#IWSG December

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

December 2 question – Are there months or times of the year that you are more productive with your writing than other months, and why? The awesome co-hosts for the December 2 posting of the IWSG are Pat Garcia,Sylvia Ney,Liesbet @ Roaming AboutCathrina Constantine, and Natalie Aguirre!

There are two seasons of writing for me that I have recognized. NICOLE GULOTTA talks about seasons of writing in her book Wild Words. My seasons are creation and revision. I will create until I pile up enough words that I feel that I have to do something with it. It is a system based on feeling.

I am inspired all the time but I have set up my writing life for me to be open to ideas to flow to me. Lines get added to the everything notebook and the notes app all the time. I feel like I have a writing antennae that is always on alert. I read and use other’s words to fuel my own. The children I come in contact during the week also get my brain moving because they see patterns others don’t. I also seek out poems. My inbox is also set up for me to be productive. I subscribe to poem of the day newsletters so there is always quality items to read there. Yesterday I got the alert that my issue of The Paris Review was ready to download and was thrilled to read in-between obligations.

At first I thought deadlines made me more productive but it is the routines I have set up in my writing practice. I decided to write every day. I decided I will post to my blog every Tuesday and the first Wednesday of the new month. So I do.

I have a writing community I am responsible to so I write and produce when I need to share. This has made me a better writer for sure.

Last summer I had an ideal writing schedule set up. I would write, walk, nap and then write again. The move and the pandemic required me to adjust this schedule. I am now back in a new routine where I am writing over 2750 words a day across the projects and I am happy and moving in the right direction!

Weekend Coffee Share

Happy Saturday!

Join me for a chat and a cup of coffee today will you? 
Let’s start with a quote like always as I pour your drink.

Would you like something in your coffee? Cream? Sugar? Caramel? Let’s start with a quote as I get your beverage.

The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.

-Tony Robbins



If we were having coffee, I would tell you I have been saying no to myself for a long time. I have said no to the ideas of growth because I didn’t think it was the right time, or that I didn’t have to skills, or that someone would say no to me. It also has to do with the beliefs and the untold stories from my childhood. 

I am done with that limiting belief.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I joined the UHPW (Unleash Her Power Within – Tony Robbins) call on Monday night with Karissa Kouchis and was reminded of how much I love personal development. Because growth is one of my top human needs I pulled out all my TR workbooks and started again. I have the Breakthrough app on my phone and listened to his words too. Tony Robbins is a fuel to my creative fire for sure!

I also took a flash fiction class on Tuesday night that was part of a series through a New England library. It was wonderful and it was free. This week’s class was about character. The leader led us through two exercises and it was fun! I am thankful because so many classes now are offered on Zoom and the reach for participants is much larger. In the class last week, two of the authors of exemplar stories shared were IN the class! That was pretty cool.


What is your favorite type of personal development? It could simply be reading or researching a topic. It doesn’t need to be a “program” or a person. It could be an awesome podcast you love. I have been listening this week to Poetry Unbound which has been amazing.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am grateful for you. Thank you for adding to my life. Thank you for reading my blog every week. Thank you for bringing who you are to the world. I am grateful every day not just on a Thursday in November, but want to take this moment to tell you.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you Thanksgiving was nice. It was a day of cooking all day for just a few people – but they are the important ones.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I did a lot of driving this week. The schedule this week dictated it. It is strange to me to think that 2+ hours of driving a day used to be my norm. I was able to listen to some new podcasts and think some new thoughts which of course leads to writing for me. Sometimes it leads to life-giving conversation.

Speaking of life-giving conversation, I would also tell you I joined a call with my writing teacher Sarah Selecky which was AMAZING on Wednesday! She had a theme and three questions that we were writing on and then we were put in breakout groups to share. Now normally I will admit that when they talking about the sharing part I would have been out but I stayed. It was magical. I am glad I said YES to myself.

I have been interacting with the other students in my short story class more as well. I started a Slack for us and that environment has been better for more casual conversation. It has been good for this small group. The class will officially be over the middle of December so hopefully, we can continue to be support for each other. There are some tentative plans to work on some things together so we will see what happens.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I got a short story rejection in the morning with amazing feedback and then an acceptance at a respected publication in the afternoon this week! It was a wonderful writing day! Are there goals you are striving for these last 34 days of 2020?

If we were having a drink, I would tell you I am enjoying my 100 writing prompt project on Patreon. Today’s prompt that went out was about what surrounds you when you write?

