Coffee and Conversation: Up for a Challenge?

Grab a cuppa and a comfy seat, and let’s chat a while.

It’s Monday again – time for Coffee and Conversation.

When I was six, my familywas driving on a highway late at night. Streaks of headlights and taillights painted the dark. For the first time, I realized that each car held people living lives as important to them as mine was to me.

I wanted to know what those lives were, and to share my own…

Hey there! How are you, this fine Monday?

If you’ve been reading here over the last few weeks, you’ve probably encountered a challenge post. Maybe you’ve wondered why I take on so many of these.

  • I do it primarily because I like to stretch myself, challenge myself, and expand my horizons. If it’s true that learning new things keeps the mind agile and healthy; mine must surely be thriving!
  • I choose challenges that match well with my writing goals. It gives me another motivation and a framework that allows for a period of intense activity and focus. I don’t always complete the project, but I always make progress that moves me closer to the larger goal.
  • I meet many new people, and gain the perspective and companionship they offer. I read new writers, learn new things, and am exposed to new ideas.
  • I see what I love and am capable of, while feeding my creativity. A series of challenges met, failed at, and dropped out of has shown me what I can do, what means the most to me, and helps me to tap into rich veins of imagination and connection.

Spring seems like a perfect time for challenges. They are as abundant as new growth, and the surging energy of the season, the return of longer, sunnier days, seems to inspire me. Here’s what I’ve been up to, this season, and what’s yet to come:

April Challenges:


Word Count: 33,335 words.

What I Gained:

  • Completed one “hanging” WIP (To Be or Not to Be) ; moved another forward by over 20,000 words (The Stars Are Fire).

What Lies Ahead:

  • More CampNaNo in July.
  • More participation in group events, online or physically.

Blogging From A-Z:

Word Count: Nearly 20,000 words.

Story, World, and Character Building:

  • A location that existed only nebulously in my mind for the last year now has form, substance, and some operating principles.
  • It also has inhabitants across a diverse spectrum, and, although the stories themselves don’t reveal it, a complete story arc for each of the 26 characters….and a few more characters, who began as secondary, but who may merit deeper explorations when I return to further develop this concept.

Things Gained:

  • Exposure to many new blogs, people, and ideas.
  • New followers, and new blogs to follow.

What Lies Ahead:

  • Planning is in the very earliest stages for next year’s challenge.
  • Further development of my Kifo Island Chronicles stories; perhaps as a series of novellas, each dealing with 2-5 characters whose stories intertwine. Not sure exactly when this will happen, but it’s exciting.

May Challenge:

Story A Day May:

Word Count on May 5: 3,930 words.

Story, Character, and Craft Building:

  • I get to play with T’Pol. Trip, and their relationship, as it evolves.
  • I am learning more about these characters, and about the process of writing quality fan fiction.
  • By following the prompts, both official and guest, I am exploring and honing my craft.
  • I’m meeting new people – participants and authors. And I get to read lots of cool stories, too!

What Lies Ahead:

  • Continuing on with the challenge; challenging myself and these two intriguing characters.
  • And, eventually, possibly, a novel-length WIP (The IDIC Romance) to serialize at a fan fiction site. And an excerpt to use in a Facebook contest, too!

And what’s in the wings…



  • Because I have two “hanging” WIPs I want to complete drafting this year.
  • And, well, challenges are are fantastic way to stir the creative stew, and to meet new people and forge new friendships.


  • I hope to finish TSAF, and make some good forward project on PTD.

July CampNaNo:


  • Because I just love me some NaNo, and I love the flexibility of setting my own word count.


In the mists of future time…?

Well, there’s OctPoWriMo, and the “original” NaNoWriMo in November. More poems, perhaps on a theme, and a new novel yet to be selected

How about you? Do you find yourself seeking out new challenges or pursuing new projects as the weather warms into spring? Do you look forward to a creative surge? Do you have favorite activities for this time of the year…I’ll take a little break from my challenges, and we can have a cuppa while you tell me all about it.



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