This site is primarily made up of writing challenges for anyone who wants to stop by and step up. I’m guessing that includes mostly alumni of the Beginning Writers Workshop and also perhaps some writers who are considering taking the class.

I’m feeling a need to find out who you are. How about checking in and sharing your online persona! I’d love to refresh my acquaintance with you and also give you a chance to get to know each other better.

Let me hear from you! –Ann

66 responses to “WHO’S HERE?

  1. Gullible here. Currently cat/house/lodge/boat/cabins/generator-sitting in Halibut Cove. Off to Churchill, Manitoba, to see the polar bears in November. After that, I think I might work on a short anthology of all the stories about and inspired by this place–a gift for my hosts. Two copies–one for them and one for me. Other than that, I’m spitting mortality in the eye as I turn 70 in November. Funniest thing that’s even happened to me. Love it.

  2. You are such a traveller. I admire that so much. Good to hear from you! Happy Birthday, G!

  3. Peanut Beranski (aka Becca)

    Dear Lady Linquest, Peanut Beranski here. Just finished taking the final exam this morning and looking forward to our next class together. Thank you for your inspiration, information and good nature. You’re a HOOT! How do I officially join this site?

  4. I’m an alum of BWW and your business writing course. If it weren’t for this site and my blog (which isn’t updated regularly), I probably wouldn’t be writing much. I must admit, my session of BWW was a blast, there was great interaction between the students and many friendships were made. The several classes I’ve taken since haven’t been near as enjoyable. One day soon, I’m going to take your new class, if for no other reason than to get some writing in.

  5. I’m going to have to think up some great new challenges to keep you writing, Walk. We all like to read your stuff. Keep going!

  6. Parrot here. Two years ago I started this writing journey with my first class –
    BWW. It was the the BEST first class I could have taken to inspire/educate/stimulate/move me forward. I had no idea there was that much stuff in my brain just waiting to be released by free writing! Ann, you showed us how to capture rough content and make it into something presentable. A light came on in my right brain and it hasn’t gone out (even though periodically dims a bit.)
    After the class, I did some searching on the internet and found your site. Through it I have met some wonderful comrades and keep in touch with them here, via email, facebook, and our blogs. I appreciate that you give us writing challenges, and feedback when we post. You continue to be our mentor.
    For the last year and a half, I’ve had a blog called Parrot-Writes, where I post my poems, stories, flash-55’s, and memorable events in my day-to-day life. I will be participating in NaNoWriMo for my second year. My WIP novel came from the writing prompt in BWW where we picked three numbers and matched them to a chart. My three words were gardener, museum, ring. – they have morphed into a mystery-love story that I will be adding 50,000 more words to in November. My story-in-waiting is also from a prompt on this site where we dropped a pencil on a story you provided and used the sentence to write a new plot.
    I’m still retired and enjoying my grandkids, gardens, small vinyard, friends, time with my husband, trips, books, and leaning something new. Thanks for asking! Linda McMann

    • It’s good to hear from you Parrot, and to know you’re still writing. Good luck with your next 50,000 words. Enjoy!

  7. I am the antithesis of Gully with her amazing portfolio of travel destinations. I’m a true homebody. Much of my time is spent prowling my husband’s woodland gardens and our neighbor’s farm with camera in hand, photographing raindrops and spider webs, birds and butterflies – and my dog. I believe with absolute certainty that my dog is the most charming, adorable creature on earth. I also do watercolor painting and am currently taking a refresher course from another excellent teacher.

    BWW was my first-ever writing class. In the dead of winter, snow up to the windowsills, completely housebound because my husband needed my four wheel drive car to get to and from work, I sat in my kitchen one morning staring at the computer. Should I do it? No. I’ll embarrass myself. I don’t know enough about computers. I’ll mess everything up. But they’ll never see me. Right? I pushed a few buttons and answered a few questions and all of a sudden I’d arrived at THAT MOMENT. Push one more button and you’re in. I was hyperventilating – really. Of course I followed through with it, but I spent the next hour pacing around the house asking myself if I’d lost my mind. The candle exercise was fun but my hands shook the entire time I was typing and I was terrified at what Ann would think of my meager attempt. (And I had to telephone my brother-in-law to find out how to cut and paste or copy my text onto the site. Oh, yes, I’m that bad. To my family’s annoyance, I’m still not on FaceBook. Can’t figure out Picasa. I have no idea what tweeting actually is and do not know how to send a text message. But my worst ‘sin’ is that I never turn on my cell phone unless I need to make a call. That’s maybe once or twice a year. So I can’t always be found on a moment’s notice. Sigh.)

