Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day 92--the power 100

You have control over action alone, never over its fruits.

Author Cheri LaClaire experienced the action and the fruits this week with the Mills & Boon new voices contest. She took control of the words she submitted...made them good words. Improved on them based on appropriate comments. And became the 9th most popular submission in a field of over 800! (Mega congrats on that, Cheri!)

However, she had no control over the fruity rewards of the contest and was not chosen as one of the publisher's top ten. A bummer? Of course. And a lesson for all of us. We can write our fingers off. That we can control. But, we can't control what others think of our writing.

So take control and take action. Write your words...write your books...make 'em the best possible. That's your action. Then wait. The fruit of your labors may show up on your doorstep sooner than you expect! But rest assured, there won't be a fruit salad in your future if you don't take action and do the work!

Photo credit: kevin_p from

For today's prompt--give your character a piece of fruit. Is it a favorite, or some flavor or texture they can't stand? There's lots of possibilities here!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day 93--the power 100

Look and you will find it--
what is unsought will go undetected.

So often someone will say, 'I want to write a book.' Or, 'I could write a better romance/science fiction/horror/young adult/etc than that book. Maybe they'll even find some of that excitement that blooms with a new idea or plotline. And in that excitement, start writing.

Then stop. The blank page or computer screen stares them in the face. The once great idea fizzles. The muses have given up on them. Or, horror of horrors, they discover that writing well is damn hard work.

What do you do when your muse gives up on you?

Give up? I certainly hope not. Waiting for inspiration is fine--but doesn't get words on the page. Waiting is fine--if you don't really want to finish telling your tale. Waiting is--not really so fine.

If you don't go looking for your own inspiration, believe me, you'll never find it. You may surf along on someone else's wave, but that won't last long. Seek your muse or it will never be found. Dare I say it in writer's terms? Find your own... motivation!

photo by John Shaver

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Watch Western Winter Wedding Bells Trailer

Day 94--the power 100

Nobody sees a flower--really--it is so small it takes time--we haven't time--and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time. 
~~Georgia O'Keefe

photo by John Shaver

Take the time to give a character a flower. Then write your 100 words about how the experience made you feel. Or even better, how it made your character feel.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Day 95-the power 100

Photo credit: ostephy from

Last Friday night--well, early Saturday morning--as I was driving home from critique there was lightning all around. And patches of rain each time I exited the west side of one of the small towns between there and here. All in all, it was a lovely drive.

Once back in Lincoln, where the streets were wet from rain, I began to notice the reflections on the pavement. Not just the long, wet streaks of streetlights and stoplights and a few oncoming cars. There were dazzling reflections from the lightning. I don't think I'd ever noticed lightning reflections on the pavement before. Or if I did, I would have thought of them as tricks of my not always the best eyesight.

how does this relate to writing...and 100 words? There are often reflections in our writing...not the actual shimmers of a repeated word or concept. Rather a deeper meaning that we might not even recognize. But a reader will. And it's that touch of magic that makes your book a place on a keeper shelf.

A lightning prompt... write about the most spectacular lightning display you've experienced. How did that time make you feel?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Day 96--the power 100

I'm at a food show today, learning about new products and getting deals. School lunches are continually changing and evolving to fit nutritional requirements for the nation's kids. Increasing whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies and upping milk consumption are among today's focus.

Healthy meals can be a challenge, when all the kids want are chicken nuggets or hot dogs!

Just like writing 100 words a day can be a challenge when all you want to do is... something else.

A few days ago, the students who come into my lunchroom did enjoy chicken nuggets. With a whole grain coating. The best of two worlds!

So do something fun for yourself today. Then with a fresh outlook write your words.

Do you really need a prompt today?  Okay, write about the meal you HATED when you were in school. And post your words here--or at least your hated menu items. I need some new ideas!

Photo credit: keyseeker from

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Day 97--the power 100

What does 100 words look like?

one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred

one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred

one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred
one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred one hundred

You can write that many words today, can't you? Try writing 100 words without repeating any words.

Photo credit: clarita from

Friday, September 24, 2010

Day 98--the Power 100

Photo credit: doctor_bob from

It's day number 98--or day number 3--depending on how you look at it.

And there's two ways to look at the start of a new challenge, project or habit. You can be excited by the new. Many writers can be way too excited by the new, leaping from project to project, idea to idea, without following through until the end. Look into your creative past. How long does the excitement last? Can you carry that feeling through until reaching the final words of your story or the final brush stroke of your painting to discover the new excitement of finishing?

Or, you can dread the start of something new. This new may not be a new tale buzzing around in your head. More likely the uneasy feeling will stem from a new way of doing something, or a new course of study. For example... I've worked through Julia Cameron's The Artists Way in the past. I wanted to revisit the process in my current state of mind, seeing the need for a push to end my apathy and get writing. However, I find myself dreading one of the major steps in TAW--Morning Pages. So...once again procrastination has won out and I haven't yet begun that journey.

The moral just gotta start. No matter the excitement or the dread, just write those 100 words every day! The joy will continue in either case, and you'll feel so proud of yourself.

Today's prompt...use the words from the picture above...was (I know, passive writing--we can fix it later) activities and world.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day 99--the Power 100

99 days are left in the year
99 days are left
take a chance and
try something new
99 days are left in the year

What has your writing life been like this year? Have you been ultimately successful in fulfilling your goals, or do you feel there must actually be more to a writing life?

If you haven't had a great year you need to do something about it. And do it now.

As Cheryl St. John says..."If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you always got."

Time to change it up folks. If you're not getting results from your current plans, habits or strategies...well, something's got to change.

How about writing 100 words every day for the next 99 days? The consistency of writing every day--even just a few words--will give this year a strong, joy filled finish!

A prompt for today? What's your favorite drink--alcoholic or not? Describe how that drink helps you get past a blank page.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day 100--The Power 100

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. ~~Thomas Edison

Look around you for opportunities. Right here you'll find an opportunity to write 100 words a day for 100 days. I don't know if this challenge is dressed in overalls, but writing is work. Even committing to a seemingly insignificant number of words every day--is work. Honing your craft--is work. Fighting through days when it seems there aren't even 100 words to string together--is work. You may never know what your writing life could be if you don't take on the work--or the challenge.

Need a kick start? Write 100 words about this car. Who originally owned this car? Where has it been driven? Who drives it now? Why is it purple?

Stop back on day 99--yep, that's a challenge!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

100 Challenges

A few years ago HWG held a challenge at the beginning of the year. Write 100 words a day for 100 days!

Wednesday September 22, 2010 is the 100th day until the end of the year.

I'm challenging all Heartlandians, and anyone else who'd like to join in, to write 100 words a day. Of course you can write a whole lot more than that, but commit to a minimum of 100 words on a work in progress. At the end of 2010, you'll have added a minimum of  10,000 words. I end up with an average of 200 words on a page, so that's 50 pages! Ain't nothing to sneeze at, that's for sure.

And 100 words really isn't that many--not counting the numbers there's 103 words written above. You can squeeze in time to write a couple paragraphs or a few lines of dialog every day, can't you?

If you're looking to solidify a daily writing habit, this is a great way to start out slow and easy. You say there's another story kicking around in your brain cells, but you really want to finish the current WIP (Come on now, Heartlandians, you know who you are...yeah, I'm shaking my finger at myself here, too!) use this 100 in 100 challenge to get your new ideas down for later reference. And what a wonderful way to counteract procrastination.

I received lots of positive feedback the last time we did this challenge. If you have good thoughts or encouragement for us all, please comment here. Then mark your calendars for Wednesday, September 22 and...