Join me for a writing challenge! #alexandrafranzen

*Repost from February 1, 2021*

Update: A big thanks to those who said they may join in! I look forward to it!

If you’ve been around my blog long enough, you know that I enjoy writing challenges.

Not only do they make you to think about things you never considered writing about, they are a great way for your readers to get to know you better.

While I have been doing some journaling offline, I spent most of January perusing and purging my stacks of writing-related “stuff” I have collected since I started writing again: insightful articles, how-to’s on indie publishing, character sketch templates, marketing ideas…below was a small pile of a much larger one.

What does my cleaning up have to do with writing?

In my pile of “stuff”, I stumbled across a print-out of Alexandra Franzen‘s “100 questions to spark conversation and connect” and had an idea…

Why not take a month’s worth of her questions, write to each question, post them during the month of March 2021 and ask YOU to join in on your own blog?

I think it would be fun and since it’s only February 1, we would all have plenty of time to mull over the questions and/or write them up in advance of March.

And with the craziness that we are all still going through with the pandemic, we could take our minds off of things.

If you decided to join (all the way or just for a few questions), I would ask you tag me/pingback me in your post so that I could go read your post. And if you wanted to join in but don’t have a blog, you could simply drop your response in my comment box under my own post.

If you don’t like a question, you could tweak it to suit yourself or if you’ve already written a similar post to the question, you could simply link back to your previous post.

So, do you want to join me in March 2021?

If your curiosity is piqued, check out the 31 questions further below that anyone/everyone could answer with some forethought. Feel free to encourage your friends to join with you.

Are you ready?

  • March 1 – What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?
  • March 2 – Do you have any irrational fears?
  • March 3 – Do you believe in magic? When have you felt it?
  • March 4 – Are you living your life purpose — or still searching?
  • March 5 – What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
  • March 6 – What are you freakishly good at?
  • March 7 – What was your very first job?
  • March 8 – Do you think you’re currently operating at 100% capacity?
  • March 9 – Has a teacher ever changed your life? How so?
  • March 10 – Have you ever been genuinely afraid for your physical safety?
  • March 11 – Have you ever stolen anything? (Money, candy, hearts, time?)
  • March 12 – Have you ever unplugged from the Internet for more than a week?
  • March 13 – How do you engage with panhandlers on the street?
  • March 14 – How do you reign in self-critical voices?
  • March 15 – If you could choose your own life obstacles, would you keep the ones you have?
  • March 16 – If you could sit down with your 15-year old self, what would you tell him or her?
  • March 17 – What are you an expert on? Is it because of training, lived experience, or both?
  • March 18 – What do you value most: free time, recognition, or money?
  • March 19 – What’s in your fridge, right this moment?
  • March 20 – What’s one mistake you keep repeating (and repeating)?
  • March 21 – What’s something you’ve tried, that you’ll never, ever try again?
  • March 22 – What’s your personal anthem or theme song?
  • March 23 – What’s your recipe for recuperating from extreme heartbreak?
  • March 24 – When you see peers / competitors getting things you want, how do you react?
  • March 25 – Where & when do you get your best ideas?
  • March 26 – Would you consider yourself an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert?
  • March 27 – Would you rather have a live-in massage therapist, or a live-in chef?
  • March 28 – Do you have a morning ritual?
  • March 29 – What’s the most out-of-character choice you’ve ever made?
  • March 30 – What’s your most urgent priority for the rest of the year?
  • March 31 – What are you most grateful for, right now, in this moment?

So, are you ready to get writing?

I’ve started to think about answers to these and they are giving me food for thought. 🙂

Note: Feel free to check out Alexandra Franzen’s site for yourself, if you like. I am simply sharing her site with you because I think she has a bunch of interesting articles, great free workbooks and a newsletter that I signed up for. I am not “affiliated” to her site in any way, financial or otherwise.

@whatsandrathinks @cyranny @kphoenix1

#30DayWritingChallenge (Day 30) Do you have any final words (for this challenge)?

Well, my 30 days over and I made it!

