Journey along the #AtoZChallenge

Journeys begin with a thought.
#AtoZChallenge 2021 banner
“I want to publish a book.”
“I want to be healthier.”
“I want to travel to San Antonio.”

The first step is changing “want to” into “will.”

I will publish a book.
I will be healthier.
I will travel to San Antonio.

Knowing that, you can make things happen. Budget time; plan the steps; examine finances; consider options; and play with ideas.  Anything you want to do, and I mean really want to do, you can.  Sometimes challenging creativity is needed, and sometimes you need to creatively challenge challenges.

Jotter journals junk
jargon joins jabberwocky
jubilant knowledge

I will take a nap after writing this blog post.

What are your thoughts today?

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Haiku and having fun with #AtoZChallenge

Have you found a new favorite blog to read?

I have. I found two that are fun:

  • Marquessa Life is just a story. And I’ve got a pen
    She’s writing short posts inspiring women.  I’ve always had an affinity about the strong woman character, as in TV shows The Closer and Major Crimes.  I believe the phrase “Like A Boss” should not exist, because those words are found in planner stickers women use; you’d never hear a man say that phrase.  Not that men shouldn’t read this blog; it’s one insight into the thoughts of women.

I planned writing a list using the Rule Of Thirds, but I think two is a good start. I’ll share more as I explore and experience.

Horizon halo
hear howl harmony, hoot hiss
Habitat intro

Check out the AtoZ 2021 Master List of bloggers here and have fun!

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Flying high-ku for #AtoZChallenge

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter F
Feel like flying today?

“Hello, how are you?” the coffee barista asks me.

“I’m fine” –which I am– “How are you?”

“I’m doing okay,” the barista replies.

Okay is not a fine thing to be. We can challenge ourselves to be better than okay. No one should be okay; we should all be fantastic and awesome and fabuloso. Right now, I need to be better than my fine, so I challenge him.

“Okay?” I ask. “Just okay? Come on, you gotta be better than okay.”

Here’s an aside: I love it when folks are in a good mood and share that. Whether it’s because the weather is nice or it’s 10 minutes before closing time, I want to know. Share your good mood, good experience so I can feel more than my reflex response of fine.

“Okay, I’m good,” he says. “Tomorrow’s my day off.”

“So you should be feeling great.”

“I’ll feel great in about an hour and half.” Closing time.

“Good enough. I’ll work on being great, too.”

I love it when a conversation comes together.

One of the best conversations I’ve had in the past year was with a convenience store associate. I asked her how she was and she said, “I am spectacular.”

“Wow. Spectacular?” It’s 10am, and I haven’t had my coffee yet, which I’m paying for at that moment.

“The sun is out, I woke up breathing, there’s gas in my car, I’m thankful to come in to a job I love and see people like you shining.”

I was breathless keeping up with her.

“I’ll work on being spectacular,” I said.

“You do that because today is a good day to be alive, and any day you’re alive is a good day.”

Finally found faith
from fifty fairies flying
forward facing glare.

Will you be spectacular today?

Are you already?

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Desire this haiku for #AtoZChallenge

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter D

Does doing what you want always get you your desired end result?

I doubt it.

Do you know why?

I don’t.

As long as it’s legal, I’ll try it again. This time, I’ll do something different. Reaching for a goal by repeating your actions is useless.

Many times, it’s my outlook.  I have to remind myself not to say that “want to do” something, but that I “will do” that something.  Do you hear the difference?


Delicious Dirty
Dancing.  Decide dare defy.
Doing everyday.

What about you? Can you commit to yourself? Of course you can. Will you?

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Letter C: Chocolate-filled #AtoZChallenge

Chocolate can inspire almost anything, including haiku.

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday, and so many holidays these days involve some type of candy. Fourth of July has its S’mores. Christmas defines candy canes. Easter has chocolate bunnies, and Halloween has everything.

