WFMAD – Day 1 – Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?






This is for you if you want to write.

If you struggle to find time to write.

If you want to get ready for NaNoWriMo in November.

If you are wicked insecure about your writing ability.

And if you are a gifted and skilled procrastinator.




The rules of the WFMAD Challenge are simple.

  1. Commit to write for 15 minutes every single day this month.
  2. Write, just like you promised yourself.
  3. There is no Rule #3. Life is already too complicated. Two rules are easy to remember. The point is to get you to write, not bog you down with silly regulations.



How does this work?

Things are going to be a little different his year. For starters, we're doing it in September, not August (which we started doing the year my mom died), and not July, which was the original month for WFMAD. This year's challenge was moved because a) I'm busy working n the next book (ASHES), and b) my new YA novel, THE IMPOSSIBLE KNIFE OF MEMORY comes out in January and I'm already busy with early publicity chores, and c) our son got married in August, so life has been more hectic than usual.

I'll post a blog every day. It will have some writing prompts and not-so-gentle reminders that you PROMISED to write for 15 minutes. YOU SWORE AN OATH! This is boot-camp for your writing discipline, my friends. There is no whining in boot camp. No excuses. Just writing. And random outbursts of dancing.



Where Do I Sign Up?

No sign-ups, although in years past, writers have double-dog-dared their writer friends to join them in the Challenge. I suggest a high-stakes bet with your friend, if you choose to do that.


Do I Have To Respond To Your Prompts?

Hell, no! Write what you want, write what the little voice in your head is whispering. But if you are stuck, try out the prompt.



How Can You Tell If I Am Doing It?

I can’t. It’s between you and your Muse, unless you tell your friends or leave a note in the Comments section of my blog. (I must admit, I like it when people do that.) Sometimes people post their day’s writing in the Comments section. (I like that, too.)

You are accountable only to yourself, ever, for the amount of time you choose to spend writing. Or if you blow it off. This is a good place to begin the daily discipline, and to get in the habit of that accountability. Here you are with friends who understand the struggle. Feel free to tell us all about your writing challenges, or ask me questions in the Comments section.


What if I screw up and miss a day? Or a week?

Then you start over! Don't waste any more time beating yourself up about lost writing opportunities. There are only three situations that should ever interfere with your writing: you have a new baby, you are sick enough to be in a hospital, or you are caring for someone who is that ill, and someone you love has recently died. HOWEVER…. all three of these situations evoke powerful feelings and if you could write even one sentance a day when you are in the middle of them, it would be awesome.




HELP! I'm totally blocked! I can't think of anything to write!

You've come to the write, I mean right, place.

Today's non-fiction prompt: Write about why you are afraid to write. What is your worst writing nightmare? What is the worst thing that can happen if you send 15 minutes a day, every day for the rest of this month, writing? 

Today's fiction prompt: Write a silly fable about two cows. Cow #1 follows her dream of being a performance artist. Cow #2 dreams of being a performance artist, but lacks the courage to try. You can see where I'm headed with this, can't you?

Fifteen minutes. More if you want, but just fifteen minutes spent writing today could change your entire life.

Scribble… scribble… scribble…


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  1. Posted September 1, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Already started.  Needed this.  Can't wait for Ashes.

  2. maine character
    Posted September 1, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Great to see this back on the air.

    Especially on the first day of Hogwarts.  🙂

  3. Stacey G
    Posted September 1, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    I did follow your prompt – writing about my fear of not being nearly as talented a poet as the others in my group. I have a very simple style that I try to embrace (not always successfully). After whining about that for awhile, I wrote the following poem. I think anyone with more time off in summer (teachers mainly) can relate:

    Summer’s End

    In July we soak in sunshine.

    Each day a welcome friend,

    beckoning us to come outside.

    We dance.


    In August we play catch.

    Projects done, time with kids,

    Lunch with old friends.

    We count.


    Now it is September first.

    We feel guilty for being too hot,

    and we look ahead, ready or not.

    To Fall’s reality.

