Category Archives: Blog challenges

The A to Z Blog Challenge Theme Reveal!


by Lillian Csernica on March 21, 2017

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Once again I shall be celebrating the arrival of Spring by participating in the A to Z Blog Challenge. This will be my fourth year, and I look forward to even more fun and meeting new friends.

In past years, my themes have included Travel Adventures, Unusual Items Made of Chocolate, and Bad Sword & Sorcery Movies.

This year I will be bringing you eye candy taken from another one of my secret passions:

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Jewelry, housewares, and a few other surprises, at least one for every letter of the alphabet! I’ll be looking forward to your comments!

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5 Favorite Guides to Get Writing Again


by Lillian Csernica on February 28, 2017

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Writing is hard. We all know that. Some days we get sidetracked by avoidance behavior. Some days we procrastinate out of laziness or confusion about the story. Some days we’re just plain stuck.

Today I’m having one of those days. Here I sit, working on a blog post, when I’d meant to be making progress on my latest short story. Well, at least it’s productive avoidance behavior, right?

In the spirit of solidarity with my fellow struggling writers, I offer this list full of tips, information, and excellent methods to restart the writing engines. Enjoy!

Four Ways to Rediscover Your Passion for Writing

Nailing Scene Structure

100 Prompts for Writing about Yourself

Stop Putting Off Writing: 9 Experts’ Solutions

End Writing Procrastination Now

 

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Why Deadlines Are Your Best Friends


by Lillian Csernica on October 24, 2016

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Yesterday I kept thinking I need to blog. Gotta blog today. Must write an original blog post.

And then I’d push on with the scene I was writing for my latest short story.

Between writing, research, more writing, and a few breaks to loosen up mind and body, before I knew it midnight was fast approaching.

So here I am today, showered, caffeinated, and making this blog post Item Number One on my To Do list.

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I have a story deadline coming up. In fact, for this particular anthology I’m committed to delivering two short stories that relate to each other. I know I absolutely must get these stories written, edited, polished, and delivered before NaNoWriMo  begins. Once the starter gun fires and we race toward the 50,000 word finish line, I want to be focused on pouring all my writing time and energy into my NaNo novel.

People often think deadlines come at the end, when you have to hand in the homework, the article, the novel manuscript. A deadline can also mark the beginning of a project. This is why there’s #NaNoPrep, along with lots of advice on the Internet about everything you need to accomplish before November 1.

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Deadlines also create accountability. If you know you’d better have something to read at your next writer’s group meeting, you’re more likely to get it written. Never underestimate the power of potential embarrassment as a motivational tool.

Deadlines keep me organized. Deadlines help me prioritize. Deadlines help me generate the creative pressure that makes the words keep coming. For me, deadlines are the surest protection against writer’s block.

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Reblog: Plotting your novel like a pantser (writing tips)


(Many thanks to Sarah Zama at The Old Shelter. I’m definitely a planner, but for the first draft of NaNoWriMo, I can really use these tips on being a pantser!)

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I’m definitelly a plotter… after I’ve written the first draft. But before I write it, I’m an hopeless pantser. This is how I’m preparing to NaNoWriMo

Source: Plotting your novel like a pantser (writing tips)

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Great Story Titles: 17 Fiction Writing Experts Reveal Their Secrets


(With NaNoWriMo just around the corner, many of us are probably working on titles for this year’s writing project. Many thanks to Alex Limberg at ridethepen.com )

Looking for the perfect title for your story? Not easy to do. 17 fiction writing experts offer tricks and inspiration how to come up with intriguing titles.

Source: Great Story Titles: 17 Fiction Writing Experts Reveal Their Secrets

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Around the World (A to Z Blog Challenge Wrap-Up)


by Lillian Csernica on May 6, 2016

 

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I had a marvelous time participating in this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge.  My technical skills as a blogger have improved, so I could add a greater variety of media to my posts.  My theme was Travel.  I didn’t want this to be just another travel advice blog, especially when there are so many out there who have traveled farther and know so much more than I do.

So I fell back on what I do best: laughing at myself.  I have been a lot of places and seen a lot of things.  It’s been my privilege to meet some wonderful people, generous, compassionate, and hospitable.  There’s a whole lot of the world left to see.  That means there are many more people I’ll be meeting, and many more stories waiting to be lived!

This year I really did challenge myself to pick words for each letter that would catch the reader’s eye.  Then I had to come up with aspects of my travels that suited the word I’d chosen.  I think I was most successful with “M is for Money.”  Looking more closely at the trips I’ve taken across the U.S. helped me relive those memories of my father with the perspective I now have as an adult.  I may well collect the posts from this year’s challenge and develop them more fully into an actual memoir.