Last weekend was warm and sunny, so we drove into Denville for handmade ice cream at the Denville Dairy. Two doors down is Sweet Expressions, where homemade chocolate everything is their specialty, along with caramel-covered popcorn. Easter Bunnies lined the aisle as I entered. There were coconut and maple cream filled chocolate eggs. What I had never seen before was milk- and dark-covered Matzoh.


Continue craving
chocolate.  Creamy.  Crispy.  Chip.
Crunchy.  Delicious.

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Be a part of #AtoZChallenge in 2021

Beginning is often difficult, but continuing can be harder.

I started repainting my office/craft room in 2020. Maybe it was 2019; I lost track of time these recent 12 months. Oh, I can still use the room, move around, function in it, but painters tape is still around door frames, and at least one electrical outlet needs to be painted under.

Where’s the motivation? Moreso, what is the reward? Scrapbooker Tiffany Spaulding of Totally Tiffany talks about Big Benefits. Take your big project, break it down to smaller tasks and then reward yourself after each small task is done.

I watch her videos, half-interested and half-background noise; her voice is soft yet authoritative, in a kind way. I’m great about breaking tasks down to smaller ones, but I have lacked rewards. I used to think they were unnecessary, but to finish, I need to plan rewards as well.

If I finish one section or task, I get to watch a YouTube video. If I finish another section task, I can go out for coffee or make a second cup at home. I can binge-watch two episodes of something. I can read two AtoZChallenge blogger posts or one chapter in a book; finding out what comes next is the motivation to come back.

I can take a nap. That’s the biggest reward of all.

Begin by being
brave best buddies bright balanced
boundless continue

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Haiku: Day 1, Letter A of 2021 #AtoZChallenge

Welcome to Day One–or Day A–of the AtoZ Blogging Challenge 2021.
#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter A

Every day this month, excluding Sundays, bloggers challenge themselves to write posts using the corresponding alphabet Letter of the Day to inspire the posts. Most writers choose theme throughout the month: Horror Movies; Cat Characters; US Navy Ships; Home Crafts; Places Visited; and so much more.

Some of these themes sound blah, but some of them are wicked awesome. You gotta check out the Master List of participating bloggers and their themes.

Me, as announced in my Theme Reveal post, is Alphabet Haiku with a Twist.

Anyone always
absent allows anything
absolute begin

Join me here tomorrow when we begin.


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MY 2021 #AtoZChallenge theme is…

It’s that time of the year for the Blogging AtoZ Challenge reveal, and for 2021 I will be creating Alphabet Haiku, with a Twist.

#AtoZChallenge 2021 banner

It’s the perfect match. April is National Poetry Month, and I’ve enjoyed writing haiku since, oh, for more than 15 years.

My 2020 Alphabet Haiku series features a daily haiku with each of the 5-7-5 syllable beginning with the day’s letter. The Letter C is one of my simple, favorite ones.

This year, I’m doing the same EXCEPT the last word in every haiku will begin with the first letter of the next day’s letter. That word begins next day’s haiku.

Always advertise
advantage and accept all
accolades bestow.

Bestow best buddies
bravado by boosting bold
beliefs champions.

Champions can choose…

…and so on. I love this extra challenge.

These haiku, I composed them just now while typing this blog post. They aren’t even the official ones, but this was a fun three minutes.

What’s your #AtoZChallenge theme?

Never tried it and are now intrigued? Go to the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge website.

Don’t dawdle, do dance,
discover delightful dares,
dear diverse entries.

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A peek inside my journal: Dare to dream

Friday, 8-18 [2006]
Haggerty SB

                      It’s SB-Detroit Tigers Day!!
                      I got a photo w/Paws, the Tigers mascot & 2 w/pitcher Brian Inge. #15 There’s been a line out the door since I arrived. But, I got a good frapp & Brian handed it to me.
                     I’m nibbling on a White Cheddar Brioche–“not quite a bagel, nor quite a croissant” said my barista–as lunch. It’s about all I can stomach–my writing clips have been mailed to Ann Arbor.
                    I have dared to dream.
Since I applied online for this, I have imagined me interviewing. I’ve practiced it, sitting @ my computer, relaxed as if it were real.  I’m snappy, eloquent, & to demo my talent, I whip out a tape recorder for a quick mock interview.
                    I have dared to dream I am worth $50,000 yr.

