLW, Exercises, Kyra, Uncategorized

15 Minute Monday

Writing in little bits and pieces. Can you do it? Have you done it successfully, ever?

My dear friend, Laura Torres, wrote several VERY successful How-to books for Klutz Press. Her titles sold more than 6,000,000 copies. She is an amazing woman and an amazing writer, one of the most creative people I’ve ever met.

When Laura had two young children at home, she wrote a great deal of nonfiction. Her family ALWAYS came first. She wasn’t the kind of mom who locked herself away from her crying children. She was there every moment. And that meant she had to teach herself to write in the time given her.

I remember Laura telling me she wrote when she had the moments.

“I’ve taught myself to write in 15 minutes or less.” She told me this years ago and I still remember her words. And being in awe.

She wrote clean.

She wrote well.

She wrote quickly.

The results were amazing. She’s written A LOT of books.

(You may remember her work. Go here to see it. https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/27327.Laura_Torres)

Laura has since gotten another higher degree, is a grandmother (and expecting another grandbaby), and has made a name for herself in the world of writing for teachers.

She is, I think, the mother of making time, and making time work for her. Or she works with time.


Do you sit around waiting for lots of FREE time?

Or do you write in the moments at the doctor, at stoplights, while dinner simmers?

What can you do in 15 minutes a day?

I’d like to set up a challenge for us (those who want to play), for these last days of May. 15 minutes each day. That’s all we ask.

What can you do with that?

What does it grow into?

Does the 15 minutes become 30? The 30 minutes become an hour?

Are there hard scenes you work to, work through?

Can you tackle the scary stuff easier when it’s in chunks?

I’ll try to remember to chime in at the end of each day, ask a question or two (except on Sunday. I won’t check in then. That’s my day off from writing. Don’t tell Stephen King.).

There are nine days left.

405 minutes.

What will you accomplish?



Filed under CLW

Freaky Friday

An Assortment of Topics


A writing challenge– There’s a Nudist Camp in CA that’s been accused of stealing water.

I don’t know about you, but I can see (no pun intended), all kinds of ways one could write a story with this idea in mind.

So why not?

Write a 500 word opening of a mid grade or YA novel. We’d love to see what you come up with.


Just finished Fiona Wood‘s YA called Six Impossible Things. LOVED it. I actually laughed out loud several times. That’s hard to do with me. What’s the best YA or MG you’ve read this summer–not including the one you’re working on? And that should becoming the best. FYI–I participated with Fiona and Marie Marquardt (Dream Things True–haven’t read it yet. Hope to soon.) yesterday on a panel for SLJ. We spoke about romance in YA. Those women are smart.


Ooops, be careful PW Daily. Can’t be good to spell Newbery wrong!
“Newberry Medalist Katherine Applegate’s new novel ‘Crenshaw’ features a fifth grader whose  . . . .”


School starts soon. I’ve got till the 31 to do whatever I want (as long as I do it here at home). I’m going to organize and write and clean and hang out with my girls. What would you do? Really. I want some ideas.







Filed under Uncategorized

It’s the Final Countdown: Someone Please Do This With Me. Please.

Hello Lovelies.

Today I have much to report.

1. The Writing for Charity event was great for many reasons:

  • I couldn’t put my folding chair up while everyone in my group was introducing themselves and I kept smiling and this should be so easy heh heh heh and don’t look at me until finally so nice Kristen Chandler put my chair up. I had to have someone PUT MY CHAIR UP FOR ME. I have problems.
  • The breakout session was great–I got to hang out with three different but talented writers (you, Renae).
  • I got to see a lot of writer friends that I never see.
  • They raised a pretty impressive amount of money for a great cause–getting books in the hands of every child. Yay.

2. When I got home from the event I found that my husband had bought these chairs for our kitchen table. I like them. I also like sitting in them. In fact, as I was sitting in one of them my oldest (the three year old), he said, do you like these Mom?

I said, yes. Yes I do.

He said, good.

Then I said, I am a little worried I might fall through this hole though.

He said, don’t worry. Your bum is way way way way big so you won’t fall through it.

It is true. I will never ever ever fall through one of those chairs. It’s such a relief.

3. I got writing done. All week I kept my word count goal.

So a good week.

Then Sunday hit.

