Monday, 29 April 2013

Pinterest for Writers and ROW 80 Check - In.

The Olsen
Why Do I Have A Picture of The Olsen Hotel? Read and Find Out!
Writing Challenge:

Today is not so much a challenge to write, but a challenge to help writing. 
My best friend laughed at me when on the weekend I said I had finally discovered Pinterest. However, no one told me how amazingly useful it could be for a writer!

For those of you who, like me, might have seen it referred to but don't actually know what it is: Pinterest is basically a website for scrap-booking pictures from everywhere - uploading your photographs, 'pinning' pictures from wesbites, 'repinning' pictures from other people's Pinterest boards, etc. 

You start your own profile, and then you can create boards. You give the board a title, pick a genre such as 'architecture', and start pinning away. You scourge the internet, and using the little pin it bookmark thingy, it will automatically add any picture you choose to your board, where you can also add a short description. As it always links back to the original photograph, the copyright issues are different to blogging (you aren't claiming it's your photograph.) 

You might have clicked onto why this is so great for writers: book story-boarding!

On Saturday I started a storyboard for my 1920's Romance - After The Winter. I started with looking at 1920's fashion websites, and pulled out some fabulous pictures for some of the different dresses she could wear in various scenes. I then moved onto looking up 1920's cars for my playboy (I've gone with a Bugatti, is super sexy). I had in my mind set the majority of the action in an expanded version of an Italian town I visited while I was there - Piedeluco. So I went through and found fantastic shots of the town and uploaded a few of my own. I also picked out certain places for where they would first meet. But, being imaginary, I then took some pictures from a piazza in a town on the Almalfi Coast because it was just perfect for a series of cafe scenes. I also have images of the two actors I would get to play my main characters. As I was looking for pictures, I came across little bits of information, or details, which I will have to go an add in, because they are just interesting. 

And now, people are following my board because they love the feel of all the images. So, when the actual book comes out... well, hopefully they will like that too! I can also point potential agents towards it saying 'here, get a feel for the book'. 

So, I challenge you to start your own Pinterest board for one of your books. There are plenty of images around us, and it gives a whole new dimension to your writing. Once you've started it, add your board link to the comments below and we will come and visit!

ROW 80 Check - In:

So, continuing with my Round of Words in 80 Days writing challenge, which very conveniently adapts each check-in to what I think I can accomplish. My goal has been to write a post or article each day. How did I go?

Thursday I did my actual Check - In for 100FD, a day late but it made a better story, which covered all my Thursday posts. 

Friday I turned my Personal Fitness Base Camp post on ITB syndrome (common in runners) into an article for submission with Unique Article Wizard (aff link).

Saturday I can't actually remember what I did... hmmm... that's a bit worrying because the entire day seems to be gone. Oh well, possibly didn't do any writing that day. Though at some stage on the weekend I did create some articles for submission based on The Five Day Writer's Retreat. The new website should be up and running this week, which will be awesome. It looks amazing (I've got a graphic designer working on it for me :D). So, later in the week, drop by

Sunday I started my Pinterest board, which you are welcome to follow if you would like to see what other images I add about the book. I also wrote out my Half Marathon training report for this week (completed all training, though in a different order, and lost the weight I had set out to do, so yah!), though didn't post it.

And then... Well, I had planned to come home from church and publish articles on all three of my blogs (have you checked out yet? My newest blog, on practical theology.) However, after church I got invited out to dinner which was great. On the tram home at 11pm at night, thinking it might be a bit late but I can get at least the fitness post published, I start going through my bag to find my house keys. Hmmm... 

I get off the tram so I don't miss my stop, and sit down in the empty shopping centre to go through my bag more thoroughly. 

After emptying absolutely everything out of my bag, I had to conclude that I had left my keys in my apartment.

Add to that, my mobile phone battery had died. 

Now normally my best friend would have a spare key, and she was working night shift at the hospital, so it would have been a bit of a bother catching the tram back into town, but doable without inconveniencing anyone else. 