Journal: August 18, 2006

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Start your new year with new writing

It’s a new year, a new start and time for a new journal.

Do you journal? If you don’t, now is an excellent time to start.

A journal has been at my side since college.  They began as a way to pass the time and boredom by writing stream of consciousness before a doctor appointment, meeting a friend for dinner or sitting by myself in a coffee shop.  Since modest beginnings, they’re now a catch-all for my life: jot notes; transcribe interviews; sketch; poetry; lists; reminders; overheard conversations and remembering the time of my life. It’s the one chronological thing in my life, a free write without critique or proper grammer.

Each journal lasts weeks or months, depending on where I go and what I do.  Do I write in it every day?  No, but I’m prepared for inspiration or boredom. I always carry pens to write with, at least 2 colors, but that’s a story for another day.

I write to the end of each book, not wasting one page, but at the end of December 2020, my navy soft-cover Moleskine told me it was time to let go.

I needed to start something new in 2021, to leave 2020 in the pale, stupid past.  My journal agreed.  The four cream-color lined pages at the back will stay empty of writing. Fitting, that emptiness. We parted strong.

My journals-in-waiting rivals anyone’s TBR pile. The stash box holds gifts, presents, souvenirs, apologies, purchases, decorations and everything in between.  Which one will speak to me? Write in me.

The first one I picked up, first only because of how the journals were organized, was a Moleskine special edition LEGO hardcover. I have been craving hardcover for awhile, needing something sturdy  to support and  organize my purse.  I placed it aside, needing to feel every one of them.

The journal that enters 2021 with me

What did I want?  Ring bound. Stitched. Small. Pocket size. Square. Lined. Cream blank pages. White lined paged. Blue grid. Decorated pages. Thin lines. Wide lines. Hardcover. Soft cover. Bare cardboard cover. Fabric. Faux fur. Glitter purple covers. One might think too many choices, but I adore options.

It came down to LEGO and owls, owls only because of its stitch binding and softer firm cover. Will it fit in my purse? Yes, but it’s wider and I could struggle with the zipper.  Does it slide into my writing bag? Yes, but it could bend too much.  I was trying too hard to justify not using another Moleskine.  I wasn’t feeling it.  It didn’t make me happy right now. LEGO it was.

There’s a real LEGO block on the cover. I guess that’s part of the “special edition” to it. After unwrapping the book, I saw and felt how the block’s hard, pointy edges could scrape everything from the inside of my bag to my fingertips. I peeled it off, sacrificing some fingernails with the hour-long yanking procedure.

No sadness “ruining” the book.  My journals are not pristine.  I have plans to use that LEGO block on an altered cigar box I’m crafting. As for the ripped cover, I will cover the torn square with something, but I don’t know what. A sticker seems obvious, but what? For now, the the space is mostly glued down and feels solid enough.

My journal and I are happy. We breathe the open air. We both live to start a new year together.

Here’s to you finding your writing pages in life.

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Looking back to look ahead: a Journal entry

A look back into the real world.  
Interesting that this journal entry was written in the color pink, the same as my journal entry now in 2021.  Coincidence?

Sat, Jan 3
SB @ Horsham

He wanted to try this new SB–not “new” but new to us–and here we are. In the time I posted to Instagram & pulled out journal, he went to the car & got Yahtzee. PSU men BB in 4 hours.


We split the Yahtzee games. Always good. Our only card sweep was by K.

Yay Instagram! A memoir follower/followee @evelynlauer rec’d a book by a friend of hers, “Rules of Inheritance,” a memoir of a girl who loses her Mom & dad as a college kid. Her writing sounds like me. Or at least how I want to sound. Part of it, anyway.

K ordered the $11.50 book for me via Prime. It’ll arrive Tues. Kindle $=$10.99

K is restless. I can tell. And so I ask him, just to confirm.

