writing challenge

Blogging every day #Authortoolboxbloghop

Blogging Every Day?

Blogging every day? Am I crazy? If so, it will the second year in a row I’ve been crazy enough to enter the A-to-Z-Challenge.

What is the A-to-Z Challenge? It’s a one month blogging challenge that takes place in April. Twenty-six blogs on twenty-six days. Twenty-six letters of the alphabet, one post beginning with each letter. One central theme. Any category.

(Post every day except Sundays. Except if the 1st is a Sunday, then write on Sunday, April 1st. No Fooling!)

Sign up here.

(Disclaimer: This blog is almost identical to this blog, but I needed it for two different purposes—theme reveal and Recycle, reuse, repurpose)

Entering the 2017 A-to-Z Challenge

Last year was my first year, though the challenge has been around since 2010. I stumbled upon it by accident and signed onto a group (the wonderful blogchatter group). I wrote twenty-six blogs on writing and marketing tips, which I later consolidated and published as an ebook available here.

Writing tools, 26 ways to improve your writing. 2018 A-to-Z Challenge Theme Reveal

Writing Tools: 26 Ways on How to Improve Your Writing

This year, I debated on whether to enter. I couldn’t imagine blogging about another twenty-six tips on writing and book marketing . Do you know how hard it is to find a writing tip for J? (I cheated and used, Journey, The Hero’s)

A case of insomnia came to the rescue

When I can’t fall asleep, I head for the couch. One night the lights from the microwave, stove and cable box seemed to burn brighter than normal, and I started playing the writer’s game of “What If?” What if they weren’t lights but cameras? And someone watched my every move? What if I had a character who thought that and no one believed him? What if I could put a Twilight Zone twist on the end?

Playing a little further, what if the character lived in a retirement community where reality clashes with the unexplained? I live in a retirement community and I’ve witnessed a bunch of strange things. What if I wrote about what I know?

Thus, twenty-six stories were born set in the fictional village of Twilight, Arizona. The blurb for the series is:

Twilight, Arizona, on the road between Phoenix and Las Vegas, where reality clashes with the unexplained.

Almost each one contains a grain of a story that has happened to me or I’ve witnessed. All of the endings are not what you’d expect.

Blogging every day = writing every day. Isn’t that a mantra? “Write every day.” “Butt in Chair.” “Hands on Keyboard”. WEDBICHOK. I get to create a cast of wacky, elderly characters, hone my craft, and write a book at the same time. Plus, by posting and sharing other’s blogs in April, I’ll build my social media following, increase my email subscribers, and sell more books.

If you’re looking for a cross between Lake Woebegone Days, The Golden Girls, and The Twilight Zone, join me in this space on Sunday, April 1, 2018.

If you’d like to try blogging every day, sign up here.

Blessings,

Cheryl

p.s. Please share using the social media icons on the left.

If you’d like to sign up for my monthly newsletter, please sign up below and get a FREE ebook short story (this offer will change soon, so get it while you can)

Also, if you’ve stuck around to the bottom of this blog, take advantage of a special 99¢ offering of Snow White and the Eighth Dwarf as it celebrates its one year publishing anniversary.

Available for 99¢ until March 25, 2018 on Amazon, ibooks, Kobo and other distributors.

Snow White and the Eighth Dwarf, an adult fairy tale romance. 2018 A-to-Z Challenge Theme Reveal

Snow White and the Eighth Dwarf

Blogging every day #Authortoolboxbloghop

#AuthorToolboxBlogHop

This blog is a part of the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop, a monthly event on the topic of resources and learning for authors. Feel free to hop around to the various blogs and see what you learn! The rules and sign-up form are below the list of hop participants. All authors at all stages of their careers are welcome to join.

To sign up and/or follow other fabulous authors, go here to see a list of participants, or follow the #AuthorToolBoxBlogHop hashtag on Twitter.

 

 

 

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Old is Gold

2018 A-to-Z Challenge Theme Reveal

It’s time for the 2018 A-to-Z Challenge Theme Reveal.

But first, what is the A-to-Z Challenge? It’s a one month blogging challenge that takes place in April. Twenty-six blogs on twenty-six days. Twenty-six letters of the alphabet, one post beginning with each letter. One central theme. Any category.

(Post every day except Sundays. Except if the 1st is a Sunday, then write on Sunday, April 1st. No Fooling!)

Sign up here.

Last year was my first year, though the challenge has been around since 2010. I stumbled upon it by accident and signed onto a group (the wonderful blogchatter group). I wrote twenty-six blogs on writing and marketing tips, which I later consolidated and published as an ebook available here.