However, she had recently given me back my key so I could lend it to someone who was going to be crashing, but didn't. So it was still on my key ring, in my apartment.

My other spare key? With my family in a small country town an hour out of Melbourne. No phone, and the trains wouldn't be running. 

Locksmith? No number, no phone. 

And I couldn't bring myself to just turn up on a friend's door step, hoping they wouldn't be asleep when I rang the bell. 

So, instead, I just walked into the nearest hotel and said 'Do you have a room for the night?'. 

The first place, I have to admit, didn't have a room, and suggested I needed to get more friends (how rude!), but the second place was happy to accommodate me. They are also one of the more expensive hotels in Melbourne! (I stayed at the Olsen, for anyone who wants to know. Justin Bieber stayed there when he recently came and did a tour. It's a little bit trendy and hip, but also just a few blocks from my apartment). 

Luckily they had a phone charger and in the end my mother agreed to drive down and drop my key to me, as I also had a medical appointment today in the city which made it hard for me to get up to her and back. 

But, it was distressing, slightly fun and adventurous, and I'm very glad I have a credit card so didn't need to sleep on the streets. It is also why I didn't post last night.

Don't forgot to post your Pinterest board in the comments! I'd love to see what you are all working on. (Except if it's erotica, maybe no boards for that.)

Thursday, 25 April 2013

ANZAC Day Challenge and ROW 80 Check-In

Lest We Forget

For all of you not in Australia, you might not have realised, but today is one of our most important public holidays: ANZAC day.

It is a celebration and recognition of what our armed forces have sacrificed. It marks the anniversary of the first military action Australia served in, in World War I (we are a pretty new country, aren't we?). The Australian and New Zealand forces landed at Gallipoli on the 25th April, 1915. It was a complete disaster militarily speaking - 8 months and 8,000 Australian's died (which when you think how small we were, it was a huge number). However, it became an important part of our national identity, as the ANZACs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) were brave, and courageous, and everything you would hope you would be if faced with that situation.

(If you don't know anything about the landing at Gallipoli, I highly recommend the movie with a very young Mel Gibson in it).

Now the day also commemorates all our soldiers since then.  It is probably one of our biggest national celebrations. 

Anzac Day Melbourne
Melbourne Dawn Service, Today.

As an Australian Army Cadet, I used to get to match in the parade with all the soldiers, carrying their banners. Still remember the time when after we had finished one of the old soldiers told me it was a tradition that you had to kiss the Sergeant Major. 
'Oh, who's the Sergeant Major?' I asked completely innocently. 
'Me.' He said with a cheeky grin.

Writing Challenge:

So, for today's check-in (which is a day late, I know, but this makes it more interesting) I'm going to give you an ANZAC day themed writing challenge. It's pretty simple:

Think on the words lest we forget for a full five minutes, looking at them in different ways, and then write anything that comes.  

ROW 80 Check-In:

My goal was to keep trying to write at least one blog post or article per lunch break. 

Monday I wrote up my half marathon training report for last week for Personal Fitness Base Camp. (Two weeks complete, yah! And I'm starting to be better at handling the longer distances, I think.)

Tuesday I tried writing my inspirational piece for the ROW 80 blog, but have kept that as a writing challenge for Sunday, and instead took part from The Five Day Writer's Retreat and turned that into a silly, but hopefully amusing post for Kait. 

Wednesday I started my brand new blog! I had always meant to have the three: Writing - Fitness - Theology. And finally I do. Buffy and God - The Blog is up and running! I was also super happy I could get as my domain. I mean, yeah, how many other people would want that? But still, I'm glad it is all mine now. 

Thursday - It's a public holiday, so I didn't have a lunch time, but I've started putting together a video review of Lite'n'Easy, a weightloss program in Australia, which will go on Personal Fitness Base Camp, as well as my YouTube Channel

I have also posted on PFBC today about IT Band syndrome (common problem for runners, and how to fix it. Growing up in a medical family does have it's advantages, just saying.)