“Yeah, but you’re writing & I don’t want to interrupt your flow.”

{*4 heart emojis*}

And I’m still sipping my tall Carm Macchiato.

Feels like a good place to stop.

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The Big Santa Talk

The key to spreading holiday joy is a jingle bell necklace.

December 2017
Our first Christmas back in New Jersey

My husband and I watch the family of elves walk into the coffee shop.  The three adults are dressed in festive holiday wear: red fur boa, red and green button-down tops, spotted green skirts, each carrying an LED lite up wand.  They are elves right down to the pointy toe red shoes.

The two young girls—I’d say 10 years old, but I’m terrible with ages—are really into it. They’re dressed in flouncy tulle skirts, elven helpers floating on frills.  Part of the excitement must be the dress up and wearing makeup, even eye shadow.  Perhaps part of it is helping mommy and being a big girl.  I like to think less selfish thoughts: they’re enjoying seeing the smiling faces.

They brighten up this stark yet hip and trendy coffee shop.  The floor is diner-white hexagons.  The white brick painted walls surround this cavern of white tables, square and just big enough for dueling laptops, phone and coffee cup. The shop is brightened by smiles carrying candy canes. It’s kind that the shop owners let them come in. Of course, they’re not soliciting or selling–nothing except joy–so maybe that makes it okay.

They pass out jingle bells necklaces, the good dollar store quality.  No pushing, nothing intrusive, just outstretched hands. I’m sure if you waved them away, no big deal.  Of course I take one.  Surprisingly, my husband does, too.

“Oh, very masculine,” he says, slipping it over his head, not fussing just smiling.  He notices the colors:  his is green necklace beads with a red ball while my necklace beads are red with a green jingle ball.  We match, but opposite.

I ask the mom what’s the deal?  Turns out she and her family–sister, aunt, goddaughter, daughter–have spread silly playfulness and jingle joy for three years.

“A few years ago, we had The Big Talk about Santa,” she tells us.  “We decided to turn it into something positive, that we’re all Santa’s helpers and we have good in our hearts.”

Is it just the holidays when we all feel good and happy and giving?

“Christmas,” she says, “It’s not just one person.”

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Are you the writer you were in 2011?

Today’s post is inspired by an email, reminding me of a writer I used to be.

Monday morning. Coffee. Egg sandwich. “Where are you now?” hour on NJ 101.5 streaming on my app. Empty planner pages with two appointments written lightly in pencil. Laptop asleep. I wish I was.

Open email, first time since last week. Perfect timing. This email from yesterday, Sunday:

> From:
> Sent: Sun, Sep 20, 2020 9:46 pm
> Subject: Your membership at ATCs For All – PLEASE READ
> Hi ScrapPea
> You haven’t visited the ATCs for All Forums in a year. Hope you are
> well and everything in your real life is OK.
> As soon as you are able, please log in/visit AFA, to keep your
> account intact.
> If you don’t have time to stay and play, that’s OK…just log in!
> We are in the process of updating the members list and anyone who
> hasn’t logged in for 365 days will be removed. If you are
> interested in keeping your membership intact please log in soon.
> Your Gallery and iTrader will also be removed at that time. We are
> not keeping a record of ratings. So if you wish to keep them intact
> please log in/visit as soon as possible.
> Thanks,
> Staff of ATCs For All

It’s been a year since I rejoined?!?

It’s been one year?

It’s been one year.

Once again, I felt the thrill, and the guilt, of the similar email I received one year ago.  At that time, I was reminded of the vibrant artist trading card (ATC) community in Michigan. Those who played with paper there connected me to online outlets, feeding my addiction to this tiny art.  I lost both my in-person and virtual interactions when I moved back to New Jersey.  I didn’t realize how much I missed it until one year ago, the memories resurfaced:

> From:
> Sent: Sun, Sep 29, 2019 3:47 pm
> Subject: ATCs for All needs your help…
> Hello,
> You may or may not be aware that our Site’s server fee is paid for
> by our generous members who have a paid subscription.
> The fee for our server is $449 a month.
> As of today’s date we have enough to pay for the October server fee.
> After that it will depend on, if we get enough donations to keep the
> site running.
> Please consider becoming an AFA Friend or renewing a lapsed
> subscription as soon as you can.
> You can find out how to here:
> If you have any questions, please let me know.
> The future of our Site depends on the generosity of our members….
> Thank you,
> Carole Cadek

I renewed immediately.  I am going to play with paper.  What’s new there? What’s familiar? Did these folks miss me?  I can’t wait to find out. I bookmarked the website on my phone.

