About Nell, Writing Challenge

Day 1 #30DayWritingChallenge

Cheered on by my most frequent commenter and dear author friend Addison, I decided to go through with the writing challenge I wrote about yesterday. Here’s the first post of 30. 

List 10 things that makes you really happy

I have a daughter who turns 22 in just a few weeks. She’s the apple of my eye and I’m so proud of her half would be enough. Ever since she was born she’s been a talker. When she was little she talked and babbled and asked a million questions, and the only time she was ever quiet was when she was asleep. She even followed me to the bathroom and stood outside, talking through the door until I surrendered and let her follow me inside. She still talks a lot, and I really love listening to her talk about her day, her school, or one of her other million projects.

Coffee kisses
My husband has one of those pesky day-jobs, so he has to get up before me in the morning. But when he thinks it’s time for me to wake up, he makes a cup of espresso for himself, walks into our bedroom, sits next to me on the bed, takes a sip of his coffee, and wakes me up with coffee flavored kisses. Best way to wake up ever.

The intense closeness I have with my husband and daughter. The way we’re very connected as a family and are each other’s biggest supporters. I love our internal jokes, our family-specific words, and that both of them are my best friends. And also the talking stuffed Tiger.

There’s a great live version of Leonard Cohen’s Tower of Song that I listen to all the time. It’s from his Live in London album from 2009. There’s this line in the lyrics that goes: I was born like this / I had no choice / I was born with the gift of a golden voice and when he sings those words the audience goes completely crazy. They scream and holler and roar and whistle and just wholeheartedly agree with him. And every time I hear that passage I can’t help but smile or laugh. It just makes me so happy. Listen/watch here. (I’m aware that the video is super boring to watch, but it’s totally worth it.)

Finding a new book that’s impossible to put down and when it’s finished all you want to do is start over immediately, and it will be on your list of re-reads for ever and ever. Or choosing a book from the aforementioned list and let the beloved, familiar words envelop you like a favorite blanket or a hug from a loved one. Life would not be the same without books.

A bowl of perfect Japanese Ramen. Preferably accompanied by a pork bun or two. It’s my favorite food


Watching orphaned baby elephants grow up and thrive under the care of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya. 10 years ago I saw a clip on CBS 60 minutes about how this organization rescues orphaned elephants and takes care of them until they can return to the wild again. Orphaned elephants are very sensitive and often does not survive without their mother, but this organization takes care of them. My family has supported this organization since I saw that first clip, fostering elephants and donating money. They have a fantastic social media presence, publishing wonderful posts on Facebook and Instagram with fabulous pictures and funny stories about the orphans. And every time I look at those babies my heart aches. Baby elephants might be the cutest ever, take a look for yourself by clicking on any of the links above.

An ice cold glass of sparkling water when I’m really, really thirsty.

Going to bed after just changing the sheets. Freshly showered in fresh bed linen, is there a greater feeling than that?

I’m very proud of the fact that I finally dared to chase my lifelong dream of writing. I feel so much better when giving myself permission to be creative and after I’ve stopped thinking “I can’t”. And success isn’t even necessary at this point, what’s important is that whatever happens I at least tried. I also love and cherish the writing community I’ve found. They are supportive and helpful, and the exchange of ideas and opinions is incredibly important and meaningful to me.

Miscellaneous, Nell's WIP


I wrote words today! Real words on a real work-in-progress!


Words I even kind of like! It’s the story I talked about last week, the one I started before I went to Sweden, but haven’t done anything more than think about since. It’s still untitled, but it’s going to be about finding home.

It’s about two guys called Elliot (a middle school English teacher) and Mick (divorce lawyer), and I thought I’d show you a picture of the guys who inspired my boys.


I really love the cute dimples and kind eyes on “Elliot”, and I like “Mick’s” quirky, cute smile. They are inspiring—just what I need to get going!

Anyway: the writing was slow going today, I’m clearly out of practice. But I found a 30 day writing challenge on Pinterest, and I thought it might be a good way of getting into the habit again. So I’m thinking I might publish the challenges here on the blog, that way you get to know me a little better too.

What do you think? Good or bad idea?