FMF: AHEAD

ahead

We all look ahead. We look ahead to lunchtime, the weekend, the end of the month, the full moon. Much forward thinking occurs.

We make plans and hope they are realized. Sometimes we hope they are canceled. We always make plans far ahead. People say not that we don’t know when the pandemic will end and it gives more uncertainty.

In a way I agree but also feel like the certainty we had before was an illusion anyway.

Looking ahead I will write everyday. I was challenged to write a million words a year several weeks ago. This is 2750 words a day written. Years ago I imposed the 2000 word rule of Stephen King to my writing. It was a soft count but became a habit. After counting words this week I noticed that I do that anyway so there is no challenge there. Tuesday after all the words I wrote 5,000.

Looking ahead I have been planning events and workshops for my community. I am excited to offer “Choosing your one word” workshops in December and also a Bradbury challenge. The Bradbury will start as a 5 day and then stretch to a longer challenge. But NANO is hard for people and the burnout in December in real.

Looking ahead I wonder if I will do 30 day challenges or 100 day challenges for myself in the future. I seem to have leveled up.

Looking ahead I wonder if we truly wll go back to school in person at the end of January. There was a school in my district this week that was quarantined for 2 weeks. The whole school and it is just the teachers and staff there. Apparently someone didn’t wear their masks.

Looking ahead, I don’t know what is coming but I plan to enjoy the ride.

#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!

Need Some Inspiration?

A List and Some Thoughts for You Today

One of my favorite short story authors is Amber Sparks. She posted today on social media her book was on this list from Bustle.

Normally, I scroll through and only click on one or two selections but there was something about this list that drew me in.

I put 5 of the collections on my holds list from the library. I already have read Amber’s book (which I HIGHLY recommend). Another one I have checked out from the library right now and am currently reading:

Another one of the collections is from Nicole Krauss who is a fantastic novel writer. Her sentences are beautiful. The overall description of the short story collection didn’t grab me but my knowledge of her writing style is enough for me to check it out.

Other thoughts:

Short stories are great if your time or attention is clipped since you can hold the whole story in your head at once.

They are great models if you are a writer for how to get a beginning, middle, and end in a short space.

Because the form requires words to not be wasted usually there are gems of lines to take out for quote lists and writing prompts.

Happy Reading!

Weekend Coffee Share

A Cup of Coffee and a Conversation Every Weekend

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Thanks for joining me for a quiet chat today. It has been a week of ups and downs for me. The last few days have been calm and I am thankful.

What would you like to talk about today?

I am back to my black coffee today. I tried a new brand and it is dark and rich and delicious. What would you like today?

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 I have been continuing to participate in OCTPOWRIMO and writing poetry all week but only in my notebook.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I read a story on a Zoom gathering with the Sarah Selecky Writing School earlier in the week. I assumed there would be more people, but it ended up only being 12. This fact burst my idea to just listen and not read. The comments were positive and the other writers shared amazing work.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am pleased how the 100 writing prompt project is progressing. 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 was asked a question about using Twitter as an author. I do not recommend any social media platform you do not like. Don’t use it because “it seemed like a good idea.” Your authentic person needs to shine through.

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, “Do you know it is November next weekend?” That seems crazy to me. It also means the time change which means the jet lag feeling. I am looking forward to reading In November with my class. It is a picture book I adore.

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

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I submitted two more stories this week. I am looking forward to hearing back from the editors!

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

Hour by Hour #SOL20

Photo by Jordan Benton on Pexels.com

For my Slice of Life today I logged events as they happened throughout the day.

6:01 a.m. I sent out Llama pictures to the “Llama club” wishing them a Happy Llama Tuesday and then I write until I have to get ready for work.

6:51 a.m. I fill out the COVID screener in order to get cleared to go to school.

7:36 I find out my assistant is not cleared to come to school today. This disrupts my plans for the day with material pick up for students tomorrow.

7:55 a.m. I chat with my assitant on Zoom before we allow the kids in from the waiting room.

8:03 I start morning class and share the agenda with the kids.

9:52 a.m. I listen to the 10 Things to Tell you Podcast and rip social studies and science chapters out of the books to send home for material pick up tomorrow.

10:15 a.m. I meet with the coach and the K team about math and science

11:39 Lunch time. I fast so do not eat. I am listen to a podcast about MFA programs in creative writing. I submit a piece of writing to a publication.

11:52 I am still pissed off and make a list of the frustrations of today hoping that the ink will transfer the feelings to the notebook. (It doesn’t work.)

1:56 Class ends for the afternoon session.

2:14 I notice that the bag that was supposed to be picked up by a parent on Friday is still in the gym.

2:25 I get a message from a friend and am thinking about writing an article about my everything notebook. 

3:07 I clean my desk waiting for the time to click by to go home. 

3:28p.m. I sign out and log everyone I was in contact with for more than 15 minutes within 6 feet.

4:57p.m. I am halfway through my walk and finally start to feel like myself . I am listening to Tim Ferriss’ interview with Matthew McConaughey and I’m fascinated and surprised it is so interesting.

5: 07 p.m. A friend reminds me that I used to collect rocks every time I traveled and I have a moment of nostalgia. She makes a comment about “How to spontaneously grow tomatoes”.

5:39p.m. I talk to a friend and highlight what I know that she would be good at teaching.

6:02 p.m. I eat my dinner and text back a few people.

7:43 p.m. I finish my log of my day and post it.

TAI – The Accidental Inspirationalist Episode 20 Shownotes

Let’s Talk about Notebooks

You can listen here.

I love notebooks.

Here is the affiliate link for the notebook I talked about:

What Goes in the Everything Notebook:

Morning pages from TAW

Writing exercise and prompts

Sarah Selecky Daily Prompts

Fiction

OCTPOWRIMO Prompts

Delights of my day

Dreams

Mirror/Medicine Tarot Pull

Questions

What I am happy about and why I feel that way?

How do I feel right now?

Gratitude

How does this serve me?

What did I learn?

Also mentionedL Denik notebooks

Writing Retreat Day

Today is a treat for me…writing retreat day at home!

Photo by Kate Trifo on Pexels.com

Today I will write 2750 words in preparation for NANOWRIMO and the Million Words IN a YEAR challenge.

Today I will walk (likely in the rain).

Today I will host a write in and chat with my friends.

Today I will nap (if I feel like it).

Today I will write in different areas of the house.

I have a list of projects I want to come back to. One of which is a story set in New Orleans based on my trip there. I have prompts to schedule and posts to make for my short story intensive.

I have my white noise soundtrack going of a fireplace.

Today I will look through my new LEX magazine that came in the mail yesterday and write a letter.

Today I will read Nancy Stohlman’s new flash fiction book that I finally got in the mail yesterday!

I will make scrambled eggs and toast and enjoy every bite.

I may even dance around the house.

What will you write and delight in today?