    • Kasey
      Posted September 1, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      I really liked your poem. I'm not a teacher, but I can still relate lol 

    • Lorie
      Posted September 3, 2013 at 12:05 am | Permalink

      I work in the school system and write poetry too, so can totally relate. I love the structure of your poem, and think you've got something here worth working on and sending out.

  4. Kasey
    Posted September 1, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Well here is a story about two cows. Please ignore the tense changes 🙂 

    Maisie and Sally were alone in the field, chowing on some grass. Maisie and Sally were known through the county for being amazing dancers. Out of the blue, Maisie says to Sally “I want to be a performance artist! I have mad skills in dance, and I want to run away and join the circus. You should come with me, I know you feel the same way.” Sally looks incredulously at Maisie “Well yeah, everyone wants to be able to show off their skills, but we’re cows. We don’t dance, at all, even if we’re good at it.” 

    Maisie sighed “Sally, haven’t you ever just wanted to DO something? Even if it didn’t make sense, and everyone said you were crazy? I feel like if I don’t go and dance that I’ll always regret that for the rest of my life! I want to be known as Maisie: Cow Dancer Extraordinaire. I want to be spoken about in reverent tones around the world!” 

    Sally shakes her head “Maisie, where will you go? How will you get there? How can you even imagine getting up in front of a crowd? It’s ridiculous, and silly. There’s no point in continuing down this road. We are cows. We will have calves, and that is the end of the story!”

    Maisie was taken aback by Sally’s vehement denial of their talents. “Alright, well if that’s how you feel, then I will go on my own! I just didn’t want to leave you behind. But I’m not ready for calves, and I don’t know if I ever will be. You can’t tell me who I’m going to be, and what I’m going to do.” Maisie trotted off to another field to finish her dinner, and contemplate her escape. 

    Meanwhile, Sally told others of Maisie’s big dream, and how silly and stupid it was. All the other cows laughed at Maisie for wanting a life so different from their own. But at night after everyone went to bed, Sally thought about it and knew that Maisie was right. Sally didn’t want to have calves either, but how could she leave everything she knew? Sally’s family was here in this county, and they had high expectations of her.

     In the middle of the night. Maisie ran off, and got on a circus train. She showed the ringmaster her mad dancing skills, and he was so impressed he started her out as the main attraction right away. Maisie began traveling the country and became billed as Maisie Queen: Cow Dancer Extraordinaire. Just like she wanted. After a few years of traveling Maisie came home for a visit. She couldn’t wait to see Sally and tell her of her adventures traveling with the circus, but when she got there, she got the surprise of her life. 

    The old Sally was gone, in her place was a mother of 2 baby calves. Sally was run down and tired, she snapped constantly at her kids, and tried to make everyone as miserable as she was. When Sally saw Maisie she mocked her for leaving them all behind.

    “Oh so the prodigal dancing cow finally returns! How kind of you to grace us with your presence, after all these years!”

    “Sally, why do you hate me so much? I thought you would be happy to see me? Maisie said bewildered. 

    “You just left me behind without a second glance. Now I’m here and I’m the one who had the calves, and you got to go on your grand adventure!” Sally yelled at Maisie “How could you be so selfish!” 

    Maisie cocked her head to one side and looked at Sally “You cannot blame me for your inability to take a risk, I asked you to come with me. I knew you didn’t want this life, but you refused. Now you are trying to punish everyone, because you are unhappy with your decision. You are the only one who can fix it."

     The moral of the story is, don’t be afraid to go after your dreams. You’ll only leave behind misery if you don’t. 

  5. Posted September 1, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Perfect timing. Kids back to school… Mommy back on a schedule.

    A former teacher, September always feels like a time for new beginnings to me vs. January.

    I'm in! (Reaches for notebook…)

  6. Posted September 1, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    It took nearly an hour, but I got 504 words down. (I'm so slow, it's pathetic.) I'll get back to it after the kids are in bed, but for now crossing my 63K mark looks good.

  7. Posted September 1, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Working on it — what I learned while teaching others.

  8. ddcee
    Posted September 1, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    I whined all through August because there were no prompts.  I'll stop now and write instead.  Thanks so much for doing this!