Then I forgot about it for one year. Which brings us to today.

My ATC artwork was published last week in Issue 3 of Molecule.  Creating that artwork was the first time I picked up paper and glue in at least one year. A deep thrill creating the art, each detail planned to look accidental yet was exact to precise detail.

I want to do more of this, I told myself. Now I have an excuse: keep my account and my interactions alive.

I’m in, roaming the site, looking at new ATC swaps, familiar names and avatars.

What’s my avatar?  I have no idea.

Hey, I changed my password. Do I need to change anything else?

Oh, yes I do.  My profile. 

What I wrote and the way I wrote it…. The past me is not today’s me. I looked back and saw myself as the newbie on March 5, 2011. It’s a fascinating, quirky and embarrassing User Profile.

~ To be Continued ~

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Published a tiny bit in Molecule – a tiny lit

Being published is a good thing, so why do I feel a little bit?

Molecule is a bi-annual literary online magazine that publishes 50-word poetry and prose along with small-scale artwork.

It’s a struggle cutting down to a 500-word piece, but slicing to 50 words slashes to the most powerful.

My poetry and prose submissions were not accepted this time, but my artwork was. That’s a wet noddle slap in the face. I spent drafts and drafts and edits and word counts of my time to get everything where it should be.  Replace a three-word description with one active verb.  Remove every “very.”  I discovered how little the word “the” is needed?  After all my effort, it was my best, but that wasn’t good enough.

I’m a writer not an artist.

Yet, there I am: Issue 3, Page 49. I am both.

The artwork tells a story itself, written in ephemera on a Pokemon trading card canvas.  Chinese food inspired the art.  With dinner takeout from Ms. Lin in Millburn, I got a fortune cookie with an actual fortune on the fortune.  Reading it, the words sunk into me.  I got that feeling, you know the feeling, when something nags at you and won’t let go because it resonates with you.  I didn’t know what to do with it, so I propped the fortune on my laptop, which is not easy to do with a scrap of paper.  When I discovered the magazine, submission criteria and deadline, I discovered my fortune’s purpose.

A tiny bit of my tiny bit in lit

Just like choosing the strongest 50 words, every image is deliberate.  I rummaged through my ATC ephemera box and chose a few items to work with, determined to make them work.  Every piece is designed to look random but is not.  Every placement is precise, even the one item that stuck glued in an unplanned spot.  Precision and happy accidents.

Molecule caps the contributor’s 3rd person bio at 24 words.  Why?  Because there are 24 atoms in a molecule of caffeine.  See Page 78 for my tiny contribution to coffee.

What story do you read out of my Artist Trading Card?

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Questions from a fearful writer

My Montclair Memoir1 group Zoomed yesterday, and a comment at the end tugged me.

One of the members–I’ll call him John–is, of course, writing a memoir. The piece John shared yesterday was shorter than usual. The snippets we all share are typically 5-7 pages of either a chapter of our memoir or some part we’re struggling with. John’s last few submissions have been two pages of details and summary, written with a specific purpose in mind. Yesterday, John became self-conscious of that purpose.

“I want to use them as blog posts.  They’re not actual parts from my memoir. ,” John said.  “What do you think of using these as blog posts? Is it okay to send them and still be a part of this group?”

I can’t believe he asked us that question.

He doubted himself as a writer. John’s memoir is in that dreaded editing stage of revising per the editor, which is further along than I am in my current work. How could he think to ask us, to ask me, if he could still be a member in our critique group?