Many thanks to all the folks who stopped by to take a look here, clicked “Like,” and maybe even left a comment.  It’s been a great pleasure to meet you and find out how you chose to post from A to Z.  Thank you to all of the A to Z Blog Challenge staffers who do so much to make this possible.  It’s a marvelous event, the product of what is clearly a lot of hard work.

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New Discoveries:

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My Travels in the Middle East and Beyond

Onomastics Outside the Box

Silvia Writes

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Ongoing Friends from Last Year and Beyond:

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Diary of a Dublin Housewife

Fae Forensics

Three’s A Herd

This Old Shelter

Sherrie’s Scriptorium

 

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Z is for Zippers


by Lillian Csernica on April 30, 2016

My one great nemesis during travel is zippers.  They don’t like me, I don’t like them.  Nevertheless, they do come in handy at keeping things closed.  At least, that is, until one of us breaks a foot, loses a tooth, or rips out a seam.

 

 

I hate it when this happens.  Only rarely do I get lucky enough to work the zipper foot down to the end of the zipper where I might have the slightest prayer of making the teeth mesh again correctly.  The other problem with zippers is how easily my long hair can get caught in them, especially under windy conditions.  Trying to pry my hair out of a closed zipper is not the most pleasant experience!

 

Much like my comb, once a zipper has broken or lost teeth, that’s the end of it.  Time to get a new one!

 

And then there’s the problem of the torn seam.  This can be mended, but it’s tiresome work when time is short and I’d much rather be out and about enjoying my latest  adventure.  On my most recent trip to Japan, I bought a rather large purse in the hope that it would function as a carry-on bag as well.  It does, but there’s so much room in there you’d think this was the luggage version of Dr. Who’s TARDIS!  I am forever zipping it open and shut, which has put some strain on the seams to either side of the zipper itself.  I suppose some reinforcement is in order.

 

And there you have it!  All 26 letters of the Alphabet, under the theme of Travel.  Thank you for joining me.  I hope you’ve had fun!

 

 

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Y is for Yearning


by Lillian Csernica on April 29, 2016

 

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There you have it.  During all the trips I’ve taken, in the midst of all the traveling I’ve done, there’s been a part of me that was waiting, watching, and hoping.  I’ve been on the lookout for that signal, that flare of recognition that would tell me I had finally found the trail that would lead me to my true home.

U2 said it best.

And so I keep traveling.

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X is for Xenophile


by Lillian Csernica on April 28, 2016

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From Dictionary.com:

noun
1.  a person who is attracted to foreign peoples, cultures, or customs.

 

Hello.  My name is Lillian and I am a xenophile.

I would explain why I’m a xenophile, but if you’ve gotten this far into the alphabet with me, it’s safe to assume you’ve already figured it out.

 

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W is for Waiting


by Lillian Csernica on April 27, 2016

 

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Waiting for the oiran parade at Toei Kyoto Studio Park and talking to the little old Japanese gentleman.  The one question he asked me in Japanese that I clearly understood was what kind of Japanese food I like to eat.  Figures, doesn’t it?  😀

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Waiting during the intermission at the Folies Bergere.  I bought a can of Coke to drink while I stood there in the lobby watching people go by.  I was a trifle stunned by the show.  The great advantage of being alone while you travel is not having to worry about your mother finding out what you’ve been up to while you were away!

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Waiting to see if the rain in Maui would let up enough for Mom and me to go on the submarine ride.  So many tourists on the island were so angry, so upset by their plans being cancelled.  It was a bad day to be in the hospitality industry.  To me it was still an adventure, a tropical storm with the palm trees bending way over just like in so many movies I’d seen.

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Waiting to see if Pat and I would find a gas station before we ran out of gas miles from anywhere in the dark.  I’ve experienced this particular wait more than once.  All I can do is cross my fingers and pray.  We’ve never been stranded by the side of the road.  Well, not yet, anyway!

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Waiting to see if I really could drive all the way to Fremont.  Then all the way to Stockton.  Then all the way to Seattle!  This wasn’t the usual kind of wait, given that I was driving at the time.  That part of my mind that’s always hanging back and observing was doing the waiting.  When I’m alone in the car I tend to talk to myself while I drive.  I hope anybody who notices thinks I’m singing along with the radio.

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Waiting to see if my destination would measure up to my imagination!

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