  9. Posted September 1, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Cannot wait to take part in this challenge! I talked about it on my blog so all of my followers can guilt trip me if I don't write. It will be so nice to get back in the habit of frequent fiction writing. Thanks for hosting, Laurie!



    <a href="">Tightrope to the Sun</a>

  10. Posted September 1, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for doing this! Great way to keep the writing muscle flexed between books. Here's my story: 

    Write a silly fable about two cows. Cow #1 follows her dream of being a performance artist. Cow #2 dreams of being a performance artist, but lacks the courage to try. You can see where I'm headed with this, can't you?

    It was crowded at the trough. Gertrude’s hooves sank into the late fall grass as she climbed the sloping hill from the pasture and spotted the swarming sea of jutting hip bones and flicking tails.  She stared down the calves, an easy accomplishment. They skittered away at their shadows. Even the sound of bleating lambs from the barn scared them. Hardly worth mentioning. No, Gertrude earned her bragging rights when it came to the other cows. She twitched her ears. Blew air out hard between her teeth and stared them down until the sea of black and white parted and she sidled in beside the bull. 

    “Evening, Trudy.” His voice had always gotten her milk flowing. At least until recently, a fact that not even Farmer could explain when he eyed her shriveled teats.

    “Evening, Joe.” She lifted her head, hay sprigs dangling tantalizingly from her full lips and smiled, doing her best on four legs to imitate Farmer’s wife in the late morning when the leaves turned color and Jenny, the little one, had been taken away in the long yellow vehicle. A bus. Hadn’t she heard Jenny cry about not wanting to go in the bus? Yes, she was certain it was called a bus. As sure as the turkeys got nervous when the first snow fell, the Farmer’s wife appeared in the barn every morning after the little one left on the bus, smiling at Farmer with her come mate with me look. Silly woman. Everyone knew mating was a springtime activity. 

    “Why,” Gertrude smacked her plump black lips and slid a sideway glance at Joe through her long eyelashes, “can’t Farmer hang fly-paper in the pasture? Honestly, the flies are driving me mad. Someday when I’m a famous performance artist in the Barnum circus I’m going to live in a stall where the ceilings are lined with golden fly paper and I’ll have maids to massage my udders,” she winked at Joe, “and I’ll eat only the finest of alfalfa year-round and I’ll grow so fat I will positively glow.” 

    “Why would they want you?” Joe didn’t bother looking up. It was an alfalfa night and Gertrude’s constant bitching was putting a sour taste in his mouth that would most surely spoil a night of cud chewing. “They have Isabel. Besides, you’re already plenty fat.” 

    The last part was meant to just be a thought. The fact that it slipped out mid-munch was a  happy accident. 

    “I don’t know why you go on and on about Isabel. Couldn’t even feed her calf last spring. I had to even though I had little ones of my own at the time. I’m certain that’s why I’ve ~” Gertrude couldn’t bring herself to say the words. Dried up sounded so old. What with all the new cows, last year’s silly calves, now grown and roaming the pasture and flicking their tails at him, the last thing she wanted Joe to associate with her was the word old

    “Who’s that coming up the road?” Joe swung his big head away from the barn and looked across the pasture. 

    Gertrude pulled her head out of the trough and followed his gaze. The sound of smacking surrounded them as they watched the line of dust rise up from the dirt road that led to the farm. 

    “It can’t be the bus. The little one came home long ago.” Gertrude said, glad for a reason to stop thinking about her dried up udders. 

    “Papa, Mr. Barnum is here!” Jenny shouted as she bounded out of the red farmhouse, the screen door banging on its frame behind her. “Who is it now, Papa? Who is going to be in the circus?”

    Jenny spun in a circle of delight and indecision. She wanted to run to Papa who was walking slowly down the steps, his head hanging. She wanted to run to Mr. Barnum who was climbing out of the white truck, big enough to take any of their cows away to his circus. She wanted to run to the barn and tell all her friends the good news. One of them was going to be rich and famous and live in a big stall next to Isabel. 