    Of course we all know now that Ann is a kind hearted soul so I needn’t ever have worried. She gave me the courage and the skills to continue. Having this site to return to is a blessing for me. It’s like going home to Mom’s house where you’re always accepted, warts and all. And as a bonus, there’s usually a delicious apple pie just out of the oven the moment you arrive! Whenever my writing well runs dry, I can always depend on Ann to prime the pump and get the words flowing again.

    • Barbara – You hit the nail on the head – this site is a place to come home to! A place you can practice and not be afraid to try something new (ouiji poetry) or old (John and Martha.)

    • I kind of feel that way about being here too. Having old friends drop by is really nice, plus it makes me think about new ideas. I find I like to take my own challenges too. Good to hear from you!

    • Hi, Barbara. You sound so much like me I think maybe you are my missing twin– except that my dog is the world’s dumbest and most neurotic Golden Retriever. He is really more of an underretriever.

  8. I was one of the crazies in Ann’s BWW. My life will never be the same since I got up the nerve to test my writing abilities with Ann as my fearless leader. I have a blog and have written two books (unpublished) as a result of participating in NaNoWriMo in 2009 and 2010.

    Presently, I’m hooked on playing online Scrabble which is unfortunately taking me away from writing and reading. This to shall pass, but writing as a passion never will.

    P.S. Gotta go. I’m in the midst of twenty Scrabble games (the maximum number allowed) with my online game friends. Obviously, I’m still obsessive in my activities, but that’s just me.

    Thanks for everything, Annie,

    • Wondered where you’ve been! Hope you get back to writing soon.

    • We like you just the way you are, Shaddy. There’s no one quite like you. It sounds like you’ve gotten quite a bit of writing done! We should start a publishing house.

  9. Now, Ann, that’s a good idea. That’s how we can get published!

  10. Hi all. I think most of you know me. I was in that BWW class that gasped and ducked as we watched Gully and Shaddy ricochet around the room… So much fun, really, attempting all those exercises, seeing how other people responded, and just generally getting to know everyone there.
    I drop in here often to see what the latest challenge is. I like to read what you all write, but usually can’t QUITE bring myself to jump in.
    Most days I spend caught up in the busyness of life; husband, kids, meals, pets, etc. I’m taking classes to learn medical office skills — paid for by a government grant to help unemployed people. It is fun but exhausting (3 hrs 3 nights a week). Hope someday to get out of this stinking hole we’ve been stuck in for so long. Depending on food stamps, heating assistance, state health insurance, and that sort of thing is not as much fun as you may have been led to believe.

    • Hello, Maureen. Nice to see you here.

    • Hi Maureen! Sounds like life is full of challenges for you these days. Plenty to write about, I’ll bet. If your life so far hasn’t given you lots of ideas, working in the medical field sure will. Looking forward to hearing from you when you get the time to share.

  11. Hi Maureen! It’s great to hear from you. I have to think you have a great story to tell, since this posting is good reading, even though I know the realities are grim. Remember that you can take my online course, Effective Business Writing, if you need writing practice for job hunting. Since there is a personal writing project involved, you (and I) can work on a great job application cover letter for you. I’m not trying to drum up business; it really is a good course in that you come away knowing how to tackle any sort of writing you need to do on the job. It would be great to work with you again! –Ann

  12. Hi everyone. I’m another grateful BWW alum. I had so much fun in that class! I’ve met such good friends through the BWW network. Ann, you and BWW are truly gifts that keep on giving!

    The story I began in BWW kept on growing. It was published first as a short story, ‘It’s About Time’ in a regional Southern magazine. I kept writing more of the story until it turned into a novella. JUST DESSERTS: Greed. Lust. Death. Tiramisu. was published as an e-book this summer. It’s available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. Now I’m writing a sequel and hope to finish it sometime this fall.

    I am VERY fortunate to have some time to devote to writing and so appreciate the encouragement I got in BWW!