I've done this post for 100 FD.

And I'm still hoping to post on Buffy and God - The Blog about faith. It might have to be saved as a draft and published tomorrow, though. 

So, I think that is a kick ass effort, if I do say so myself.

Now, I want everyone's opinion. All ROWers and 100FD fans, what do you think:
I'm looking to my new self-publishing project (or perhaps I'll try and get it traditionally published if someone snaps it up soon enough.) And there are three options:

1. Castle Innis book 1 - the first draft is 90% complete. Late 1700's historical adventure/romance. (see Synopses for a more detailed description.)

2. After the Winter - my nanowrimo from 2012, probably 70% complete (as I need to re-write the beginning as well). It's a 1920's romance set by the Italian Lakes. 

3. A completely new, unthought of Chic Lit. As my little sister very kindly pointed out today 'You could write from experience '30 and still single', but add in the perfect guy at the end.' Thank you Jenny! But yes, yes I could. And maybe I would be lucky and it would make the guy materialise. (Anyone else seen Ruby Sparks?) 

So, those are the three options I'm looking at for the moment. Anyone with feelers out in the market, historical romance still going strong? Better off with chic lit? How do we feel about the 1920's? Great Gatsby is coming out to the movies soon, so that could increase interest.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Last Chance to Win 'Bird By Bird'!

Just a reminder, you have another 12 hours to enter the Trim'n'Taut writing competition in order to win a copy of Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird.

Quite a few people have commented, but no one has actually left an official entry!

So, be the first and you could be the winner!


Sunday, 21 April 2013

Time To Rejoice in Small Victories

ROW 80 Check In: 

You will notice that there is no writing challenge today. 

On one hand, you could be cynical and think this is because I'm too tired to think of one. Or, you could be positive and see it as purposeful ploy to point you towards my last writing challenge: Trim'n'Taut. The challenge is to take an entire story, and trim away all the side plots, etc., until you get a tweet length summary of the book. I opened this up as a writing compeition, with the prize of a copy of Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird for the best entry. The competition closes on Wednesday 24th April, so you still have a few more days to think of an idea and post it!

So, my goal was to write an article or blog post every lunch break. 

How did I do? 

I think 'atrociously' comes close to summing it up. 

Thursday I was just flattened by the time I got to lunch, and so contented myself with visiting other ROWer's blogs for inspiration, safe in the knowledge that I had Friday off from work so would be able to make up for it then. 

Come Friday, I managed to get to the gym to do my half marathon training (I've just started training for my first half marathon. Read more over at Personal Fitness Base Camp), and then had planned to go shopping, do my wriging, and then go out to dinner with friends. Instead, I took a 4 hours afternoon nap and had to rush to meet up with my friends. Got home late after a cocktail had gone quite to my head (yes, have lost all my college training, cannot take more than one drink now) and so collapsed into bed without another thought. 

But that was okay, I could make it up Saturday! I knew I had to attend a family lunch (my grandmother has just turned 98! I have some awesome genes. Just saying) and then said I would come for dinner at my brother's new house (yes, he's finally moved out of home, again.) But I could still write in the morning. Except for the small fact that I was meant to have gotten my grandmother's present on Friday when I went shopping which I didn't do. So instead I was rushed around trying to find a present, drove out to my parents, had a fantastic lunch with family (grandmother was very happy to have all her children and half of her grandchildren there), visited my brother, went to see movie with my brother and sister, and then got home tired. So I just went to bed.

And to be honest, today almost didn't happen either. 

But it has. So, I suppose, that is a small victory. 

When you can't make large victories, you might as well rejoice in the small ones. 

Don't forget to add your entry for Trim'N'Taut writing competition!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Trim'n'Taut Writing Challenge with a Prize and ROW 80 Check In

Scissors Cuts Paper
Courtesy of Glen Pebley, at stock.xchng

Trim'n'Taut Writing Challenge:

Last check in I gave you the transformer writing challenge: to take a tweet or Facebook status update and like a transformer, keep unfolding it until you had a story outline. 