    “Evening, Miss Jenny.” Mr. Barnum reached her before her Papa did. “You’ve grown. How old are you now? Twenty-two?”

    Jenny giggled. “No, silly. I’m this many.” She held up one hand, her fingers proudly splayed. “I started school this fall. We’re learning how to read. Watch!” She squinted at the letters on the side of his truck. “B-A-R-N-U-M,” she read each letter aloud. “Oh, that’s you, Mr. Barnum, isn’t it?”

    “That’s right, Miss Jenny! I always said you was a smart ‘un.” Mr. Barnum tousled her head. His hands smelled funny and she pulled away. 

    “S-L-A-U-G-H-T-E-R,” she finished reading all the letters. “Does that spell circus, Mr. Barnum?”

    Papa walked up beside her. He glanced at Mr. Barnum who frowned, then nodded. 

    “You best believe it, Miss Jenny.” Mr. Barnum said before he spoke to her Papa. “Who’s it going to be tonight, Hank?”

    “Appreciate you comin’ out here so late,” Papa said. “It’s an old sow named Gertrude. Won’t let down no more and, well, you know, no place for a dry sow on a dairy farm. She’s better off being a,” Papa paused and laid a hand on Jenny’s shoulder, “a performance artist at your circus.”

  11. Martha Miller-Plumb
    Posted September 1, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Big Leap

    Bess knew she could do it! Sure, that Sookie girl could do it too, but the big difference between them was that Miss Bess, in all her bigger-than-life glory was willing to take the risk, while Sookie, well, they might have named her Sulky because she worried and sulked about everything, just everything.

    When they were young, the stream that rushed through the farm where they grew up was terrifying at first, too, but oh, the rewards.   Hadn’t the two of them jumped into its cooling splash of waters, time after time on sizzling summer afternoons?  Why, just thinking of the icy smooth waters across her skin caught her breath and made her tingle with delight. Plunging into new things was exciting too.

    Sidewalk performance art in big cities was the thing for Bess; she was sure.  She had heard people talking about performers who were painted silver or gold—head-to-foot—who stood just like statues until passersby stopped, right there in front of them, to figure out whether the performers were real or statues; then the artist would come alive.  People were so grateful for the realism and surprise that they took pictures and gave the artists money.  Imagine!  Bess thought about how much joy she could bring to people while earning a living. It sure beat existing on a farm, just waiting you whole life for something to happen. Again, she felt the electric thrill that she felt when plunging into that stream.  Sakes alive; her heart must be beating faster than a race horse’s.

    Miss Bess decided to start today.  It would take a while to walk to the city, but maybe someone would give her a lift. She could find food along the way easily enough.  For those determined, things all work out in the end, didn’t they?  Once she arrived, why the sky was the limit—the only limit.

     She could make friends with someone who was already a street performer, and borrow a little spray paint—well, maybe lots of paint; they didn’t call her Big Bess for nothing.  She had never heard of a performer who was as large as she was, but she just knew that someday, she would be famous.

    Bess had proof that folks appreciated this type of performance art.  She’d head of painted statues in the city of Chicago.  Surely these were tribute to past performers extraordinaire. 

    Yes, Miss Bess would start today, but first she had to get Sookie to help her shine her hooves.


  12. Deb McKee
    Posted September 1, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    I am so excited to do this!

  13. Posted September 1, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Facepalm of shame. Just realized that sow = female pig. cow = female cow. Pls change the s for a c!

    ; )

  14. Posted September 1, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    I will write with joy – and some bittersweet feelings… because this is my last year in the library I've run for the past 10 years at a school I joined 12 years ago. I'm half time by choice this year, too – getting accustomed to that instead of the 40+ hours a week I've worked for many years is new. But I did this because I want to finally finish my middle grade historical novel. I need to spend more time at the process of writing. I'm published – a memoir of my mother's terminal illness begun after her death 30 years ago, with the writings I did during her dance toward death. But this is different, and scary, to write  a novel- which got its seeds well sprouted in truth when I first participated in WFMAD (two years ago?). I have quelled my fears, joined SCBWI, taken my half time, and look forward to committing to at least 15 a day. So, here we go! Thanks so very much. Your timing is impeccable.