We gasped in disbelief: Of course!

How dare he think otherwise? John deserves to be there as much as any of us. We are fortunate to have found each other. Not everyone in our eight-member group is published now nor wants to be published now; we write our stories because we need to write our story.

Our group’s organizer has a mantra: If you write, you are a writer.

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Remember writing in #tbt for May 21

Another throwback Thursday, with more writing lessons learned.

What have I discovered?


I engaged Twitter a lot more than I do today.  Will I exercise that media more now?  Should I?  Am I missing something vital?  Did I get much out of it then?  Obviously not, because I’m writing and functioning without Tweeting my life away.  Will I get much out of it now?  Yesterday, May 20th, after I (re)posted a link to my Letter Q #AtoZChallenge post, I received one direct message and one retweet.  Not bad for an abandoned account.




I celebrated and shared my writing with other writers and journalists that day.  I won an award from Illinois Woman’s Press Association and received the award in Chicago.  Honestly, I don’t remember what the award was for or if my piece won First Place or Honorable Mention in the context I entered,  but I felt like a superstar.  I was an unexpected attendee.  It’s only 4 1/2 hours drive from Detroit to Chicago.  A solo weekend adventure was too good to miss.




What is Chicago without some personal writing time?  Sitting among bookstores and a shady fountain, a journal and a pink pen is all I needed.  It was a warm, sunny day, not too hot, not too breezy. I hit my step count walking along the river, on a path that may or may not be part of the local Chicago Riverwalk. It was a long stretch of cement, reminding me of a pier stretching out, feeling like I could fall into all that blue of Lake Michigan and float in relaxation.

And coffee.  Always coffee. But not coffee.

That’s the last thing I discovered, not surprisingly: drinking coffee.  Or tea.  The important thing was the coffeeshop cafe experience.  It still is.

Millburn is boutique town filled with clothing shoppes and Italian restaurants , a place where the only chain stores downtown are Dunkin’, Kung Fu Tea, Häagen-Dazs and Starbucks.  Yes, I drink coffee and tea there, sitting at the tables in the upper floor.  Four doors up the street is The Coffee Mill Roasters, a moody coffeeshop with hi-top tables for patrons to look onto Main St. and become one with the world when those wall-length doors are opened in warmer weather.  A perfect setting to enjoy the handmade pastries and food baked by the owner and his wife.

Now let’s combine those two: drinks and writing.  That was the Wednesday for our bimonthly Deadwood Writers meeting.  My beloved critique group taught me so much about me and my writing, making me a better writer by sharing their honest comments on the pieces I submitted for group review. Word choice, flow, dialogue, and the meaning of an “info dump” made me stronger.  Sitting among the heart of cooking books section–until new management placed another shelf there and moved us to the cafe–was soothing and creative.  The setting in the cafe was loud, sitting there next to the blender grinding iced coffee drinks, but there was still creative friendship.  We just had to yell down the table to each other.  I always got to the meeting early so I could claim a seat in the middle of the two or three tables we pushed together.

But wait!  There’s more.

As a bonus discovery, Timehop showed Swarm check-ins from 2001 at places long gone, almost forgotten. Remember these places?

I miss Borders.  That store was more comfortable and spacious to stretch out in.  Room to read, relax, sip coffee drinks.  From the balcony cafe, I looked down on the store, my magazine piles mingled with the music finds my husband shared with me.

Archiver’s was a deep, color-full craft store filled with every type of pen, marker, ink, thread, paint, canvas, adhesive and papers imaginable.  If I was stuck inside the store overnight, I would delight in the creativity all mine.  I’d only stress about the thought of having to leave when the store opened the next day.  

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Three techniques to move your exciting memoir forward

Have you ever felt that “ah-ha!”moment of satisfaction when a word or phrase clicks with your writing style like mine did today?

Today, my MWG Memoir1 group met via Zoom for our bimonthly critique.  We use the same critique format as our former in-person library meetings: each member reads his or hers piece, and then we take our turns commenting.