    I blog about my writing adventures and mis-adventures at http://natasha.edcentric.org/

    Drop in and visit!

    • Hi Natasha! Good to hear from you. You’ve been writing! That’s wonderful. I’ll have to drop by your blog one day. –Ann

  13. Hello Ann and everyone. I’m Beth, and learned about you from my blog friends Gullible, Shaddy and Walk. I live in a Longleaf pine forest near Pensacola, Florida; just retired my 8-year-old blog, Switched At Birth, and just couldn’t help myself — am in the process of creating a new one called (the hungry) Writer’s Kitchen. It’s on WordPress.

    Look forward to participating in your writing challenges!

  14. I’m not sure my “Beth” WordPress profile is sending you to the correct blog address, which is: http://thewriterskitchen.wordpress.com. Both my pen name (Diane Springs) and I are authors, so it gets pretty confusing! You should be me! 🙂

  15. Ann — sorry for the confusion on my profiles. I think I have it squared away now. Please excuse me for inadvertently experimenting on you.

  16. Hi Ann,
    I was here a few times ages (as in more than a year) ago, but it was more like a drive-by and then I got lost in my own woods! This time, I left a trail of breadcrumbs. . .

    Walk — thank you — you’ll find that not much more than the name has changed.

  17. Hi everyone,

    I am a transplanted Canadian living in Minnesota. I really think I was meant to live in the south but somehow always wind up in these geographically wintery locations (I was born in Winnipeg, Canada – I think that might have been an omen).

    At the age of 40, after careers in communications, banking, and adult education, I decided that I wanted to be a fiction writer. This goal was sidelined for many years due to several life changing events, but now at age 53, opportunity, inclination, time, and energy have converged to enable me to pursue this. I decided that taking writing courses would be a good way to harness and focus my creativity and imagination. I took Ann’s BWW class last January and immediately followed it with her Writing Essentials class. I like the online format and am currently taking my my fourth class this year. I know that I need the classes to make my writing stronger, more polished, and more professional. They also make me sit down and write, which I enjoy but do not make time for daily. I’m working on that.

    I discovered this website last spring and have enjoyed reading and participating in Ann’s challenges.

    It’s wonderful to read about who all of you are. I look forward to reading your future submissions.

  18. Hi Diane! I agree it’s nice to get a quick ‘meet and greet’ here. I’m glad you stopped by to post. I hope you’ll take lots of the challenges. Keep in touch! –Ann

  19. Ann, Re “The leaf is red.”

    From “Cutting for Stone” by Abraham Verghese: “The oaks and maples outside the window of his room are wild men with their heads on fire.”

  20. I remember that! What an epic book. The man can write! What else are you reading? I’m hard up for a good book. Finished “The Hunger Games” and “The Help.”

    I can see those wild men running around with their heads on fire. What an image.

  21. “Seven Years in Tibet” and will try to get back to “The Hangman’s Daughter.” After “The Book Thief,” my favorite of the past couple years, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” is a winner. I read “The Help” a year ago or so. Also “Sarah’s Key.”

    As for “Cutting…,” I had a couple false starts with it, but after finishing it yesterday, I have that lost feeling. You know that feeling? You just want to stay in the book?

  22. Hello, Lady Ann! I just wanted to say hello and to thank you for all your encouragement as I made my way through to completion of you Beginning Writers Workshop. This class was a godsend for me because I never took my writing seriously before, and now I weigh every thought and word. I look for meaning in everything, and dream about what I’m going to write next. I get excited now because I feel like after taking your class, I have the confidence to go forward and know that as you said, “no writing is ever wasted.” Thank you so much for that!

    I will visit here often, and I look forward to your challenges and reading some familiar pieces and making new friends. Thank you again for providing such a wonderful learning experience and I will cherish your class forever.


    P.S. How do I add a picture tag? I’m new to all this blogging stuff. 🙂

    • Peanut Beranski (aka Becca)

      Kitten, so glad to see you here !! I was starting to go through withdrawl until I found this Heavenly Blog. I’m so glad you came to play!

    • Kitten, I think you just click on your gravatar (that little pink and white block band white design to the right of your comments). That should take you into the change gravatar menu, just fellow the instructions from there on. Hope this works.

  23. Good to see you here, CAK! Feel free to try any of the writing challenges here–past or present.

    I wish I knew how to add a picture. Maybe one of our writer pals here will know. Most of them are ex-workshop folks, just like you.