  15. Kathy N.
    Posted September 1, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    Last year I was a normal 7 year old.  I loved to play on the playground, climb the rock wall and ride my bike.  My best friend was my beautiful cousin Sarah.  My little brothers were annoying when they played with my toys.  I was excited to go to school and see my friends.   That was last year.

    As the leaves on the trees changed colors and the days got shorter, my sight did also.  I went from seeing in color to everything being blurry to nothing but darkness.  I could no longer see my mother’s beautiful face but I could feel the wetness of the tears on her cheeks.

    I was angry, I became clumsy and could no longer play on the playground.  I no longer know if my brothers are playing with my favorite toys because I can not see them.  I don’t know who is talking to me, because I cannot see their face.  They have given me a cane and told me to tap it back and forth so that I know where things are in the classroom.  I use the cane to show them I know where they are sometimes.  They… these faceless voices that tell me what to do.

     I feel this rage inside myself almost all the time.  I hear people talking and I have to ask “who’s there”.  If they don’t answer fast enough I think they didn’t hear me.  I walk into furniture and walls and I can’t see the movies that I use to love to watch.  I can’t play the things I want to or ride my bike.   I hate it when it is loud and I can feel a lot of people around, I am afraid.

    Now it is a new school year and I am excited.  I know my mom is worried. The new teacher seems nice, but she didn’t have much time to talk with me during open house.  I am in a new school with more faceless voices telling me what to do.

    On the first day of school during recess, I am afraid, it is loud and I don’t know anyone.  I want to play but I can’t see and I don’t know where anything is.  Then I hear, “Joey,” and I know it is Sarah.  I know everything will be ok.  I ask Sarah to play with me and she does.  I tell her I want to climb the rock wall and Sarah tells me I can’t because I am blind.  I begin yelling and my teacher comes over .

    “Joey, what’s wrong,”  She asks.

    “I want to climb the rock wall!”  I yell.

    “OK.”  She calmly states.

    “I can’t climb the rock wall!  I’m blind”.  I scream at her.

    “You don’t need to be able to see to climb the wall, you just need to be able to feel with your hands and feet.”  She replies.  “Lets go climb a wall.”

  16. ddcee
    Posted September 1, 2013 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    It's great fun reading everybody's efforts!  Here's mine.


    Bessy knew she wanted to be a ballerina from her earliest calf days.  When she was very young, she bounced and pranced all over the pasture and was especially adept at missing all the cow patties left by the other calves.  She began to attract a great deal of attention with her jumping and twirling and missing and her peers paid her many compliments.


    “You’re so graceful!” said one.


    “And so fascinating to watch!” said another.


    “And you smell so much better than the rest of us by avoiding stepping in it all the time!”


    “You really have a great natural gift,” many agreed.


    And so she used all her play time practicing and practicing.


    Meanwhile, her parents were watching her from a distance and shaking their worried big heads


    “Oh, dear,” said her mother, Bossie.  “I really think we ought to tell her before she gets her hopes up that when she grows up she won’t be so light on her feet or so agile.  Her ballerina days will not extend beyond her youth.”


    “Now, Bossie,” said Winkle, the bull, her father.  “Don’t discourage the lass.  She’ll figure it out soon enough.  Before you know it she’ll be dragging that sloshing udder around and won’t be able to jump half an inch off the ground.  Just like you.”


    “Tee hee,” said Bossie.  “And every other cow my age.  I’d be insulted, Winkle, if that weren’t the case.  It’s a bovine genetic trait that we all have to live with.”


    But Bessie just kept twirling and jumping and prancing over those patties until one day, sure enough, just as her father predicted, her feet would not leave the ground and her udder was so full she was dragging it around as predicted.  By this time, though, Bessie had so enjoyed her ballerina self that she just went on dancing mainly in her head and doing with her body whatever she could make it do to the tunes she perpetually hummed and decided not to feel sorry for herself.  She was a little disappointed that she now smelled like every other cow in the pasture.


