Tag Archives: challenge

If you could do anything on your bucket list, it would be …

I posted this joke once before on this date, but at the risk of repeating myself … What is the only day of the year that is a command?

March Fourth!

It’s a play on words .. fourth/forth .. that is worth thinking about.

This being a forward day, is there anything on your bucket list that you would do, or begin, today if you could? You know .. that list of things you want to do sometime in your lifetime?

I still have not done so much that I have never had the courage to do but wanted to accomplish.  But — I am thinking perhaps I should tackle some of those in the next two years. And why not? Well, there are certainly drawbacks, hindrances, that will stand tall against my ability to do them, but there are a few I can work out, I think, some that are easier and less daunting.

Such as? you ask. Well, such as tandem sky-diving, going on vacation this summer and taking in Banff National Park, completing and submitting several manuscripts, getting back into photography in a more serious way. Those all sound like good things to start with, don’t you think?

I won’t even list the things that are less likely to happen and more of a ‘worry’ to me, although I started to write them down. (Okay, I’ll mention one .. learning to horseback ride, but my husband is deathly allergic to horse dander.) It’s probably better that I keep some other things to myself for now. Writing them down is almost a commitment.  Yikes!

Allowing fear and lack of confidence to take over one’s life can leave one with regret, disappointment, depression – which is probably anger turned inward because of regret and disappointment, and add to the fear and lack of confidence. It is such a waste of life to fall into those things. If you battle them let me encourage you to step out and away from them, one decision at a time. I am doing it little by little; you can, too. Life is so very short in light of eternity, why let it just slip away unchallenged in the things you have longed to do?

Now I ask you .. If you could do anything in your bucket list, what would it be? What in your lifetime do you really want to accomplish that will take extended effort and maybe mean overcoming some fear to get there? I am very interested in hearing about it; it would be encouraging to me.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

Day 9: NaNoWriMo & PiBoIdMo

Another slow NaNo writing day.  I got less than 400 words written before midnight today.  At midnight the new report is logged into the site and anything written after 12:00 goes onto the next day’s total.  Makes sense, right?  But if I keep writing and add my totals in, it changes the numbers in my widgets here on my blog, and therefore they don’t line up with the numbers I’ve told you.  Usually, I like to add my number of words per page as I go, but if “the Muse” is on a roll, I keep going and add ’em up later.

I’m not proud of my small efforts today but this is all part of it, so even if I should write nothing I will still report here.  Hopefully, I will always write something through this challenge.

My widget said I have 24% done, but now it is at 25% because I wrote a little more after midnight.  My stats report tells me that at this rate I will finish Dec 10.  🙂  I hope to improve my words per day to finish on time.

Soon after I woke this morning, an idea came to me for PiBoIdMo challenge.  I wrote it down and this afternoon I had the idea ”fleshed out’ so that I have a story planned from it.  So that’s 13 ideas so far, and also I have added a little here and there to some of the first 12.

It’s been nearly a week of rain, rain, rain, with some families in Nova Scotia having to be evacuated because of serious flooding.  Wednesday the rain will stop and the sun will reappear.  I’m so busy that I even forgot to get depressed due to lack of sunshine!  🙂

Have you had trouble with too much water, especially along the eastern seaboard?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Day 8: NaNoWriMo & PiBoIdMo

I am falling behind.  Today (Monday) I didn’t get much written for NaNoWriMo so I’m not up to where I should be by this time.  I did write over 1000 words tonight but that’s not enough yet.  I have a lot of catching up to do with Tuesday’s goal in the challenge being a total of 15,000 words.  But the fun thing is that my widget says I have completed 24% now.

What’s interesting is that what I wrote tonight is a departure from the main story.  My characters are taking me on a detour, and yet it feels as if there is a connection to the heart of the story.  It is all still vague in my mind right now but I think it’s going to come together okay somehow.  I will just keep writing and see what happens.

The really good news is that this morning I had two ideas for PiBoIdMo.  In fact, one of them is built onto the idea I had for Day 2.  It seems that now I have a full story roughed out for a picture book.  Cool, huh? Well, I think so.

I’m having fun with all this writing.

When you write, do you find that your characters lead you?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂


Day 6: NaNoWriMo & PiBoIdMo & time change

Day 6 of National Novel Writing Month has come and gone and I just made it over the 10,000 words mark before midnight.  The suggested goal by day 6 is 10002 words.

Did I mention in an earlier post that I’m finding my best writing seems to be happening in the evenings?  I have written some of this 50,000 words challenge in the daytime but most of it has been nearer the end of the day and into the night.   When we were talking about this, I commented to my husband that I’m a night owl and he said, “You always have been.”  He on the other hand is the early bird and needs his sleep so that he can get up and get going in the mornings.  Ever hear the Ziggy quote? or was it Charlie Brown?  “I love mornings, they just start too early!” Yep!  Me too.  I do love early mornings and sunrises, and watching and listening to the world wake up, but all that is harder to see and fully enjoy when I have been up really late the night before – because that’s when my energy flows. 🙂  It’s not always that way, but more often true than not.

So, as I was saying, I couldn’t even squeeze many words out of my brain until late tonight.  Then they just started happening so that I ended at midnight with my total being 10230 words.  I am 21% of the way there, by what my widget shows.