Well, today we are going the opposite way. The challenge is to take a full story and trim it  down into the length of a tweet. 


Well, first of all it helps you really focus in on the key elements of a story.

Second, it is a great skill for pitching. If you can think of the snappiest way to present your whole story, rather than rambling on for 3 hours trying to describe everything, you just might be able to pick up a publisher while in an elevator. 

Third, we all like to tweet about our books, don't we? 

To make it more interesting, I'm offering a prize to the best attempt in the comments. I'm going to offer a copy of Anne Lamott's fantastic book on writing 'Bird By Bird' because I believe every writer should read it at some stage. 

There are three categories, but the overall winner will be from any of them.

The beginner level challenge is to take a short story or a TV episode and try to condense it all down into one sentence. 

(I will just say that my best friend is very good at this, harsh and cruelly so. When I won a creative writing award at college she came up and said 'I hope it wasn't for that story where he ran, ran, ran and then fell off a cliff.' Of course it was, and unfortunately that was a pretty accurate description of the piece, but hey they still gave me the award!) 

The advanced level is to take a novel or movie and try trimming it down. 

Finally, the expert level is to take an entire series and strip away everything until you have the key element. 

The result should be identifiable as the original story, and extra points if you can make it sound interesting and engaging as well. 

This is open for a week until I sit down to write my post next Wednesday 24th April. Anyone in the world can enter, you just have to be prepared to give me your address so I can get Amazon to ship you out the book.

ROW 80 Check In:

So my goal was to write a blog post or article each working day. 

My ROW 80 check in for Sunday was a bit late and got posted on Monday instead, so that sort of counts as I did a post for Personal Fitness Base Camp on Sunday reviewing my first week of training for a half marathon. 

Tuesday I did my Killer Online Platform post here on 100FD about how to build your own website. I had already put together a lot of this and saved it as a draft. However, I spent my lunchtime adding more, and then int he evening had to do further research to respond to a question in the comments (which was a great question).

I wanted to do another post for Personal Fitness Base Camp, but just couldn't think of anything to say other than that our prayers are with those affected by the Boston Marathon attacks. It was such a shock to me, as I start my training for my first half marathon, to imagine what it would be like getting to the end of a marathon and have your world crumble down like that. 

The newspapers today reported about the 9 year old boy who was waiting to give his dad a hug at the finish line and was killed by the explosion. My heart went out to the father, who had just pushed himself through the wall, pushed himself to the finish line, used up all his reserves, about to celebrate, and instead is now facing the worst emotional marathon of his life. 

All I could do was prayer.

Strangely it has made me take my training a bit more seriously. 

Then today I spent my lunch break checking out other blog posts by ROWers. When I got home I tried to record a new video blog (sort of difficult all by yourself, but I'm getting the hang of it, and have finally managed to connect up my DSLR with my Mac, so I can control it via my laptop, which makes things a lot easier.)

And now I'm writing this post. So, overall, I'm counting that as a win! 

So, let's see how I go for the rest of the week.

Don't forget to add a trim'n'taut story tweet in the comments for your change to win a copy of Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott! 

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

KOP Setting Up Your Home Base Part 2: Building a Website

Last post we looked at planning your homebase. Now we are finally onto the fun bit:
Starting your own webpage!
Yes, believe me this is the fun, if time consuming part. If you are at the stage I was at when I started out, then you probably know very little about starting your own webpage.

Writing yes! Web design… um, no.
However, if you are prepared to spend some time playing around with it, don’t mind it not being perfect, and have already sorted out things like personal branding, this can be a fun, creative process.

First of all, did you all do your homework and draft out what you wanted on your webpage? Hmmm?
If not, take some time to roughly work out how many pages you want, any special widgets you need, rough drafts of content to being with, etc. This will make life easier.

