See*Photo*Write Challenge Response

I’ve been neglecting my writing exercises lately. When our writer’s group (1st Writes) meets weekly, we do a timed writing exercise together. It’s so fun and a great way to keep the writing muscles working. When we don’t meet, I slack off and rarely do any exercises, even though we have a weekly photo prompt exercise on the 1st Writes blog. For some reason, I spend way too much time thinking about what to write, rather than just sitting down and writing. So this week, I was determined to sit down and write for 15 minutes on the See*Photo*Write prompt. I did not waste time over-thinking it. Here’s the photo and my response –

Tea Time

“You’re crazy, Edna,” Louise held her hands up in exasperation.

“Crazy? I am certainly not crazy!” Edna looked away from her best friend of 30 years. “I may be old. I may loose track of the days and I may forget where I put my teeth at night, but one thing I’m not is crazy!”

“Now, Edna,” Louise leaned forward to pick up her teacup.

“And furthermore, when you invite a friend over for tea, it’s the height of rudeness to insult their sanity,” Edna took a quick, angry sip of her lukewarm tea.

“Don’t get your dander up, Edna. I wasn’t insulting you. I’m simply pointing out that you’re crazy if you think your husband looked like Gibbs! Robert was short, round and bald. He looked more like a bowling ball and nothing like the handsome and debonair Mark Harmon.”

“Well, I never,” Edna pressed her lips firmly together, unwilling to admit that Louise’s description of her beloved Robert was spot on.

Writing And Running With Lucy Adams

Lucy Adams earned a B.S.Ed. in education from the University of Georgia, an M.S. in experimental psychology from Augusta State University, a graduate certificate of gerontology from UGA, and completed all of the classes, but none of the dissertation (ironically), toward a Ph.D. in developmental psychology (also at UGA). Lucy began writing professionally in 2003, when she talked her way into a weekly newspaper column in a local paper. From that, Lucy’s first book, If Mama Don’t Laugh, It Ain’t Funny, spun off in 2007. The publication of If Mama resulted in gaining her freelance work for magazines. In January 2011, her second book, Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run, was released. Both books were published by Palm Tree Press.

I’m happy to welcome Lucy Adams today as her book tour for Tuck Your Skirt In Your Panties And Run makes a stop at my little blog. If my blog were a town, it would be that town known for its one pump gas station and not much else. Being on a ‘Blog Tour’ is a rare and big event here! I’m thrilled and honored to welcome Lucy for a conversation about the relationship between running and writing. I think I may have mentioned once or twice on this blog how big a role running plays in my writing practice..

Me: As a runner, I was instantly in love with the title of your book Tuck Your Skirt In Your Panties And Run. What is the significance behind the word ‘run’ in the title?

Lucy: ‘Run’ in the title has a double meaning. The title itself refers to those horrible embarrassing situations that we get into despite our usual best efforts to stay away. ‘Run’ on the surface means to physically put yardage between yourself and what went unexpectedly and unavoidably wrong.

In another sense, ‘run’ means to put distance between yourself and the embarrassing moment by not dwelling on it and getting on with life. Too often we boil ourselves in the juices of worry and self-pity after one of these occasions, not realizing that most of the witnesses have long forgotten our gaffe. And, prior to forgetting it, benefitted from a good, healthy laugh at our blunder.

Me: I confess I’m the girl who obsesses endlessly over the situation! I run because it helps to put the situation in the proper perspective so I can stop dwelling.

Q1: For me, running and writing are two disciplines that complement one another. Is this true in your experience?

Lucy: My writing life and my running life sort of parallel each other. I have a love-hate relationship with running. I hate getting started and I love how I feel when I’m finished.

In a way writing is like that for me. Getting started is the hardest part. Transferring the initial idea from my head to the page sometimes feels like drudgery. The rough draft is work, not creative expression. But once I get started and my fingers are tapping across the keyboard or my pen is rolling across lined paper, I begin to lose myself in the story. Just like with running, everything becomes rhythm and pace after that, until suddenly I find that I’m done. It’s exhilarating.

Me: I agree. The first few steps are the hardest, but knowing the way I feel when I’m finished spurs me on.

Q2: Has running helped you break through writer’s block or inspired ideas for articles and stories?

Continue reading

Shameless Self-Promotion

I’ve been a busy blogger-bee this week!

Interested in writing romance novels? Be sure and check out my post ‘A Call to Romance‘ @ 1st Writes!

Looking for a fun writing exercise? Be sure and check out my Guest post @ Writercize!

And since I’m already shamelessly promoting myself, if you missed it last week, Ali Cross featured me as a ‘Narley Ninja’! Interested in my writing process? Be sure and check out this post!

Thank you to everyone from The Insecure Writer’s Support Group for your visits, your comments, and your encouragement, especially for The Tell-Tale Blog. You guys are awesomesauce!

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I’ve also been a busy writing-bee for NaNoWriMo! ~3700 words, which is a slow start, but a start nonetheless!

By the way, if you are participating in NaNoWriMo, let’s be buddies —my NaNoWriMo Profile.