I would like to say:

  • Thank You Pam for inspiring me to do this little challenge. Be sure to check out Pam’s blog here for some great reads and the next challenge she is working on;
  • Thanks to all of you who have followed and commented on my posts during these last 30 days – your words motivated me to not fall off the wagon;
  • Thank you to all who started their own challenge – I hope that you enjoy as much as I did.

If you would like to keep in touch, feel free to sign up for my newsletter here and Instagram since that is the social I use the most.

I’ll be taking the next few weeks to regulate some of the goals I talked about in a past post and then I’ll be back with a QUIET yet DETERMINED plan but first, I’m  going to find out what all this Beyoncé LION KING fuss is about. 🙂

Thanks again for sticking around, take care, stay healthy and keep positive!


M xoxo


#30DayWritingChallenge (Day 29) Name 5 things you are grateful for

Aren’t we all grateful for the same things?

The love of family, friends and/or those we consider family? Being in relatively decent health? A roof over our heads, food to eat and a few dollars in the bank?

Yeah, I’m blessed to have these so I’ll pick five others that are less important but that speak to these current times.

I’m grateful that I am childfree. I never thought that I would be as grateful as I am for this right now. I admire the strength and patience of all of you who have had to juggle having your young children at home all the time or older children who are having difficulties following the Covid-19 practices.

I am grateful that I left my home office alone. Due to the confidential nature of a previous job where I had to work from home a few days a week, I had set myself up with a home office at my own cost – cotton candy green walls, 2 desks, proper lighting, a good quality corded hands-free phone, an old-school landline, a second monitor for my laptop…Luckily, when I changed jobs, I kept my cute little set-up so when we were told to work from home as of March 16th, I had no issues. While my colleagues were scrambling to work from kitchen tables, uncomfortable chairs and running out of minutes/data from taking work calls on their personal personal cells, I was sitting pretty in a pretty office. 🙂

I am grateful for the stability of having my own place. I know so many people who have had to either move in with others or have had to leave home. I even provided refuge to someone who needed it for a few months (without compromising myself and/or health). The challenge and sacrifices of having a place of my own has been more than worth it. Me, myself and I don’t have to deal with being under someone else’s roof, others who are not respecting protocols and even better, no one can tell me to leave their home.

I’m grateful that my parents are safe. It was downright frightening to see so many people unable to visit their elderly loved ones in facilities and then losing them to Covid-19 (the situation of those in eldercare facilities was beyond horrid). I know of someone who lost both parents, in two different facilities, within 14 days of each other. Yeah, I’m grateful that they are safe and sound in their own home.

I’m grateful that I’m learning to take off my cape. I’m not Superwoman and no longer have the energy to do it anymore. If I plan to do something but find myself too tired, I say it. No hiding, no excuses. “Sorry but I need to lie down and take a nap” has become my go-to phrase with people around me. I’m grateful for finally speaking this truth.

What are you grateful for these days?


M xoxo

#30DayWritingChallenge (Day 28) What are your goals for the next 30 days?

My head may be spinning with all the goals I could have but if there’s one thing that I’ve learned, I know that I have to keep my list short and doable.

Right after this post, I’m actually going to write them down in my agenda that I have barely touched since the beginning of these pandemic times.

So what are my few (writing-related) goals?

  • Send an email to my email/newsletter distribution list. I started a list way back when but found it difficult to keep up with since I haven’t been writing much. I need to let them know a few things about the projects rolling around in my brain;
  •  Unsubscribe/streamline the sh*tload of writing-related Facebook Groups that I have subscribed to and never visit. A few Groups related to my genre of writing, others related to readers of my genre of writing and the others that are related to other Indie writers (you know who you are);
  • “Clean” up all my social media accounts and the auto-post options on some of them. I’m not sure if I want my Worpress posts to appear on Twitter and/or my Facebook Page.
  • Figure out how to really use different social media for different things; and last but not least;
  • Draft an outline for my passion project.

Have you got any goals lined up for the next 30 days?


M xoxo


#30DayWritingChallenge (Day 27) What have you learned over the past 30 days (of this challenge)?