I am planning my next creative project iteration to share.  A free 5 day challenge is coming next month around the Bradbury challenge. Sign up here!

Next month the Patreon workshop is going to be about choosing your one word for 2021. 

If we were having coffee, I would tell you a full moon is coming next Tuesday! Hard to believe that it is time again and that Tuesday is December 1st! I think the tree is going to go up today so that should be fun. I am looking forward to snow.

Thank you for joining me for a coffee today. I would love to hear any of your reactions or answers to my shares!

I Recommend:
1. Poetry Unbound Podcast 
2. Jenna Britton’s Clarity and Connection Conversations
3.  My book is available here. It is my first collection of short stories.
4. Want more? Come on over to the Patreon for 100 days of writing prompts, community, workshops, and more!

Weekend Coffee Share

A Cup of Coffee and a Conversation Every Weekend

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Welcome back to the weekend. Thank you chatting with me today. What can I get you? Coffee? Cream? Sugar?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you the week felt heavy. Many COVID cases are coming closer to me. Work is a high volume problem area. Places are starting to shut down again or modifying service. It seems we are right back to where we were in March. (Insert big sigh)

Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? If you like the Weekend Coffee Share you will love the newsletter. I wrote about traditions, pain anniversaries, and Thanksgiving. You don’t want to miss the next edition of the Inner Circle Secrets Newsletter.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am working on my story for my final project in my Short Story Intensive. I still have to cut 1000 words… It is due to the group on November 30th. Then it goes into the first round of critique by the teacher and another member of the group.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you my writing prompts are going strong. I have gotten so much pleasure out of this project. More than I suspected. You can receive daily emails of the new prompts and get access to all the previous posted prompts by signing up at my Patreon here. Each prompt comes with a reflection.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you my friend Jenna is opening her coaching program connected to Human Design! I am so excited. She is amazing and insightful. You can find the info here about her offerings. You won’t be sorry you signed up for a session. My sessions with her have been incredible and I always leave energized with new information.

Here are some words from Jenna herself:

I created the Clarity + Connection Conversations offering to make it easier; to clearly identify the next steps that are best for you and to provide you with the encouragement and accountability to see them through.

No matter the session you select below, these Conversations are designed to focus in on an area of your life where you need guidance, reference the nuances of your unique design, help you gain clarity on the answers you seek, and solidify your next steps forward.

Do you need a warm up? Ice water perhaps?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I was inspired by my students this week and our readings of The Three Little Pigs and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. I had one little that insisted everyday that was the FAKE version of the story. His version was the only REAL one with the pigs not getting eaten.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I enjoyed my walks this week. The sunset was part of all of them. I was able to listen to some good podcasts as well. Lately, I have been disappointed in the podcast feed.

If we were having coffee I would wish you a wonderful week and American Thanksgiving! The holiday will look different for many this year due to lockdowns and travel bans.

Thank you for joining me today! Thanks to https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/ for being the host of this amazing gathering every weekend!

Weekend Coffee Share

A Cup of Coffee and a Conversation Every Weekend

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Hello! Welcome back to the weekend. Thank you for joining me for a chat. Can I pour you a cup of coffee? Cream? Sugar?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I went to the dentist twice this week. Once for a cleaning and then for a filling and repair. It was supposed to be on the same day, but the dentist’s daughter had a high fever and they had to reschedule. For the first time in my life the numbing didn’t take. It was luckily a small amount of decay so I muscled through with three little electric shocks. I am happy that all the repairs are over and I just have cleanings to look forward to.

Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? If you like the Weekend Coffee Share you will love the newsletter. I wrote about my perfectionism this past Friday. It got quite a response. You don’t want to miss the next edition of the Inner Circle Secrets Newsletter.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I have a writing class on Saturday. I also have a writing call with my Intensive group on Sunday morning. I have been writing every day. I am doing a combo of Sarah Selecky daily prompts, the Nancy Stohlman Flash Nano prompts, and my own regular writing.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you we are in the last 50 days of 2020 now! You can receive daily emails of the new prompts and get access to all the previous posted prompts by signing up at my Patreon here. Each prompt comes with a reflection and more info as well.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I had a story published this week at Five on the Fifth! I was excited this story found a home. I love it so much. You can read that here. Another story I love is being published in February of 2021 in another fantastic publication. More info about that as we get closer.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I enjoy reading my horoscopes from Chani Nicholas. I have always been fascinated by astrology but find Chani’s work extra special. Even if this is something you don’t “believe” in they are great sources for writing inspiration as well. You can sign up for her emails here.