    While all this was going on, across the meadow was a young bull by the name of Stubborn.  His parents named him that because he blatantly refused to accept the reality of the subject they were forever arguing about in his family.  Stubborn had seen the farmer’s cat walking across the top slat of the wooden fence in the barnyard and was so impressed that he decided at a very early age to become a tightrope walker.  His parents were aghast at this suggestion and spent all his early years trying to dissuade him.  To aim to be a bucking bull in a rodeo or to fight in a bullring maybe, but a circus act?  Never.  And to their credit, it must be noted that little Stubborn never did manage to climb to the top of the fence to get started.  Eventually, he grew so big and heavy he stopped trying and spent all his adolescent years, unlike Bessie, pouting in the corner of the pasture.


    So is it really about always pursuing your dreams no matter what?  Even if your dreams are more fantasy than reality?  Or is it instead about learning to play the hand you’re dealt and being content with that?

  17. Mindy Engler
    Posted September 1, 2013 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Excited to be starting this again!  

  18. Posted September 1, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Typed  a page in 15. Yeah! Now to keep it up for the rest of the month!

  19. Laurie L Young
    Posted September 1, 2013 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    I did it! Even used your prompt. Got almost 700 words down in about 15 minutes (actually, it was more like 20, but the point is—words on page—WORDS ON PAGE!!)

    See you tomorrow!

  20. Paula R
    Posted September 1, 2013 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I didn't follow the prompt, but I did spend time writing my blog post for the day…that counts, right? I will tackle the prompts tomorrow…maybe try to connect the two, or work in my current we. I love the idea of writing about what my fears about writing could be first thigh. Maybe once I see it in black and white, I will have a better handle on how to approach writing. I'm very excited about this.


    Peace and love,

    Paula R.

  21. Posted September 1, 2013 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Yes please. Catch you on the flip side of fifteen.

  22. Posted September 2, 2013 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    I have no idea where this came from, what it is, or where it may or may not be going. But I love a challenge, so there was no way to pass up this WFMAD.


    Life is better backwards.


    To fill E.

    Can you imagine, if we were born at our death, and knew all that there was to know, and experienced life all the way through with the understanding of all that was to come, until finally dying at birth, free and light without the weight of the world holding us down – all the things we’d seen but wished we hadn’t, all the things we’d never done or said.

    Yes, backwards. If only.

    I can’t eat cereal before nine pm. More still, I put the milk in a glass and dip a spoonful into the cup before bringing it dripping to my lips. It never tastes as good otherwise.

    My head hits the pillow and I am instantly awake. Insomnia, damnedest thing. So instead, I live at night, in the netherworld that exists between sun down and sun up, where everything seems crisper. The blurred edges of light disperse into clearer pictures of things you’ve seen a million times in the day, but never truly understood until night.

    And if that seems confusing to you – seeing in the darkness? – it’s actually so much simpler than you’re making it out to be. Things work in twos. Opposites attract. Yin and yang, all that. The point is, that you don’t really know something until you know its pair. Could you explain hot without cold? Would we understand happiness if we didn’t have sadness? Would we get angry if we didn’t feel love? Darkness can only be defined as the absence of light. It is literally the lack of something else. But that absence is full of everything we pretend not to see in the light – everything we’ve thrown away.

    All the things that we were meant to keep, either taken from us, given away or even lost, but thrown away nonetheless. Trash, mementos, memories, pets, people, even the parts of ourselves we thought we didn’t need and didn’t want to carry around.

    I see all of those things in the shadows. And you could too, if you were thrown away like me."

  23. Mariya Morales
    Posted September 2, 2013 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    How serendipitous! I have stories in my head that want to come out, but there is too much pressure on myself to make my stories perfect.   Thank you, I shall partake in the exercise.  I journal, but writing my stories are different.  It reveals another part of my soul.

  24. Posted September 2, 2013 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Though I found this on a friend's FB page, 2 September, it is the impetus I need to write about a major exhibit that I am guest curating at the Cape Cod Museum of Art, Dennis, MA. Though the ideas started germinating in my mind over a year ago, I started working with the artists in Decmeber 2012. ALL ABOUT sEVEn celebrates Women's History Month, 7 groups of 7 women artists collaborating and exploring the number seven. 