Funny how a little 30 day challenge can get the brain juices flowing again.

So what have I learned from this challenge since I began?

A bunch of things but I’ll just name a few:

  • I really miss the interactions with you all that comes with blogging. But I also know that if I want to concentrate on fiction writing, I will somehow have to come up with a plan to blog less but maintain the exchanges;
  • I am pantser who is afraid of writing an outline for the couple of stories I want to complete first. Even back in my university days, I hated writing outlines. I know that it’s the best course of action for a story but I also fear that I may sit down and all those scenes in my head will not make a clear-cut story;
  • Writing is a stress reliever. Since I started writing these little posts has proven that to me again. Some people run, smoke, drink or do others things to relieve stress but writing really does take my mind of things;
  • Writing every day is important, even if what I write is crap and/or not posted on my blog;
  • Listening to podcasts and scrolling Instagram posts about writing is a form of procrastination for me;
  • I was able to pin down who my ideal fiction readers would be (niche audience). I kind of knew before but now I’m crystal clear. It’s not to say that I will exclude anyone who isn’t part of that niche but I will raise certain topics that they can learn from; and
  • I refuse to leave this world without telling some of my stories.

I’ve also learned a bunch of other things mainly due to our global pandemic situation but I’ll leave that for a future post.

Have you learned anything new about yourself in the last 30 days?


#30DayWritingChallenge (Day 26) List 12 things I wish I had known earlier in life

Socrates may have said: “I know one thing: that I know nothing” but there are a number of things that I do know and wish I had known earlier in life.

I could easily have broken this list into age categories of when I learned these lessons…but I won’t.

I could also provide examples for each one of the lessons below…but I won’t do that either.

I’ll leave them up to you to consider how they can relate to your personal experience.

Here we go, in random order:

  • Just because someone appears to have lots of friends does not mean that they are liked or even loved – strangely enough, sometimes it could be the exact opposite;
  • Don’t be too envious of the material possessions others may have – wealth doesn’t automatically mean happiness;
  • Life doesn’t begin after graduation, getting married, having kids or any other “life” milestone. Life begins every day you wake up, if you make that choice;
  • Just because you’ve been told/heard certain things over your lifetime doesn’t mean that they are all true. Is it your truth, their truth or their projection?;
  • Boring is not necessarily bad and it’s okay if life is a bit boring at times. No one is swinging from the chandeliers every day;
  • Just because you are from a certain cultural background doesn’t mean that you are immune to stress and/mental health issues. Those who say otherwise are often in denial about their own issues or prefer to place the blame on others;
  • Just because someone loves you doesn’t mean that they always have your best interest at heart;
  • Don’t put everyone’s needs ahead of your own. Being a selfless martyr will result in an outcome that will disappoint you;
  • Don’t blame yourself for not knowing things you think you should have known. You can’t know what you don’t know;
  • You can’t “fix” others. When you fix yourself, others will have no choice but to fall in line;
  • When a struggle is over, take the time to appreciate what you’ve learned and how you can leverage that new knowledge for the future;
  • Never give up your passion, even if it means doing things you don’t necessarily care to do.

What is one thing that you wished you had learned earlier in life? Which one of the above resonates with you and why? 



#30DayWritingChallenge (Day 25) Post 9 little known facts about yourself

You know that I’m an introvert, that I’m a beach addict, that I have a thing for New York Super Fudge Chunk ice cream…

What haven’t I told you that you don’t already know?

  • I’m semi-superstitious but it’s more about habit than superstition because of my cultural upbringing. In my adulthood and being friendly with people of other cultures, I realize that I’m not alone in some of the odd things I do (or don’t do). My Brazilian acquaintance never pays bills on Sundays, my friend’s East Indian friend never places her purse on the floor…things that I also do without thinking. If you ask in the comment box, I’ll tell you the “why” behind them.
  • I’m not scared to handle tools (get your mind out of the gutter, not that kind of tool). I’ve fixed plenty of things on my own, like change my own entrance locks, put together my treadmill, painting my entire home…lots of trial and error. True story: Once for work when I had to stay at an old dormitory-style compound that was older than dirt, I found myself locked in my room because the lock got stuck. I didn’t have the front desk’s number in my cell, the phone in the room didn’t work but I remembered that I had a set of pliers in my purse (don’t ask) and I macgyvered my way out. Are you old enough to remember the original Macgyver?
  • I hate rap music, especially when the lyrics and music videos disrespect women of my phenotype. Bring back the kind of rap music that tells a positive story like the good old Sugar Hill Gang stuff and then I’ll reconsider my stance.