One member shared his piece about dealing with his mentally ill wife.  Afterwards, a member of our group commented that the piece had “forward momentum.”  That phrase struck me and stuck with me.  Forward momentum is what makes good writing.  That is what makes us want to turn the page to read more.  How do you get there?

Try a teaser at the end of a chapter.  The writer above ended the chapter  with this sentence: “I have no choice [but] to ask her for a divorce.”  That is a page turner.

Dialogue moves you forward because discussions have an end purpose.  This is not writing dialogue for the sake of writing dialogue.  I’m talking about specific dialogue between you and others, followed by either your short, punchy thoughts or the speaker’s specific question that you do or do not expect and anticipate.

Consider my example using the mentally ill wife piece:

“I have news for you about your wife,” said the doctor.

That tone of voice, those carefully chosen words, that’s never a good sign.  It’s the kind of emotional bomb dropped in sappy drama movies.

“The news is difficult,” he continued.  “Are you ready to hear it?”

I don’t want to hear it, but he’s telling me anyway.

A third way to entice readers is by using a timestamp to share increasing information.  This moves people with you as you reveal details about you and the story.  “Over the next few days” is a great setup rather than using a chunky paragraph of information brain dump.

Consider this:

Over the next few days, I learned a lot about him.  Monday, he charmed me with stories about his international military assignments.  On Wednesday, he shared the reasons why he re-enlisted, but he never asked me why I decided to quit my most recent job.  By Friday, I found myself staring over his shoulder while he talked about battles and medals.  The squirrel shimmying up the backyard tree was more exciting.

Of these three techniques, I find my writing often combines the first two.  I can struggle with dialogue, so I want my words to serve a dual purpose: blending teasers and questions gives my memoirs the push through my thoughts for details while asking questions gives the reader a moment to pause and ask themselves questions.  Powerful.

Are you ready to write with deliberate forward momentum?  Is there a technique that resonates with you to engage readers in your story?

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Zany end to #AtoZChallenge 2020


I wrote this before dinner. Just like grocery shopping, that was bad idea.

My dinner, however, that was a good one.

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X-ceptional haiku NOT using the word xylophone for #AtoZChallenge

I wrote an alphabet haiku using the letter X without the word xylophone.

Clever me.  *big smile*

My A to Z Challenge theme is alphabet haiku, with each word using the alphabet letter for that day. Who says the letter for each word must be the first letter of the word? Not I.  Oh, that’s a different haiku. So is A.  Oh, O is an earlier haiku, too.

I also created an adult-themed haiku.  Quite proud of that, but hesitant to add it here.  If I change my mind, I’ll make a note at the top of this post.  Do you want to read it?

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Updating apps and understanding life through #AtoZChallenge

Updating apps shows me even more memories I may or may not want to remember.

Looking at Timehop inspired me to scroll through my apps. Early phone pages should be filled with oft-used, important apps.  Screens 2 and 3 are cluttered with various text and photo editing apps, which surprises me. Why is this valuable real estate cluttered with apps I don’t use and skim over while looking for the app I really want.  They were useful at some point; now they are future experiments.  As I scrolled and studied, I could not find an app I wanted.

Ku, the app formerly known as Heyku, was space for people to write haiku and share them within the small community. This was one of those apps that autosaved images in a separate camera roll folder. My Ku has 64 images: text only, off-white squares with the upper right corner folded over to resemble a scrolling piece of paper. That was the beauty of Ku: words only.

This folder is proof that it existed.

My first Ku posted on August 29, 2014 and the final image was dated August 27, 2015. I’m not sure if that’s everything I wrote, because while I can access the app from my old, screen-cracked, iPhone6, there is nothing under my profile. This app closed down and deleted from the Apple App. Without the autosave feature Store.Without the autosave feature, these poems could have been lost forever.

I experimented with this Alphabet Haiku theme back then, because this is one of the Kus I created between 2014 and 2015, a poem touched up with effects from another rediscovered old new app Camera+ which I have to re-discover how to use. I wonder what else I’ll find.

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