    As the year has progressed, there have been challenges, adding artists when some have had to withdraw because of person reasons. However, the counterbalance has been the jpegs artists have sent of works in progress.

    Why this exhibit is so important is that it takes a region, Cape Cod, and shows the depth and wealth of the women producing art. One sees this in cities, yet highlighting in a major exhibit, bringing 49 artists together, ages 22-82 in multiple art forms in a large geographic area known for its arts makes a unique statement.

    Though I am a painter by profession, I will need to use words to chart the evolution of our project. Till now, I have been lazy about the writing aspect.

    Thanks for the nudge on FB by Eileen Casey.

  25. Jeri
    Posted September 2, 2013 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Wrote about a hundred different things today.  lol.  But at least I wrote.  Thanks, Laurie.

  26. Posted September 2, 2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    FANTASTIC! This is exactly the challenge I need this month. If I can make the habit of writing a little bit every single day at this busy-crazy-back-to-school time of year, it will serve me well in the busy-crazy-holiday time of year, and the busy-crazy-other times of year. Thank you! (Now it's time to go write.)

  27. Posted September 2, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I love it Laurie! Thanks for the motivation. 😀

  28. Posted September 2, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Perfect timing – the company I work for is going through Chapter 11 restructuring, and while I still have many customers to aid in finishing their projects by 9/23, I have said that the interim (between 9/23 and the relaunch on 11/1) will be my time to resume writing productively.  I'm starting a day late, but I'll be doing double today.  Thanks for this.

  29. Kathleen Trail
    Posted September 2, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    I love the community feel of this & reading everyone's comments/words! Here's mine from the first day:


    Mallory farted. Loudly and for at least 4 seconds, which is the 12-year-old fart equivalent of about three lifetimes. I froze. I couldn’t look up for fear of seeing the mortification on her face. Maybe if I pretended it hadn’t happened, we could avoid an earthshattering shift in the McKinley Junior High social hierarchy.

    I heard a gasp, followed by her familiar snort.  Oh my god, Mallory was laughing? I looked up to see her spasming in silent acknowledgement of the single. Most. Embarrassing. Thing. EVER.


    I looked across the lunch table and scanned Kayla’s and Mackenzie’s faces. They were revving up appropriate laugh responses now that Mallory had given the signal. I was a few seconds late but I managed to merge pretty smoothly into the traffic of hilarity. This was the funniest thing in the history of the universe and not at all embarrassing. Yes. Of course.


    How did Mallory do that? Take something that would make me feel like a dung beetle and use it to catapult herself to even more epic proportions of greatness? I had so much to learn.



    I studied Mallory like a field biologist, noting her eating patterns, her relationship to her environment and her mating patterns. Especially her mating patterns. Boys watched those slightly oversized hips like they were a fortune cookie with their future locked inside.

    I didn’t think I could ever achieve Mallory status with the male species, but there had to be something I could glean, some osmosis factor. Some hope.

  30. Megan Culbertson
    Posted September 3, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    I'm not sure it's so much a fear of writing as it is a reluctance to write–a reluctance born of my fear (there it is) of insufficiency. Of my time spent not being worth it. That is, I'll expend and kill and exhaust and bloody myself, and all for what? For some sort of catharsis, a release, a temporary relief in the letting go–a breath, a moment, a ghost, a memory that I'm left remembering the second whatever I was trying to call out or scare away jumps onto my back once again?

    I'm not sure. Those are the moments, the days, the pages, the months when I'm at my most futile. When it all seems to be for naught. That's the fear–of writing down words no one will ever care about. I wish I was nobler, that I was humble enough to be satisfied acting as my own audience. 

    But that's not me. It's not us. The connection, the validation, is in the seeing, in the sharing. In setting our words under the light of scrutiny. Because scrutiny invites ridicule and judgment, but it also invites the possibility of one small soul seeing our words and thinking, "Hmm..maybe they're onto something."

    I think I am much less afraid of criticism than I am of never being seen.

    If I'm being honest.

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