And now we will move onto how to start your own webpage.
While for your blogs and other anchor level things you can use free hosting such as blogger and wordpress, for your home base I’m going to recommend that you actually buy your own domain name. It looks more professional and you have more control. (and imagine if you became super famous and someone else had already bought it! Gotta think ahead.)
If you are just starting out and not yet sure you want to be a professional writer, start with just a blog and see how you go with that. But if you know you want to create an online image as a writer, and are ready to jump in, follow me!

Steps To Setting Up Your Own Webpage:

Step 1 Web-Hosting:
If you have your own domain (eg., you still need to go through a company to host your webpage. This is probably the most expensive part. Though, we are still only talking about $5-10/month.

Keep in mind that it might take you about a year to really take off, if you haven’t got an audience already, so you sort of need to have at least $120 to start this enterprise to cover the webhosting, which usually wants at least 1 year paid upfront.
I use Bluehost (aff. link) and I have been really happy with them. I’ve had to contact customer service a number of times. I've always gotten an email from a real person, and they were very understanding of my incompetence, refunding me when I accidentally signed up twice. There are other webhosts out there, but these guys aren’t that expensive, have great customer service even for Australians and have really useful tutorial videos to help you.
Some webhosts have different priced options. I would recommend making sure you have the following features:
  • More than one domain allowed. (domains are cheap to buy, so why not have everything on a personalised domain if you are already paying for hosting?)
  • You might want addon/parked domains if you already have purchased domains somewhere else.
  • You definitely want WordPress hosting (though most seem to do this).
  • If you get a free domain name chucked in, that’s pretty cool, but worth about $10 all up.
  • Also, a lot of them offer Google Adsense credit, etc. Read the fine print, because they are usually only for US residents. (Very sad.)
  • Keep an eye on the storage space. Looking around I’ve got unlimited, and some start at 100GB, but I just found one that offers a whole 1GB! I have USB sticks with more storage than that!
  • Also, check out how many email addresses they offer. You probably don’t need hundreds, but one offers only 2, so if you want to run competitions or separate out writing emails from consulting emails, it’s a bit limiting.
  • Also, starting off as a writer I don’t think you need your own toll-free number, just saying.
I always recommend  that before choosing one you do a quick Google search for reviews. If everyone talks about how slow and how often it goes down, being cheap isn’t going to make up for that.
Once you are happy, start their sign up process!
(Signing up is usually a very easy step by step process, so I'm not going to take you through it. Though feel free to email me if you get stuck and I'll see what I can suggest.)

Step 2: Choose your domain name.
You want to make sure your domain name is simple, easy to remember, and directly related to you.
I recommend sticking to .com (or, etc.) because these look more official, and strange things can happen to the less well known endings (such as the time Google dropped off all .info from their search engines for a day or two! Weird, I know. But that could be a lot of lost traffic). Keep in mind that in Australia, to get a domain you have to be a registered business. My simple solution (though I am now a registered business) was just to grab the .com version of it where there are no such restrictions.
When thinking of a name, keep in mind that you need to be able to say it and for people to understanding it easily. Therefore, I recommend against too many hyphens, numbers, weird punctuation, etc. Numbers are difficult because people don’t know whether you mean the numeral or the word. Of course, I’ve fallen into that trap with ‘’ and do often get asked. One easy way around this is to buy both domain names, and just have one forward to the other.
Finally, make sure it is not too easy to confuse with another domain already out there in the same field. You don’t want Joe E Blog to get all your Joey Blog traffic.

Step 3: Buy your domain name.
When you sign up for webhosting you can either buy a domain name through them, or migrate one across you already own. Pros to buying it through them is that it is super easy, and it’s there waiting for you. Cons are that it can be a bit more expensive (like a dollar or two) and certain hosts only offer particular types. I found this out when I tried to buy only to be told they didn’t sell Australian domains (though they would host them if I bought it somewhere else). In the end I just went .com, to give it a more international domain of mystery feel so it all worked out.

