Cold and Brisk – Timed Writing Prompt

Cold & BriskI’ve got another timed writing prompt. It’s been a while; I know all too well. But that means you’ll enjoy the challenge even more, right?

Today’s writing prompt is about the cold outside. I’m sure this stems from my reluctance to go outside today, or anytime in the winter. I love the snow. It makes a winter wonderland when freshly fallen. But I hate the cold. During the winter, if I’m not outside enjoying the winter sports (which for me just consists of sledding, ice skating, snowman building, and the such), I’m usually inside, huddled in a blanket and sipping hot chocolate.

If you haven’t done a timed writing prompt, you’re missing out. But not to worry. Today is your lucky day to participate in one.

Don’t stress, too much. Really. It’s easy. Just follow these simple rules and then let your imagination take you where it will.

The Rules

The rules are simple. For five minutes, write. Don’t let your pen linger above the paper for longer than a few seconds, if at all. The goal is to keep your pen to the paper for the entire five minutes.

During this time, write whatever comes to your mind, even if it is unrelated or insignificant. If that thought is yearning to get out, let it.

When you are through, read through your writing and save it. It is a great journal piece. And who knows, you may find another use for it one day.

Below is a writing prompt to get you started. Read through the prompt, then start the time and let your imagination take you where it will.

Ready?

You’ve got this!

Now, have fun!

Writing Prompt

The air outside is brisk. I can feel the cold seep through my fingertips and spread through my fingers, hands, arms. It trickles into my chest where it lingers and threatens all that the layers of clothing try to protect. I can’t do this, I think. This, being outside, in the cold, where I can get sick. I rub my palms together, just as I have been instructed. Does it really help? I still feel the freezing air attacking my body.

Examples of ‘Writing Goals’

Writing Goals ExamplesHow are your writing goals for 2014 coming? Honestly, I’m still working on mine. As I set my writing goals this year, I want to make sure I set achievable but challenging goals that will help me grow as a writer and give me some accomplishment. I have a few plans for writing this year that I can’t wait to start. I think this year is going to be an exciting one in terms of writing.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes a few examples help me when setting goals. Not that I want to copy. I want to follow my own path, for sure. But sometimes it helps to see what possibilities are out there. What are some things I can accomplish that I have not thought of? Or what are some things that others are doing that may fuel my thinking?

If you’re like me, you might enjoy this little list I’ve put together of writing goal examples. If not, maybe you can help those like me and provide a few examples of your own…

To make a long introduction shorter, please enjoy my list of writing goals examples:

  • Finish that story. You know, the one you have started, the one that’s always in the back of your mind in everything you do, the one you almost live in. Why haven’t you finished that yet? Wait. Don’t answer. It doesn’t matter. What matters now is that you set the goal to finish it and then work toward that goal. You can do it.
  • Enter a story in a contest. Almost every year I tell myself I want to enter a story in a contest but I never do. Why? Because I haven’t set the goal. I need to say, “Yes, I’m going to do it. I’m going to enter a contest this year.” Setting goals isn’t about “I want” it’s about “I will.”
  • Start a blog. You’ve had the idea percolating in your mind for quite sometime about an interesting blog you want to start. Start it. Set the goal, create a blog account, and start writing.
  • Set a specific time or set time apart just for writing. Maybe the only way you can compete with all the busy-ness of your day is to set time for what you really want to do. If you just need a little more time, work it into your schedule.
  • Learn more about characterization. Part of becoming a good writer is learning more about writing techniques. Find books, blogs, seminars, workshops, etc. to increase your writing skills in specific areas.
  • Learn more grammar and punctuation. Yes, grammar and punctuation are important in your writing. Capitalization, commas, apostrophes, and dashes all help the reader easily understand your writing. And, the more you understand about grammar and punctuation, the more artistic you can be in using them.
  • Learn about a specific topic. Maybe you need a little more research to fuel your writing. Find a book, read the news, talk to people, or whatever else you have to do to learn more about that subject.
  • Fuel your imagination. I love anything that fuels my imagination: books, movies, outdoors, traveling, music. Find what fuels your imagination and helps you find the creative motivation you need to write.

Do you have any other examples of goals to establish for writing? Please, leave a comment.

2013 – A Year in Remembrance

Year in RemembranceAs each year comes to a close, I, like many others, can’t help but look back on the year’s experiences, journeys, struggles, and triumphs.  Indeed, 2013 has been a crazy, active, somewhat frustrating year full of changes and unexpected adventures. But we have persevered. And I like to think we are stronger for all we have endured and overcome.

But enough of that; let’s get on to the great things that happened this year, the things to truly be celebrated:

Chef Comte and I celebrated our first year wedding anniversary. That’s right. And as of today we are less than two months shy of our two-year anniversary.

1st year anniversary

I learned more about public transportation as I traveled to Seattle (where I worked), to Chef Comte’s work, and home. My travel each day consisted of a personal car, a train, and a few buses.

Seattle

Chef Comte and I attended the Puyallup Fair, now a Washington State Fair. Yes, it is the best fair. We also ate a giant turkey leg there. No, we didn’t try the fried butter… Gross!