  24. My name is Carl Speaks (yes, I’m aware my name could be a complete sentence.) I’ve always been a bit of Mister Ed, not speaking unless I have something to say. I happened across the site by happenstance while trying to Google information on getting published. The only time I have available to ‘read’ is when I’m driving which is about 5 hours every night delivering medications to nursing homes for a pharmacy in East Texas. So, audio books saves my sanity there. Since February I’ve, using the term loosely in this case, read the entire Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, The Dresdan Files by Jim Butcher, and Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. I’m currently reading the Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher. Fantasy and Sci-fi are my genres of preference, I’ve always been attracted to the supernatural. I’ve never been involved in any kind of classes for writing but I’ve always enjoyed putting pen to paper, so to speak, and seeing what comes out. I’m currently working on writing a novel. I’ve written short stories, poems, and song lyrics though the closest to actual publication was having some poems listed on poetry.com and having my parents sing some of my gospel songs in church. I’m 36 years old, my wife and I have an 8 year old girl that we adopted when she was about 10 months old, but we also take care of three teenagers who were displaced from their homes for one reason or another. My wife has multiple medical problems including mild epilepsy, diabetes, RLS, Sleep apnea, Neuropathy, Polycythemia Vera, and shrunken valve syndrome. Only 41 years old and she’s already suffered a heart attack and a stroke. She’s also attending Junior College for business management, which says something for the determination of the indomitable human spirit. I have truly enjoyed reading and writing on this site. I believe it has helped broaden my perspective in my own writing as well, even not having been able to get on as often as I’d like.

    • Peanut Beranski (aka Becca)

      Carl, it sounds like both you and your wife are quite special people. I have just completed the Beginning Writer’s Workshop available through ed2go.com taught by our Blog host Ann Linquist. I think it would fit well into your schedule as the sessions are open for several days to complete each lesson. This class would absolutely get your juices flowing and give you some valuable feedback on your work. It will also Build your Confidence as a writer. It is nice to meet you through your words and I sincerely hopw that you’ll consider taking Ann’s course.

      • Parrot Writes

        I agree with Peanut. Ann’s Beginning Writer’s Workshop would be an excellent choice for you. Not only are the class times flexible, the content is perfect for wannabe writers. Plus, you meet the nicest people!

    • Carl,
      You sound like a word lover. I hope the novel goes well, and that you enjoy your time in the chair. Keep going!

    • Hi Carl,
      I have to add my 2 cents to the pile! BWW is the best place to start. It’s flexible as the others mentioned and not terribly expensive like a lot of the courses out there. And you’ll find very few instructors who will do the kind of thorough critiques Ann does. I learned a ton from her. Hope you’re able to give it a shot.

  25. Hey, it’s me, KathyH. I was in the September 2006 BWW. That was the best time of my life, I won’t ever be the same. I live in a small community in North Carolina, raised 5 children and now I’m “Granny” to 3 grandchildren. I’m almost 61 years old and have always dreamed of writing. Wrote snippets throughout my life but childrearing took up most of my time. 2006 was a huge turning point, I signed up for BWW. Now I have quite a few essays, poems (I am not a poet), a couple of short stories, and a horrible first draft of a novel that stinks on ice. I entered one of my memoir stories in a contest given by our local writers group. It received an honorable mention and was published. I have waited since the second grade to have this dream come true. The first book I ever checked out of the library in elementary school was a blue book about birds. I knew then that I wanted to write. Well, all the winners of the contest were published in the anthology which turned out to be a blue/lavender color with, yep, I’m not kidding–a bird on the front cover. It made the hair on my arms stand straight up. I love connections like that. So, I have had 2 huge highlights in my life–taking BWW and getting my story published. Oh, and the story I submitted came from one of your prompts here at your blog. Well, I could go on and on about what BWW has meant to me but I think you already know. I hope to get back to writing if my life will leave me alone and quit yanking me around.

    • What good news! I’m glad to hear you’re still writing. Loved the blue bird book(s) story. Good luck grabbing back your time to write!

    • Way to go, Kathy!