Otherwise, you just go to a site like and buy one through them. You can shop around, but consider the time it takes to the difference in price (a few dollars). Just think how many words you could write in that time.
When you buy a domain name there are lots of other add-ons you are offered such as privacy, security alerts, backup options, etc. I ended up paying to have privacy, though I don’t know how important this actually is. But it makes me feel safer at night. The other features you would need to look into and see what’s important to you.

Step 4: Load WordPress.
Well, it doesn’t have to be WordPress, but unless you are awesome at coding, you will need to load some sort of sort of publishing platform to allow you to actually put things on your website.
If you do have a budget for getting up and running, many people recommend actually hiring a web designer to create something unique and personalised for you. This can be expensive ($5,000 sort of thing), but you might also be able to find a graphic design student who would do it for you for cheaper, if they can use it in their portfolio etc.
However, it is perfectly possible to create a good looking website by yourself using WordPress.
Now, I'm recommending WordPress for a number of reasons.
  •        Lots of people talk about it, and if they like it, it must be good, right?
  •     It is made to be really easy to use.
  •     It has a large collection of ‘themes’ you can use. A theme is basically a template which gives the site its overall look. These can be edited and personalised, but having more choice is always good.
  •     Because so many people use it, people have created lots of additional add-ons which you can use.
  •    Also, with so many people using it, there are lots of tutorials out there on how to do anything you might want to know.
There are probably a lot of other reasons to choose it, but those won me over.

Now, installing WordPress is going to be different for each webhost. But here is the tutorial for installing WordPress on BlueHost.
Still stuck? Just search in YouTube for some instructions.
Step 5: Customising Your Web Site.
Now is the fun part, customising your website. This is really up to you and what you want. WordPress has a large number of themes already available, you just have to choose one you want, activate it, and then go in and change things as you like.
I recommend watching the BlueHost series of tutorials which include changing the theme and appearance of your site, creating a page, uploading photographs, creating a static page, etc.
I'm going to set you a challenge to help you get used to just playing around with everything the website has to offer. Don't worry, you can't really stuff things up too badly, and it is better to learn now because you have content and traffic, so you can just start from scratch if necessary.
I want you to create your webpage with at least 3 different themes, trying to capture a different feel each time. For example, make up the sophisticated version, the hipster site, and the B-Grade horror movie version. Feel free to surf around different blogs and sites to get some ideas.
And remember, this is meant to be fun!  
Once you have the site set up, the design as you like, and the pages with information on them, now is the time to start getting traffic to it!

Monday, 15 April 2013

Transformer Writing Challenge and ROW 80

TRANSFORMERS 4 and 5 will shoot consecutively
Writing Exercise:
Today's Writing Challenge is to help you unpack short pithy statements into long prose. Think of this as the Transformer of Writing Challenges.
Mostly great concepts come to the writer as a short idea; imagine if girl meets boy but boy is actually a vampire. It is then the writer's job to unpack that into a book outline, then into chapters, scenes, paragraphs and sentences.
It is a process of slowly unfolding the concept, bit by bit, until it is fully transformed into your kick ass book.
The more you practise this reverse origami process, the easier it will become, and the more you will be able to identify nature folds that would lengthen out into chapter breaks etc.
So, today, I want you to go to Facebook or Twitter, the two mother ships for super short story ideas, and find a status update that has a whole short story waiting inside of it. Then I want you to slowly unpick it into a basic outline, then try to unfold it a bit more into a more detailed outline.
If you have time and feel so inclined, why not take some times and actually write it up?
ROW 80:
Well, my goal was to write a blog post or article each day at work. So, in that I was successful.
However, of course, secretly I had meant to myself a blog post for each blog, and additional articles, in which I was not successful. But that is my fault for a) having hidden goals which I'm judging myself against. They weren't stated because obviously they were ridiculous, so why do I feel bad that I didn't reach them?
So, no more hidden goals.
I really am just going to be pleased if I can do a single blog post or article each day (preferably in my lunch break). If I get more, well that's just extra brownie points to me.
And, if you haven't done it already, why not check out my new YouTube channel? If you subscribe, you will get to see all the videos I'm making straight off that bat. I'm working on a bloopers reel at the moment, which should bring a smile to your face :D

Friday, 12 April 2013

Friday Writing Feast

Welcome back to Friday! Yah!