Puyallup Fair - 2013

Chef Comte and I camped overnight at Mount Saint Helens. Sadly, because of other obligations, we didn’t make the hiking trip. (We also do not have a picture of this, so enjoy this beautiful sunset in Washington.)

sunset

Chef Comte graduated from culinary art school. Yay! He has made some amazing delicious meals. Here’s just a few you can be jealous of…

tortalini soup

Tart

Pumpkin Rice

Chicken

Chef Comte and I moved back to our home state to be closer to family. It has been quite the adventure so far as we look for jobs and prepare for other opportunities.

Back Home

We also took a trip to Capital Reef in Utah only to find we could not enter due to snow. Oh well. We still had fun and had a little picnic in the car.

Capital Reef

And, of course, the Christmas holiday has been a blast. We made some gingerbread houses and celebrated the season and birth of our Savior with our families

gingerbread house

And now we look forward to 2014. We have a lot of hopes, dreams, and goals for this new year. Bring it on! We are definitely ready for the new adventures.

A Challenge of Goals – January Challenge

Challenge of GoalsWith the new year comes the start of new challenges, goals, dreams. This year I’m starting a writing monthly challenges, or for those sticklers, a monthly writing challenge. And, ooh, I’m so excited for the fun challenges ahead.

Each month this year I will present a new challenge. Every challenge will be different and you’ll just have to follow along to find out what they are. This month I present a challenge of goals. 

Part of writing is establishing goals for yourself. Yes, you can sit down at a computer and just write, and that is fine. But if you really want to accomplish something with your writing, you have to set achievements for yourself. Do you want to finish a story? If so, what will you do with it when you finish? Maybe you want to submit a piece of writing to a journal or competition. Maybe you want to give as a present to a friend or family member. Whatever your end result is, it is a goal.

Goals help us know where we are going. Once we know where we want to go, we can figure out how to get there. It’s like establishing a destination on a map. When you have a destination, you can find the roads, highways, and trails you want to take to get there. And the great thing about maps and goals is you get to decide the best route for you to take.

So, start easy in 2014 as you establish your writing goals. Pick an achievement, then decide how you want to get there. Set small goals to accomplish the big one. And while you’re at it, be sure to pick up a pen and put your goals to paper. I find it is always easiest to accomplish something when I have written it down. I am a writer, after all.

Simplifying the Dreams and Obliterating the Overwhelming Load

Simplifying DreamsDo you ever get overwhelmed? What am I thinking? Of course you do.

My problem is that I try to do too much. I bite off more than I can chew, and then I’m left with a mouth full of mess that I can’t swallow. And I feel like choking and gagging and everything else that goes with an over-stuffed mouth.

But…. there is just so much I want to do. And then there are the things I need to do.

I want to write stories and dream and play pretend in my head all day. I want to make crafts and beautify my house (Pinterest does not help this desire). I want to spend lots and lots of time with my husband because he’s just that amazing and fun. I want to plan adventures and have that spur-of-the-moment picnic in the park. I want to learn new things such as languages and graphic design and painting and skiing and other things that will help me at work and provide more fun.

But, I have to work. I have to go to this full-time job, which I love, but it’s not my great career dream (I want to be home writing intriguing stories and marketing myself as an author). I have to commute to work, which consists of a train and a bus one way and a bus and a car ride the way back. I have to clean my house and wash the dishes and do the laundry. I have to work with the time I’m given because there  isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish everything.

Maybe you can see where I’ve overwhelmed myself. Although I haven’t taken up skiing or painting lessons, I have cluttered my life with a few things that have become too much. Now I have to take the time to simplify, which, really, is a good thing.

For me, this means going back to my dreams and remembering something my mom told me a few years ago.

I’ll tell you the story.

A few years ago, I was thinking pretty hard about going back to get my M.A. degree in marketing. This really does make sense because I work in marketing and have for over five years. In this decision, I wasn’t thinking about dreams or passions, I was thinking about how an M.A. degree would make me more marketable and give my resume more leverage.

My mom, knowing that my dream and passion has been writing since I was a little girl–grade school, where I used to stay in from recess just to finish my stories about witches and magical rings–questioned this decision. And she said something that has stuck with me since, although I don’t remember the exact words.

My mom reminded me that my dream is writing. If this truly is my dream, I should not deviate or let anything get in my way of achieving it.

The last couple years have been crazy with getting married and moving to a new state. I’ve gone through some emotional ups and downs with work. I’ve tried starting a few blogs that were focused on things very different than what my true passions are. Even though I didn’t go back to school to get an M.A. degree in marketing, I did deviate a little. Although, some of the deviations have been the most rewarding parts of my life.

But now, I want to get back on track. I need to un-clutter my life of things that are just clutter. It’s like de-junking–I think of the TV show “Hoarders”.

Mind you, writing is not my only dream. I dream of a family and seeing Chef Scott open up his bakery one day, two big dreams that I will be very much apart of. But, I need to bring my dream back to the forefront.

I still have obligations. I still have to work and clean my house and wash the dishes and do laundry. And I’m, of course, going to take the time to have adventures (I need great experiences to help my writing). But the clutter will be gone and the overwhelming feelings will be obliterated. I will feel free because I will have simplified my dreams. And I will be writing, writing, writing, where my true passion lies.

Let the de-cluttering continue!