A Creative Writing Challenge for You

Winslow wakes up, lying on a cement floor. He blinks, not sure where he is. The room he’s in is round, about twelve feet in diameter. The cement walls are white, and the light seems to be coming from a circular disc slightly lower than the nine foot ceiling.. He finds that he’s wearing black sweat pants and sweat shirt, white socks, and running shoes. A plastic bottle of water rests next to him, unopened, no label. His last memory is of going to bed in his own room, in his Denver apartment, after a full day working as a coder for a website company.

The only feature in the room, other than a hole the size of a pop can in the middle of the mildly slanting floor, is a five inch long, two inch tall slot about knee high on the curving wall. He sticks his finger in the slot, but cannot feel anything. It’s black inside.

What will Winslow do next?

Writing Colleagues!

I am in the process of taking my now-defunct Ed2Go course, Beginning Writers Workshop, and turning it into a Beginning Writers WorkBOOK. I hope to upload it onto Amazon this fall. Before then, I was wondering if any of you (if any of you are still out there!) would mind writing me a blurb of one or two sentences that I can include on an inside page or the back cover, mentioning that you found my course helpful. I would want to use your name and short description, such as “Well-known blogger from Moosejaw, Alaska” or “Intrepid writer/librarian from Appleton, Wisconsin.” You get the drift.

The workbook will be sold at a very low price (I don’t really need the money; I just like to teach and write) so, as always, consider this a chance to have fun, be creative, and appear once more, in writing.

I hope you will post your ideas here. Multiple submissions are fine!

Miss you guys.


Good News for Past “Beginning Writers Workshop” Participants

As of today, the content of the Ed2Go online course I taught between 2004 -2017 is now available–and a bit upgraded–in paperback form. You can find it at Amazon.com with the title, “Beginning Writer’s Workbook.”

When I stopped teaching the course online, I kept the rights to the curriculum I had written. This workbook has taken the place of the course. I enjoyed teaching you all for many years, but in the end, the sessions got too big for me, and finding really good help was difficult.

I’m very excited to have the lessons available once more. I hope you’ll take a look!

Night Ride

The two-lane highway is dark at 11:30 p.m. on a Sunday in November.  Low piles of snow line the dry road, shining in the headlights, still clean though two days old.  They still have 70 miles to go, and only a few cars and pickups appear at random intervals.  The driver puts in a CD, chosen blindly in the dark, turning out to be a compilation made by a friend over 20 years past.  Only 60 miles to go.  Diet coke barely holds off numbing fatigue. 

Your challenge: Who’s driving?

I Pressed My Nose Up Against the Window

Inside. That’s exactly where I wanted to be. If I could have dissolved the glass and stepped inside, I would have made a dream come true. Here’s what I saw….

The Secret Room

We all have one.  Accept that as fact. 

Think about the house or apartment where you grew up.  Perhaps there was a small door near the floor in the back of one of the closets where it was dark behind all the clothes on their hangers.  Perhaps you glimpsed it once or twice, wondered about it, but didn’t feel bold enough to open it. Picture it now.

Perhaps you had a basement where your mom did laundry while you played on the cement floor or wandered around.  Perhaps there was a big cupboard you were told not to open.  It even had a hole for a key.  You put your eye to that hole and could feel a soft breeze coming at you, but you couldn’t see in. Stick your finger in that hole.

Perhaps there was a square or rectangle in the bedroom ceiling that led to an attic.  Once, your uncle or maybe your mom’s boyfriend climbed a ladder into that dark space. You kind of remember that, but you’re not sure.  You haven’t lived there since you were a kid. Get out the ladder and go up there.

Your secret room.  Go there now.  Take a seat and look around.   

It’s So Easy to Misplace Things

I used to have many special possessions that have gone missing over the years. I wish I had them back, but I’m pretty sure I never will. They’re gone forever. I do, however, have some theories about where they are. I’m around 98% sure I’m right.

I used to have a dark green, 1949 Chevy Pickup Truck with a silver knob on the floor you stamped on with your foot to start the engine. I’m pretty sure the Libyans have it.

I used to have a sparkly rhinestone tiara that I wore to my eighth grade graduation party along with a powder blue, full-skirted dress that was fun to dance in (plus dyed-to-match flats). I’m pretty sure Lady Gaga paid a mint to add this outfit to her wardrobe.

I used to own an adorable Beagle named Katie who did not come back indoors after a quick foray outside one rainy night in Peoria, Illinois. I’m pretty sure she’s currently acting as mascot on a gun boat running drugs out of the Dry Tortugas.

I used to have nice brown eyebrows, greatly admired by all. I’m pretty sure they’ve escaped onto the face of the Northern Barred owl who lives in the swampy part of my pine woods.

I used to have a stock of home-grown, home-canned tomatoes in 48 Mason jars (quart size) that have been steadily reducing in number each time I look. I’m pretty sure those little elves who helped that damn shoemaker in the fairy tale are behind the theft. Little tiny footprints with pointed toes. Dead giveaway.

What did you used to have?

The Morning

Theo stood at the bathroom sink, not looking at his reflection in the medicine cabinet mirror. It had a crack in it anyway. His iPhone played “Old Town Road” on Spotify. The question was, Could he manage to get moving?

That Old Hat

That old hat turned up on the bus driver’s head on the same day he slammed his fist into some lady’s burgundy briefcase.  I’ve seen that old hat before, I thought.

Your Blurb Can Be in My Book

I’m finalizing my Beginning Writers Workbook, based on the online course most of you took. This blog posting is my “last call” for supportive blurbs that I can use on the first two pages of this workbook and possibly on the back cover as well.

Write whatever you like, but please put your name at the bottom, as well as some kind of title that describes you, whether it is Freelance Fundraising Copywriter or Purveyor of Polished Postcards. I would feel honored to include your name.

I hope to have the book up on Amazon by October 1, so you can see that I’m in a hurry!

Many, many thanks. –Ann Linquist, Freelance Writer and Online Writing Instructor

The Totally Cliche Ending You Must Fix

It was as if Clarissa had known this moment would come.  Everything was against it—her family, his family, the simmering feud that had been going on for years over a failed business partnership, even geography.  Damon lived in a townhouse in Georgetown; she had a one-room apartment in Oakland she could barely afford on her salary as a barista.  Good thing she had a scholarship or Berkeley would have been out of the question.

But suddenly he was here, at her door, with roses and a ring, his Maserati idling at the curb.  God, he looked good. Maybe the past could be overcome.  His smile said so; her answering heart echoed yes, and then they were one.

[Aauuggh!  Barf!  Ick!  Save them if you can!]

Writer’s Warm-Up Head Slap



Foggy Rotini with Singing Tips

Purple Cheese Sneaker Crisps

Soup or Salad

Portly Orange Chunks with Sour Glue Vinaigrette

Shower Drain Fritters with Simplistic Sparklers


Awkward Anchovy Steak

Dryer Pizza

Broasted Brazilian Perch Legs

Six Bottom Feeder Deli Pedals

Birch Slices with Sobriety Sauce


Caramelized Cement Cones

Crunchy Catalog Chews

Assorted Nutty and Cutting Remarks

 What are you serving?