I hope that some time tomorrow I can add the Picture Book Ideas Month badge to my blog’s side bar, maybe right under the NaNoWriMo ones.

Speaking of PiBoIdMo, this morning before I was even fully awake, I was listening to the wind and rain and an idea came to me for a picture book.  Cool, huh?  I love this!  🙂  The next challenge when this is all over, will be to actually DO something with my list of ideas.

Sunday will be very busy – fellowship (church), followed by dinner with my husband and grandson and anyone else who meets us for that meal, followed by Alpha, and then in the evening a private meeting.  So, I don’t know how much NaNo writing I will get done, but I will be reporting either that night or on Monday night with day 7’s update.

Did you remember to set your clock back?  Or did you get caught showing up at the wrong time?  Any tales to tell?  🙂

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings.  🙂

NaNoWriMo is almost here! Am I ready?

November 1 is approaching far too quickly for my liking.  NaNoWriMo will soon be starting and thousands of us will be lurching out of the starting gate.  I for one am excited and nervous about it.

I am looking at this writing challenge as a way of motivating me, of propelling me into ‘real’ writing – meaning committed writing.  I know it is not going to happen without work, but it could be a sound beginning for me, a departure from short children’s stories and articles for Valley Sunshine publication.

My problem, as I see it, is that I have nothing to start with, no characters, no plot, no scenes, no genre, no plan.  As I said, nothing.  Well, okay .. so I have a few ideas floating around in my head but they are just that .. floating, not attached to anything in particular.  And I have had a couple of dreams, just strange ones so that I wonder … is that a NaNo clue?  I don’t know!

I do know that most people who apply themselves to NaNoWriMo do so with a plan in mind or outlined on paper (or computer).  They have an idea of where they are headed.  There are some others who don’t, and – like me – are going to be sitting down to write whatever comes to them once they begin.

Thus far, on my NaNo page I have three ‘buddies‘, one is  also a first timer.  I think for each of us this is going to be a major undertaking because of other time-consuming things, but we are going to make the effort.  I’ve signed up for the daily tips and encouragements, hoping that will spur me on and keep me going.

Well, if nothing else, I’m sure to learn a lot about taking on something like this, and about myself.  I hope I like what I find out!

I will try to keep an update going on here of my word count and experience as I go along.  It might not be pretty, so I apologize now.  🙂

Do you have any tips for me?  Any plans for doing NaNo this year yourself?  Or have you done the challenge in the past and have a story to tell me about your experience?  I would love to hear about it!  Please!

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂




Critiques and crankiness

How did you handle your first real story critique?  Me?  Not so well.

My rhyming story was not too bad, I could see where there was room for improvement once I understood some things I didn’t know before.  It will likely come back from the publisher with a rejection letter.  But then another story, the beginning of a possible novel in which I had invested more, was critiqued.

Owie!  To say I was a bit upset would be quite safe to say.  😦  I had thought it would receive ‘good story!’ and ‘well written’, ‘great ending.’  (I planned to build the story in the middle to make it longer and more involved.)  Um .. well, what I was told was not exactly like that but close.  Close wasn’t good enough in my mind.  I was not expecting to be told to take out this and that, make those changes, and cut it down for submission to a children’s magazine.  Nope, wasn’t expecting that.

So how did I handle my first real story critique?  Somehow I overlooked that I was told something positive about ‘my voice’, about my characters being great, about the great message.  Instead, I found myself getting out of sorts, sad (yes, I admit I actually shed a few tears), glum, discouraged.

My husband came home from work, and after a few minutes had passed he asked, “Okay, what’s bothering you?” with concern showing in his face.

“Why do you ask that?” I replied.

“Because you are the way you are when something is bothering you.”  Very observant of him, I thought, appreciatively.

But then I said … “oh, I dunno …. nothing.”    Not ready to talk about it.

And what did my concerned man do?  “Oh …. okay then ….”  and resignedly he walked away.  He walked away!   He gave up.  Just like that.  Hmmm

And what did I do?  I thought, but didn’t say, “Humph!  Okay then, don’t try again to find out.  That was not the right thing to say!”   *Sigh*   (It is hard for men to know when to pursue and when to leave it alone.)

Oh, the games we play.   Why is it so hard to just say what’s bothering me?  Why does opening my heart to him feel so raw and invasive?  Maybe because I was not prepared to deal with the emotion yet, and – feeling very disappointed that what I had written was not good enough – I had to work that through.  Yes, I felt a little cranky about my writing being challenged, but I didn’t take it out on him, nor did I go all evening like that.  Eventually,  I looked at my story again and started cutting, making those suggested changes, seeing the potential in it.

Before I got to that place of facing the challenge, I asked myself, “Is this  what I really want to do?”  Write, write, write, face critiques, cut, change, add, start over.  Am I cut out for this?  Maybe I am.  Is it worth finding out?  Durn tootin’!  I will keep at it until something happens.  Either I will be successful in being successful or I will be successful in finding out I am no good at this.  🙂  Looks like a win/win situation to me!   (Thanks D.E.)

I see now that in order to make my writing all it can be I have to let change happen.  I have to accept the challenge.  And I am willing to do that.

So, what’s your story about your first real story critique?  How did you handle it and what has it done for your writing?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