  • I speak French most of the time though English is my first language. But don’t be impressed – I was raised in a French-speaking milieu. I have always had a love of languages. There was even a time that I spoke German fluently. I understand Spanish well enough unless if someone is speaking really fast but I often keep that little tidbit quiet. When I realize someone is talking about me in my presence in Spanish, I try not to laugh as they say a thing or two to see if I’ll react. And when I don’t react and they think it’s safe to keep going, thinking that I don’t understand, that’s when I usually pick just the right moment to respond, out of the blue, in Spanish…with a straight face.

  • I don’t know what “fun” means.  I’m not even kidding. I’m boring, practical, careful and frugal to a fault (likely NOT a little known fact if you’ve been around my blog for a while). I could be doing errands and STARVING but I’ll refuse to hit the closest fast food place just because I know that I have coupons at home for it (frugal). I shred EVERYTHING before I toss it into the recycling bin, including my prescription labels (careful). I buy based on what I need, not necessarily what I want (practical). And I’m the one who will usually order the same thing at a restaurant because I know exactly what it’s going to taste like (boring).
  • I follow “systems” and am a planner (for certain situations). My “systems” are usually based on previous (negative) experiences. Sometimes I boggle MY own mind with the Sheldon-like things I do. Like on a flight, I plan my bathroom breaks around the beverage service and exactly one hour before landing (because they don’t let you get up within 45 minutes of landing). Or when I go to a hotel, the first two things I do is run the water in the shower to make sure it actually gets hot and then I flush the toilet a few times (don’t ask why, long story). If something is wrong, I can easily take myself back to the front desk and ask for another room. My friends used to think that I was crazy, until they found themselves stuck with a backed up toilet and a shower with luke warm water in a hotel at full capacity, and almost peeing their pants on a flight because of what I already explained to you.
  • When I used to be mistaken for other people, I just played along. I’m not sure why this used to happen to me a lot but it was usually when I traveled. One time, I arrived in Halifax an entire day early to explore since it was my first time there. As I walked around downtown, I kept getting stopped by people asking if I was I-can’t remember-her-name. By the third or fourth time, I was frustrated thinking, “WTF is going on?” and had no choice but to ask who I was being mistaken for. The story was that there had been a Jazz Festival that same weekend and I supposedly looked like the lead singer of one of the bands that had performed all weekend. Then while I was buying some snacks at Pete’s Frootique (because I usually to the economical route), I stumbled across a Jazz Festival poster and guess what? I looked NOTHING like each other and hence, I guess we all do look alike.  🙂 But from that point on, when someone stopped me, I went with the flow and almost took a photo or two before my senses kicked in…no, no photo evidence. 🙂
  • I’m quite skilled at regulating problems in a diplomatic way so people often come to me for help. Okay, that’s no longer true…Now, I only use my skills for family and exceptional situations because of what I said in this past post. Strategizing is kind of my forte. When my expensive brand name washing machine broke 6 months after its extended warranty expired, it took 6 weeks but I got that major company to completely rebuild it free of charge. The technician was baffled at how that was possible. When an old friend’s husband’s insurance company denied him coverage for a medical device due to some stupid technicality, the letter I crafted for them countered their arguments and the company changed their ruling. I can usually get the end result I need with customer service.
  • I’m usually a nice person but I can and will be that b*tch when I need to. I have the patience of a nun but if you come for me or my loved ones, I will fetch my broom and my hat so fast that you’ll ask where Marquessa went. I posted a funnier example here a long while back.

Go ahead, post a few little known facts about yourself in the comment box.