      • Thank you, Ann and Barbara. There were first, second, and third place winners and then two honorable mentions out of eleven submissions in the memoir/creative nonfiction category. The anthology went “on sale to the public” at our local Book Festival in September. I got to the booth and could not even speak at first when she asked if she could help me. I managed to stumble out the words ” I’m published”. There are no words to describe the feeling of seeing my story in print. Even now, from time to time, I peak inside the book to make sure it hasn’t disappeared and flown off the page. Working on this particular story and seeing it published is better than anything…even better than…well, anything! I hope to work

        on some other writing projects but I think I’ll have to run and hide somewhere in order to get away from the chaos in my life. I wonder if Gullible would let me hide out in Alaska. Nobody would find me there.

  26. Hi Ann, Hi All,
    I just completed the BWW class and want to keep the creative flow going. I was known as No-More-Limits on ed2go, but am happy to be Rich B. here. It is so nice to see classmates and other BWW alums on this site!
    All the best,

    • Rich! I’m glad you decided to jump in on the specific scene challenge. Everyone here (almost) is an ex-BWW student, so we do like to goof around. Feel free to try any of the old challenges if you’re so moved. Welcome! –Ann

  27. Hi, I’m MaryA. I took your BWW and love your promts. They keep me writing when I am tempted to quit. Don’t plan to ever publish but have one novel well underway and outlines for two more to keep me out of trouble during my retirement years.–MaryA

    • Mary A! Sorry it too me so long to respond. Nonetheless, I remember you and am glad you decided to show up. Hope you’ll try a few challenges and goof around some more! –Ann

  28. hello Ann
    After completing the beginning writer’s workshop I feel like I’ve finally found a place where I can put my feet up and soak up some good energy while my boots dry. The energy that it produced within, will keep me & all my thoughts in motion, writing & rewriting. We’ll be crossing trails.
    peace, bonfires

    • How great that you’re here! Love the boot drying image. I may have to join you.

      I hope you’ll try some of the writing challenges here. You’ll also find some other friendly BWW alums here who like to goof around. –Ann

  29. Ann, about a month ago I assembled lists of words and phrases for my own fun and galumphing. Today I decided pick words at random from the lists and make three sets of five words each. I simply closed my eyes and placed my pen on the lists to find the words. These are the three sets:

    SET A
    Big Wig, Doughboy, Hootchy Kootchy, Murphy’s law, and Spam

    SET B:
    Card Shark, G-Man, Hysteria, Posh, and Wild Goose Chase

    SET C
    Caucus, Goody Two Shoes, Lobbyist, Red Tape, and Whistleblower

    Honestly, I did not manipulate the choice of words at all, this is exactly how the random picking came out. I am amazed how each set contains elements that are similar in tone or theme. Feel free to use any or all of these for a Goofing Around.

    As Always,

  30. I forgot to tell you, the list of words and phrases contain 187 entries. I am truly amazed how these sets fell out of that assemblage of potential galumphs!

  31. Hello Ann! I love what you have setup here. I’m already feeling the inspiration from what you have offered. Thank you!

  32. Hi Ann, just finished your Beginning Writer’s Workshop. AKA Debi. Your class really motivated me, and I’m already continuing to work on my story and have a hundred other ideas surfacing! Thank you.

    • Hi Debi! I’ll have to remember your new nickname. Hope you come here to try some challenges whenever you want some readers.

  33. Hi Ann, Anastasia here. I just finished BWW and loved it so much. Ann Thank you for everything, but mostly thank you for giving me the confidence to just write and to write badly. That helped. I want to keep going so I am determined to try some things here on your site. Thank you for that also. Your teaching style has helped crack this nut.

  34. that weird lady in the house over there

    very glad to have found this. i’m usually alone, especially when i write: family metaphorically pats me on the head, mouths something deep like ‘good dog’ while wadding up and throwing away what i wrote.

    • I’m happy you showed up, TWLITHOT! I hope you’ll try some of the challenges. We’re all here just goofing around. –Ann

  35. that weird lady in the house over there

    thanks, ann. just posted my final piece….i feel like there’s no blood left in my body now. -n-n-n-eeeeed-d-d c-c-coofffffeeeeee

  36. Ann, it sounds like you had yet another class of “Special Students” I love the names, especially TWLITHOT. I am sending some of my Writeriffic classmates to this site. They want to keep in the company of Creative People and this is a perfect place to reach that goal. “Keep Going” !

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