You know when you get up early. You go to bed late. You eat big gallons of chocolate and peanut butter. And you don’t exercise? You know that? But you say, my kids,  I took care of my kids. My writing. I took care of my writing. My house. It didn’t fall down.

I found out that those things are important but you can’t keep them up if you do bad things to your body.

Cam was like, ummm, are you okay? and I was laying in bed and I could not get up. I tried. I really tried. but I was so so so so tired. Even after my nap I was tired. I was zombie and aching and growing pains achy. Like I’m not eating enough bananas.

He said, how are you going to do this, school starts in a week.

I said, I know.

He said, and you need to write your book.

and I said, I know.

He said, you need to take care of yourself.

and I said, what?

and then I realized he was true.

This is all to say I have an idea.

A challenge.

Challenge #1: Word Count

I don’t want to give up my word count because I can’t. I have to get a dirty draft out now whether I like it or not.

My goal is 2001 words a day, six days a week, until the relaunch of this blog on September 13th.

I chose this goal because in his memoir, ON WRITING, Stephen King says ,

‘I like to get 10 pages a day, which amounts to 2,000 words. That’s 180,000 words over a three-month span, a goodish length for a book.” He also says that when he’s working on a book, which is most of the time, he writes every day of the year, and that “includes Christmas, the Fourth, and my birthday”.

So my goal is to beat Mr. King. Just for three weeks. And I am not. NOT going to worry if the words are bad. If they are so bad I want to cry. I am going to truly write bad words (not like that) every day. I am going to do it every night after the kids are asleep. I should be writing right now.

I also saw this blog. If this girl can design and refashion a dress every day, why can’t I write 2000 words a day? Nevermind she doesn’t have a job or kids, still. Okay maybe this just fascinates me and has nothing to do with writing but I love looking at it because I could never ever do it.

So 2001 words a day, six days a week.

Challenge #2: No sugar. The WHOLE three weeks.

I may take one vacation day because of an event I have to attend that will include something I must eat but other than that, I feel that in order to be my best, I should be more conscious of my body. So I’m taking a sugar break. I’m also going to try to eat more brain food. At the Writing for Charity event, Wendy Toliver, said she ate lots of avocados while she wrote her book. I was like, duh, I should be eating buckets of avocados. that’s my problem. So these three weeks I am going to eat buckets of avocados and blueberries.

Challenge #3: Workout. At least four times a week.

And pushing my kids up a big hill counts. It counts big time. I’ve been slacking since the marathon. For awhile I was hiking but now I just sit around and talk about how I ran a marathon because what else am I supposed to talk about and this neighbor’s like, You? You?

and Yes, me.

And he said, so did you just stop cold turkey running when it was over.

I looked at him. And looked. And looked.

Then I said, yes. yes I did.

But no more! Four times a week.

Challenge #4 Go to bed at a reasonable hour. Like before midnight. Maybe even before eleven.

I know i am not getting enough sleep. I know it. And my kids and husband and writing and life is suffering because of it. So sleep. Sleep. Sleep.

That’s all.

It’s a big lofty challenge but I’m going to try. I’m also not going to beat myself up if I mess up one day or two or three, I’m just going to keep at it. If I make it with almost no mistakes the entire three weeks I am going to treat myself to a red mango on September 13th. With toppings. And my book will maybe be almost done and that in itself will be so so so happy worth it.

Who is with me? At least a few of the challenges? We’ll call it the PLEASELETMEDOTHIS challenge. Or something like that.


Filed under Uncategorized

Writing Challenge: Marathon Training

Have you heard of this?

It punishes you if you don’t keep writing. Punishes you. Scary.

On that note, here’s a marathon training warm-up:

Before the week is out have a trial run for your marathon.
Set aside everything else for two hours of straight writing.
Get your bag of M&M’s with almonds.
Get a 64 oz container of drink (your choice).
Warn the family.
Warn yourself.

Now write. Straight through.

Post your results here.

** Want to sign up of for the real thing? Go here.


Filed under Uncategorized

Writing Challenge: Emotions

Write 250 words or less of your protagonist in an emotional situation. Without naming the emotion, let us see what’s going on with her/him. Watch for cliches. Don’t forget set up. Let us see the whole scene, but show, don’t tell.


Filed under Uncategorized