WFMAD Day 3 – Taste the fiction

Day Three! Judging from your comments, some of you guys are pounding away at the keys…. some of you are having trouble finding your keyboard.

Remember. You have PERMISSION to write this month. Maybe I should change that. You are REQUIRED to write at least 15 minutes a day for the rest of the month. Does it make it easier if I turn it into a demand instead of a suggestion?

Steven King,  in On Writing, says “The scariest moment is always just before you start.” It’s the discomfort of that scary moment that keeps you from starting. As we say around the Forest, pull up your big-girl pants and get on with it.

To help you prepare to battle your fears, I filmed the following video in my Forest this weekend.

Enjoy the following Summer Moment of Zen as you settle in to write.


Turn off your phone. Disconnect from the Internet.

Today’s prompt: Writing in short chunks like 15 minute blocks can feel a bit awkward unless you are already deep in a project. I find that it helps a lot to start a piece of writing in a memory and let it roll from there into fiction.

When you are nice and relaxed from the sound of the rushing stream above (or you have returned from the bathroom because the sound of the water made you aware of a rather pressing need) take a moment to remember the breakfasts you ate in the summertime as a child. Was it a bowl of cold cereal eaten in front of cartoons? Pancakes at your grandfather’s house? Bug juice and toast at summer camp? Cold pizza with your big brother home from college? Your first cup of coffee as a teenager, trying to impress someone?

Write down the memory – quickly. Then add in as many details as your remember until you tap the memory dry.

THEN… add details that you can’t remember. Embellish. Put in the pattern of the curtains, or the grease on the window, or the lonesome sneaker on top of the refrigerator.

Bonus points: Have a fictional character walk up in the scene and join you. What will she eat? Why? How long is she staying? And why is she in conflict with the rest of the people in the scene? Show the conflict. Taste the eggs. Spill the juice.


Random food statement

One of my favorite things to do when traveling overseas is to visit grocery stores. This is why.

Some pics from my recent travels.

Red current, plum, blackberry and beet juice in Poland.







And salad dressings from Peru.








Best thing I found in a grocery store in Montreal? Venison and amazing yogurt flavors. But they were not combined.

WFMAD Day 2 – Why Not?

Yay! You did it!! Thank you SO MUCH for joining our band of merry scribblers and a special big thanks to everyone who commented here on the official blog, as well as on LJ and FaceBook. It was a thrill to hear how Day One went for you.

Well, how it went for most of you.

Today is traditionally the day I get email from people who heard about the WFMAD challenge late and are bummed they didn’t start on Day One. In keeping with our Pirate Code of Writing, I absolve thee. Start today. Start now. (Well, finish reading the blog entry, then start.)

One of the hardest truths about pursing an artistic dream is that it is wicked hard to make the time that artistic discipline requires.  It doesn’t matter how many how-to books you read, or writers’ blogs you follow, the best way to become a better writer is to write more. Preferably daily. That’s why I am cajoling you guys to do this Every Single Day. It is officially A Big Honking Deal to convince your brain that this is a habit you want to establish.

Read yesterday’s comments and get excited by what your fellow warrior writers wrote about their own paths.

Turn off your phone. Disconnect from the Internet.

Today’s prompt The easiest thing to do in the world is NOT to write. We are our own agents of sabotage and we are quite good at it. Write down all the things that get in the way of your writing time. Start by writing the incidents as a list. When you come across one of your acts of sabotage that is particularly vivid, write it out in detail. Once you have it written as a scene, insert the character of your Muse. How does She react to playing second fiddle to things like shampooing the dog or folding socks or the latest mind-numbing favorite TV show?


Write Fifteen Minutes A Day (WFMAD) – Day 1

Start your engines!! Write Fifteen Minutes A Day© is here!

Get ready to scribble!

The rules are simple. In fact, they aren’t even rules. They’re more like guidelines, the Pirate Code of Writing.

1. Commit to write for 15 minutes a day for the entire month of August.
2. Just do it.

Seriously. That’s all there is to it. You don’t have to sign up anywhere, or meet minimum word count goals or complete a whole freaking novel in 30 days. You can write fiction, non-fiction, memoir or poetry. Personally, I don’t think blog writing should count because that is immediately published and you always have your audience in mind. I think this month should be a chance for you to go deeper inside yourself. But if blog writing makes you happy, go for it.

Just. Write. Every Day. This. Month.
15 Minutes.

This is not the time for editing or outlining. Just keep your pen, pencil, crayon, or fingers on the keyboard moving for 15 minutes. You can use the entire time to write “I don’t know what to write and LHA is crazy” the whole time if you want.

I’ll give a prompt a day for anyone who is feeling stuck. But you don’t have to use it if you don’t want to.

I would love it if you guys checked in with me by posting in the comments section. There will be a prize each week for the person who wrote the most intriguing or funniest or most moving comment. Be shameless. (I will disclose the prize in a day or so.) Tell me where you wrote today or for how long, or what you were working on. Tell me what kind of resistance thoughts cropped up as you were writing, or trying to start writing. Tell me what it felt like when the 15 minutes were up.

OK, that’s enough blathering.

Disconnect from the Internet.

Turn off your phone.

Today’s prompt*** Give yourself permission. Write yourself an excuse note that gives you permission to not do something else in your life for fifteen minutes a day for the next 31 days. Be specific and clear about when you are going to write. Bonus points for writing about what might get in the way of your WFMAD writing, and how you are going to combat it.


***LEGAL STUFF: These prompts, like all the rest of the stuff I write for WFMAD and my blog entries, are my material and, thus, under my copyright. You have permission to reproduce them for classroom use only. Yes, you may link to these posts. Spread the word! The more the merrier!!