Writing tools, 26 ways to improve your writing. 2018 A-to-Z Challenge Theme Reveal

Writing Tools: 26 Ways on How to Improve Your Writing

This year, I debated on whether to enter. I couldn’t imagine writing another twenty-six tips. Do you know how hard it is to find a writing tip for J? (I cheated and used, Journey, The Hero’s)

Then a case of insomnia revealed my theme.

2018 A-to-Z Challenge Theme Reveal

Let me explain, and we’ll get to the theme in a minute (after these commercial messages).

When I can’t fall asleep, I head for the couch. One night the lights from the microwave, stove and cable box seemed to burn brighter than normal, and I started playing the writer’s game of “What If?” What if they weren’t lights but cameras? And someone watched my every move? What if I had a character who thought that and no one believed him? What if I could put a Twilight Zone twist on the end?

Playing a little further, what if the character lived in a retirement community where reality clashes with the unexplained? I live in a retirement community and I’ve witnessed a bunch of strange things. What if I wrote about what I know?

Thus, twenty-six stories were born set in the fictional village of Twilight, Arizona. The blurb for the series is:

Twilight, Arizona, on the road between Phoenix and Las Vegas, where reality clashes with the unexplained.

Almost each one contains a grain of a story that has happened to me or I’ve witnessed. All of the endings are not what you’d expect.

I’m excited about presenting the cast of wacky, elderly characters to you (some show up in more than one story). If you’re looking for a cross between Lake Woebegone Days, The Golden Girls, and The Twilight Zone, I’ll see you in this space on Sunday, April 1, 2018.

Old is Gold

Old is Gold

Old is Gold

Blessings,

Cheryl

p.s. Please share using the social media icons on the left.

If you’d like to sign up for my monthly newsletter, please sign up below and get a FREE ebook short story (this offer will change soon, so get it while you can)

Also, if you’ve stuck around to the bottom of this blog, take advantage of a special 99¢ offering of Snow White and the Eighth Dwarf as it celebrates its one year publishing anniversary.

Available for 99¢ until March 25, 2018 on Amazon, ibooks, Kobo and other distributors.

Snow White and the Eighth Dwarf, an adult fairy tale romance. 2018 A-to-Z Challenge Theme Reveal

Snow White and the Eighth Dwarf

 

 

 

 

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I entered NaNo because my character made me

To NaNo or not to NaNo, that is the question

I entered Nanao2017 because my character made me

This year, after much internal debate, I entered NaNo2017. Unless you are super new to writing, every writer knows that November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNo or NaNoWriMo), when thousands of writers worldwide attempt to write 50K in 30 days.

I had nothing to prove by entering. I’ve written 50K or more in a month through personal challenges, writing group activities and online challenges. Several of my books started through NaNo.

I love the challenge of NaNo. Writing at a fast pace suits me. It allows me to shut away away my inner editor and get the story told.Click To Tweet I can make the story pretty in the revision process.

I don’t need to buddy with other writers to hold myself accountable. The one time I entered a cabin at CampNaNo, the chatter was minimal.

I didn’t have anything to prove.

In addition, I’m visiting family for most of November. I’m not operating on my own schedule. My routine is topsy-turvy. I don’t have my big white chair to write in. I don’t know where stuff is. In a word, my timetable is unreliable.

Then my main character, Annie, stepped in and told me that’s exactly where she needs me to be—outside my comfort zone. Annie is experiencing a lot of stress, questioning her sanity.

She needs my stress to lend authenticity to her story. Writing it in my normal environment doesn't do her justice.Click To Tweet
I entered NaNo because my character made me

Working cover for Brilliant Wreckage, a story set in WWII.

A Challenge and a Goal

While visiting, I reconnected with a friend who has started her second book. We challenged each other in a NaNo like fashion to complete our first drafts by December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day. Very fitting as my story is set in WWII.

Then I looked at my unpredictable schedule and realized there are one or two pockets of time, randomly spaced, that allows me to write. Knowing my writing speed (700-800 words an hour), I could possibly write the 1,667 necessary daily to complete 50K in 30 days.

If I mind map and outline each scene, and knowing what the major scenes are, I can use my time efficiently.

Will I make my goal? With an uncertain schedule and and least one day lost to traveling back home then readjusting to a normal routine, who knows? But I owe it to Annie to write her story in a non-familiar environment.

Have you entered NaNo2017? What are your reasons?

Blessings,

Cheryl

 

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