Continuing on with the Smile Writers, It's Friday theme of rounding up great stuff from around the interwebs...

Favourite quote:

'Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar.' - E.G. White,

tweeded by Bethanne Patrick @TheBookMaven

People I wish I was right now:

B.J.Novak (actor in The Office).

Why? He's just signed a two-book deal with Alfred A. Knopf as a first time author for a seven figure advance. He had nin publishers bidding on the poposal.

What this means? First, Comedy memoirs are hot property right now.
Also, become famous first helps in becoming an author. Hollywood, here I come!

I'm Sure I said this first:

Steam Feed has just released a post about why students should start blogging.
Their argument is that during studies it will keep your writing skills sharp, and that afterwards it will help graduates stand out.
They then give some tips for students wanting to start blogging.

I'm sure I said this a few months ago. Or at least thought, which should count because I know I did it.
I think it is a great idea for students, even if they don't blog, to build up a strong portfolio of articles on article directories. It will help them summarise what they are learning (yes, that's the University tutor in me coming out), and can help them earn some extra money. And finally, it will make them appear more of an expert in the field.

So go for it!

Great Deal For Poetry Readers:

National Poetry Month

Coffee House Press have teamed up with a few others and for National Poetry Month (every April, in case you didn't know like me), they are offering a free book to give to someone for every book of poetry purchased via their website. So, for anyone who wants to get educating the masses, start buying!

So, that's some of the stuff happening around the web.

Anyone got any other good links to share?

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Rush Hour Writing Challenge and ROW 80 Check In

Courtesy of Chris Cockram at stock.xchng
Rush Hour Writing Challenge:

When I’m tired, I’m not always the most considerate person. Catching the peak hour train to work happens to test my patience just a little bit. Rushing off the train and trying to get onto the escalator amidst what felt like 1,000 other people, I become irritated when a slow moving girl in front of me just stopped about a metre from the escalator in order to search her bag for her ticket.

After almost bumping into her, I quickly side stepped, and turned to cast evil stares at her while I moved up the escalator. However, looking back over my shoulder, she had such a lost and bewildered look on her face that I suddenly felt quite sorry for her. In a moment she was engulfed in the crush of people as I was carried off, but I wondered how I would feel if she were one of my characters? What would her story be? How would she react if she knew that someone else had such a sudden flash of irritation with her?

So, my writing challenge to you, which is good for both your writing and also your blood pressure, is to find a situation that usually irritates you, and re-write it from another point of view. It might be the checkout chick going too slowly, but then you write it that she has just had her lifelong pet bunny die and she is in shock, or one of your children is screaming and you realise how the situation could be different that imagine if they were actually being kidnapped by goblins and it was the beginning of their quest to try and come back to you.


Still going pretty strong. Monday I wrote a post for PFBC on training for a half marathon, based on some questions I had emailed a friend who is a state marathon runner. I then also turned that into an article to be submitted to directories.

On Tuesday I didn’t get anything done at work, but when I got home I uploaded the previously written KOP article and did all the linking and finding photographs for that.

Though Wednesday was a bit of a write-off for me. Was completely exhausted so used my lunch break to do a 20 minute relaxation meditation/sleep. And when I got home I started my half marathon training at the gym (going to be reviewing my training as I go on PFBC) and then went to bed early instead of putting together this post. But it is here now. Yah.

So, more article writing and posts to come!

If you come up with any good irritating situations which could be a writing prompt to others, please share them!