Do you need a warm up? Ice water perhaps?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I starting doing drawing videos with my students this week. It is super fun and takes 5 minutes. My students are fantastic writers and have come so far in 11 weeks. We drew a cartoon fox and turkey this week and they were so detailed and fun. I highly recommend this Youtube channel. Even if you just like to doodle yourself with no kids they are super fun! It is a great way to be playful.

Thank you for joining me today! Thanks to https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/ for being the host of this amazing gathering every weekend!

Inspiration from Everywhere #SOL20

Come join me and other teacher writers at the Two Writing Teachers blog. Every Tuesday teachers blog a slice of their life and others comment. It is a wonderful community.

One of my favorite questions is, “What inspires you?”

Here in Wisconsin, there are hints of November. I am in the midst of NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) and getting ready for Thanksgiving. The weather however is warmer than it was in the spring. It has been over 70 degrees here over the last couple of days.

I am feeling a bit rebellious about it. I should not be wearing a t-shirt and shorts to walk. I will have to use this feeling and details in a story this week.

This week in class we are utilizing the website Mystery Science. The kids really like these videos, as do I, because they are interesting and we always learn something new.

Yesterday we watched a video about poisonous plants. We learned about the Manchineel tree that can kill you. We saw trees that had grown around signs, benches, motorcycles, and bikes. Not only did it ignite lots of conversation from my 5 year olds it fueled our writing as well. The students wrote in their journals what a tree would “eat”.

One little one kept saying, “That is terrifying!” I write down their comments all day long. I have to go back through my teaching notebook and log them all in a document. The kid speak alone is gold.

The video even inspired my writing. For one of the daily prompts I needed to write a story from the POV of something that normally doesn’t have one. I wrote from the perspective of this tree with the warning label.

What has inspired you that was surprising lately? I would love to hear in the comments.

Weekend Coffee Share

A Cup of Coffee and a Conversation Every Weekend

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Welcome! I am so happy you joined me today. I am so ready for a casual sit down with some coffee with you today. I have regular black coffee with some espresso added for some extra kick. What would you like today?

This week has been one of not much sleep for me. With the time change and everything going on in the world I seemed to be thrown off in a major way. I also sunk right into a vivid dream each time I went back to sleep too which is highly unusual. How has your sleep been this week?

Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? If you like the Weekend Coffee Share you will love the newsletter. I wrote about connection in these strange times last Friday. You don’t want to miss the next edition of the Inner Circle Secrets Newsletter.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you last Sunday we traveled to Chicago and went to the Museum of Science and Industry. Then we ate Giordano’s pizza. It was a fun day in the city. Quieter than normal due to Covid and less people everywhere.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I picked up many short story collections this week from the library that has been glorious. I read from the 2020 Best American Short Stories Friday night. T.C. Boyle has a story in there called The Apartment which was delightful. I have Emma Cline’s new collection and also Nicole Krauss’. I think Nicole has some of the most beautiful sentences in the world!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you the last 100 days writing prompts is so much fun! You can receive daily emails of the new prompts and get access to all the previous posted prompts by signing up at my Patreon here. I post the prompt and writing process ideas and my personal experience as well.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I had a story published this week at Five on the Fifth! I was excited this story found a home. I love it so much. You can read that here.

If we were having coffee, I would ask you, “Do you know I have a podcast?” A close friend of mine has jokingly accused me of hiding it so here is the link! It is now available on six different platforms, including Google Podcasts.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that through logging my words I realized I write a lot more than I imagined. I have an established writing routine that works for me and am unsure a challenge of any sort will influence it at this point. I love the community of NANOWRIMO and believe every writer should participate in some aspect. You don’t HAVE to write a novel. You can be a rebel. But if you want to establish a writing routine then doing it with a worldwide support group is the time!

Do you need a warm up on your drink? Ice water perhaps?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I have been enjoying my journaling in a whole new way lately. Are there prompts you like to use? A resource or a person that I might not know? Please share with me! I am examining the writing process journal with a new lens too. There will be more about that coming soon.

Thank you for joining me today! Thanks to https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/ for being the host of this amazing gathering every weekend!

#IWSG November

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

November 4 question – Albert Camus once said, “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” Flannery O’Conner said, “I write to discover what I know.” Authors across time and distance have had many reasons to write.

Why do you write what you write?


The awesome co-hosts for the November 4 posting of the IWSG are Jemi Fraser,Kim Lajevardi,L.G Keltner,Tyrean Martinson, and Rachna Chhabria!