See? More shameless self-promotion! *laughs uncomfortably* Actually, I just want to take this opportunity to complie a list of my readers and fellow bloggers who are taking part so that I can offer my support throughout the month. Leave a comment if you are participating officially or unofficially so I’ll be sure to visit and cheer you on this month.

And feel free to take this opportunity to shamelessly promote your blogging and writing endeavors in a comment!

See*Photo*Write Challenge Response

Here is my response to this week’s photo prompt challenge at 1st Writes:

Football Saturday

I am all alone surrounded by thousands.

I would not be missed until the end.

I know the basics but it is not enough.

If I were him it would be different.

He is the favorite receiver.

The passes, cheers, victory slaps

Because I can’t throw or catch

I am on the bench.

I go to every game hoping,

Yearning for a chance at the big play –

The interception of my father’s attention.

© Brianna N. Renshaw

Making Time to Write

Right now, my daily priorities are Monkey, running, and cleaning house. I try to get in blogging when I can and if I still have time at the end of the day, I write. I’d like to I need to make writing a priority over cleaning house. Ultimately, I’d like writing to be as essential to my day as running, but I need to break my strict and lengthy house-cleaning routine first. Maybe if I think about making time and write about making time, I might actually make time.

The irony is I started this blog as a way to make time for writing; unfortunately blogging is not a subcategory of writing -it’s in its own category. Blogging requires time and commitment apart from writing. Active bloggers –

  1. Respond to comments.
  2. Read other blogs.
  3. Reply to posts on other blogs.
  4. Research ways to grow and improve as a blogger.
  5. Reach out and connect with a community of other bloggers.

I need to find some way to organize my ‘blogging practice’ and ‘writing practice’ so that both are getting the attention they need, but not stealing time away from my family.

Here’s a typical day for me right now –


My meals and hubby have to share time with blogging (which I know is unfair) and I still don’t have time to reply to all comments, visit every blog I follow or leave many of my own comments. I will pick up some extra time when I no longer have to do any gardening, but that’s not until November. For the next couple of months I’ll actually have more work to do raking leaves, pruning and cleaning out flower beds.

Now I know why my mother never bothered with gardening. Any spare time she was lucky enough to get with 5 kids, she devoted to reading.

My goal right now is to figure out a daily schedule with writing as top priority and at least test it out.

How do blogging and writing fit into your daily schedule? Do you have a certain time during the day set aside? Can you write with your toddler playing at your feet? Do you blog and write only on certain days of the week or do a little bit everyday? Can you go a day without running the vacuum cleaner?

See*Photo*Write Challenge Response

Click here for this week’s See*Photo*Write Challenge at 1st Writes.

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Boo Boos and Band-aids

Luke gently washed Lily’s scraped knee with a washcloth before carefully applying a band-aid. Sitting back on his heels and digging in the pocket of his jeans, he rummaged through quarters, a couple of rocks, and pocket lint until he finally dug out a strawberry Jolly Rancher, which he handed to his sister. “Take this and call me in the morning if you don’t feel better.”

Lily giggled and popped the hot, sticky sweet into her mouth. “Thank you, Doctor Luke.”

This was a familiar routine as Lily accumulated scrapes and cuts like most little girls seemed to accumulate hair barrettes.

Luke stood up from the floor and washed his hands in the kitchen sink. Just as he pulled open the back door, he heard Lily ask, “Where you goin’?

Sighing, Luke said, “Out,” and slammed the door. He didn’t need to see Lily to know her lower lip was trembling and her eyes were filling with tears that had nothing to do with her bloody knee.  By the time he reached his bike at the edge of the driveway, Luke had managed to block all thoughts of his little sister from his mind. A boy needed time alone.

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I liked Luke and Lily so much after writing their story for the 1st Campaigner Challenge that I decided to write about them again for the See*Photo*Write Challenge.

Campaign Challenge #1

The first Platform Building Campaign Challenge is to write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open”.

The Escape

The door swung open, bounced off the rubber door stopper, and swung back, hitting the little girl in the face. “Oww!” she cried, rubbing the center of her forehead where the doorknob struck.

The boy stretched out on the bottom bunk gave no reaction and kept reading his book.

“Luuuuke!”

“Whaaaat?”

“You promised to play a game with me.”

“I’m busy.”

Stepping into the room, Lily asked, “What are you doing?”

Raising one dark eyebrow, Luke replied without looking up. “Duh! I’m reading.”

“Watcha’ reading?”

“A book.”

“Duh! What book?”

“You wouldn’t know it.”

“Maybe I would.” Lily sat lightly at the foot of Luke’s bed.

“It’s for big kids.”

“You’re not so big.”

Luke sighed. “I meant older kids.”

Footsteps stomped overhead. Looking up, Lily swallowed. “Hank’s home.”

“Yeah,” Luke said, finally glancing up from his book.

The children listened to the muffled sounds of slamming cabinets and swearing through the ceiling.

Luke moved over on his bed. “Come here, Lily.”

Lily crawled eagerly up the bed to lie beside her brother, who opened his book and read aloud, drowning out the noise from above.

Comforted by each other’s warmth, the children escaped into the world of Harry Potter.