I have asked myself this question many times and it has been asked of me.

The short answer is I am compelled to write. I write stories of hope and being lost. I write about darkness and every day magic. I write what I hope to see in the world.

I write to be a better teacher of writing now because I desperately wanted a writing instructor as a child, and honestly, and as adult now I wish for the same thing. I seek out my own teachers of course. I also believe this is why I am obsessed with MFA programs. There is a lovely podcast where an MFA student interviews other students from various programs. They talk about writing and craft and then about the program itself. It is an escape I look forward to every time a new episode comes out.

With my writing, I hope to have an impact on others. So many author’s stories have stuck with me and I come back to them over and over. I want one of my stories to be as influential to someone else.

Being a writer helps me pay closer attention. I am always looking for things to write down on my lists of 10. I am listening to conversations and the way children phrase things. I write down what they think is funny.

Lately, I have felt like I want to be immersed in language. To read and write and talk about the process. I am trying to construct my life in this fashion. There are interruptions of course – sometimes from my own thoughts.

Interacting with my writing community is one of the daily delights! It is a close second to the writing itself. I learn from these people who are the best friends I have and most I have never met in person. It is a blessing that does not go unnoticed in my writing life.

For now my plan is to show up to the page every day. I write, I learn, I read, I submit, I publish.

It is a good process.

Tuesday Slice of Life #SOL

I woke up this morning wanted to be a hermit.

I would have preferred to go back to sleep for a bit and then snuggle with my words and blankets.

But that wasn’t possible today.

I have been examining what fuels my energy and what depletes it.

The last couple of days have been busy. There was a trip to Chicago and the museum. There was a Halloween party and an obstacle course. There were delicious dinners.

Yesterday was a full school day and then I was home for less than hour and had to leave again.

By the time I got home I was Exhausted – yes, with a capital E.

I slept hard and didn’t move all night except in my dreams.

Many of the things I did over these days are ones I love but it can still be draining. This is a conundrum I still try to unravel.

What fueled your energy today?

What depleted your energy?

What did that teach you?

NANOWRIMO Day #1

Examining my Process…One day at a time

Some thoughts on my process today:

-I feel more resistance to NANOWRIMO this year – like more people are watching or something. This idea usually does not bother me….

-I think when I am done with a scene I am going to give it a descriptive title so I can search and find them later – or at least have them come up in the outline to piece them together later.

-Blue dress with the orange and pink streaks will come to play later for a pivotal moment.

-I do not like my 100 sentences that are part of my PREPTOBER for NANO

-I need to look at my plot embryo for my story. I often will write things down and then do not come back to them.

-I am writing 2750 words per day but am just counting everything to see how much I actually get down.

-I am using Sarah Selecky’s prompts and Nancy Stohlman’s FLASHNANO prompts to move my stories along.

Weekend Coffee Share

A Cup of Coffee and a Conversation Every Weekend

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Thanks for joining me today! It is November this weekend. Do you know what that means?

NANOWRIMO!

For those who do not know that is National Novel Writing Month. The month where writers get together in all types of community and support each other to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I would love to hear about your writing goals for this month.

I have my black coffee today. What would you like to drink today? I have some pumpkin scones and cranberry too.

Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? If you like the Weekend Coffee Share you will love the newsletter.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you November also means the time change. This is not my favorite time of year for sure. I have issues with sleeping and feeling tired anyway but the time change is jet lag without the trip.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you there are some major things happening this month for me. It is an emotionally charged month for sure. The writing community will help and I am motivated to achieve my goals as always. Work and writing will be good distractions.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you the last 100 days writing prompts is going excellently! You can be part of the fun! Sign up at my Patreon here. Here is today’s prompt:

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I hosted a write in this week and it was creatively fueling and fun! We laughed a lot and got a lot of writing done in a short time. I am looking forward to the write ins for November!

If we were having coffee, I would ask you, “Do you know I have a podcast?” A close friend of mine has jokingly accused me of hiding it so here is the link! It is now available on six different platforms, including Google Podcasts.

If we were having coffee, I would ask you what you did for Halloween! It looked a lot different this year for us. We had a little party at the house since there was no trick or treating with a spooky table. The witch fingers and vampire teeth were a hit with the kids.

Do you need a warm up on your drink? Ice water perhaps? Another scone?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I always look forward to the new month. It feels like everything is full of possibility. What are your plans for November?

Thank you for joining me today! Thanks to https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/ for being the host of this amazing challenge every weekend!