Andi Winter

Writer, Reader, Tea Drinker, Chrononaut

Category: writing (page 2 of 7)

Today’s haiku

Man with head buried in hand

mama never said

working with stupid asshats

could be so so hard


-sitting at a work meeting

Today’s haiku – three

cozy fireplace

chilly winter night

thinking of autumn journeys

ah, warm memories


-on looking at photos from a trip to Japan


starry night

stars shiver above

in a cold sapphire sky

winter wonderland


-on looking at the stars in clear, dry Oregon weather


frost road

is it frost or snow?

white patches on the roadside

solstice is coming


-on driving Highway 30

Today’s haiku

shopping cartsshared sighs as we wait

the checkout line doesn’t move

it’s only 12/8!


-from a veeeery slow line at Costco

Today’s haiku

Dog claiming skateboardman on a skateboard

holding a chuckit and leash-

delighted puppy


-from a lovely afternoon walk in gorgeous Oregon winter sunshine (seriously!)

Photo source: Les Chatfield

Today’s haiku – two

sasquatchSasquatch robot arm?

The Six Million Dollar Man

raises an eyebrow


-from the couch with season 3  of “The Six Million Dollar Man” playing




Japanese postinstant sekihan,

green tea, rag zori—

package from Japan


-in the kitchen with a package just received from a good friend in Japan

Today’s haiku

cedar branchempty sky above
lone bird darts among cedars
winter solitude


-from the comfort of the couch,
with a plate of pumpkin pie

Today’s haiku

tissues boxcoughing and sneezing

a mound of dirty tissues

ah, winter is here


from the comfort of the couch,
with a steaming mug of Lemon-Ginger tea and a full box of Kleenex

Hitting the wall

brick wall

Exposing the wall under the plaster – hits a little too close to home

I didn’t think it would happen to me. After all, I’ve been writing for around fifteen years, I’ve “won” Nanowrimo eight times, I led/taught a writing group for two years, and I regularly give talks on “How to Write a Novel in 30 Days”. Heck, I published a book! I’ve got this writing thing down.

Um, yeah, no.

Not entirely sure what happened. I started some flash fiction stories back in July thinking that would be a simple, quick kick in the butt for getting some stories written. Come on— five stories running 500 words each. Piece of cake!

Um, yeah, no.

Each of those stories went longer than 500 words. Some a little longer (1400 and 1800 words), a couple longer than that (3000 and 3200 words), and then the Big Kahuna at 8200 words.

And I don’t think I was longwinded.

Then I went to Japan and that took me way off course between the planning, packing, and coordinating with friends over there. Had a great time (despite catching a monster head cold), and was looking forward to getting back into the swing of writing things. After all, November is National Novel Writing Month, or as I was thinking, “National Short Story Writing Month”. I’ve completed the Nanowrimo challenge enough to know that I can do it, so I set a goal of writing 30 stories in 30 days. It would be a stretch for me, but I read about other people who had done it and had amazing experiences. I wanted those experiences, too!

Well, I certainly got an experience. Just not the one I was expecting.

See, I hit a wall. A very big wall. The wall writers (usually the inexperienced or not-completely-dedicated) will bemoan. The dreaded Writer’s Block.

I thought it couldn’t happen to me. I was smarter than that, more dedicated than that. From everything I had seen, “Writer’s Block” was just an excuse people give for not being able to sit their ass down and write.

That’s true, but I think there may be something more behind it.

And that would be Fear.

Ah, yes. Hello, dear friend Fear. It has been awhile.

So I am working my way through this, and will share that process as I figure it out.*

Photo source: Gabriele Diwald



*Really. If I can help others who are struggling with this, then it will have been worth it. Painful, but worth it.

Happy release day! OUT OF TIME is now available!

"Out of Time" bookOh, this has been sooooo long in the making, and I’m so excited! “Out of Time and Other Very Short Stories” is now available.

This is a collection of very short stories (500-1000 words each) that range from talking dogs and zombies, to stranded time travelers and surfers—all coming from some part of my personal experience.* I like to think of this as a Smorgasbord of Tales**, a wide-ranging sampler of stories to try.

Speaking of stories to try, I posted two stories from the collection. Take a look!

Links for the ebook:
Amazon (print available too!) | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks/Apple and more

And now, back to our regularly scheduled writing . . .


*Well maybe not the zombies.

**Perhaps “Sushi Bar of Stories”? There is definitely a much higher Japanese content than Scandinavian in the book.

***Fun, and maddening and joyful. It’s hard to describe, but let’s leave it at “fun”.

Face palm

Man with head buried in hand

This says it all

So it’s been two months since the surgery, and I expected that I’d get behind some with the writing, but I figured it would pick back up as I felt better.

I didn’t expect that I’d fall this far behind.

Between life, a mini-vacation (which was lovely), and, well, life, I lost track of where exactly I was with the writing and publishing. In fact, I got so lost that I floundered, to the point that the creativity spark fizzled and went kaput.

Insert freaking out about “I’ve lost that creative feeling”* and desperate attempts at recovering my creativity. Because OMG I MIGHT NEVER WRITE AGAIN.

Yes, well.

So I went back to basics. I started writing morning pages** again. I read books about creativity. I wrapped myself in guilty pleasures (you know, the usual: Jane Austen, vampire and/or werewolf romance books, historical scifi-fantasy-romance TV, kid action-adventure novels, space operas, ). I reminded myself that healing takes the time it takes, and that whenever I have tried to force something to happen, the results were Never Good.

Essentially, I journaled, I read, I immersed myself in fun, silly entertainment.

Then I saw a post by Dean Wesley Smith about his process of finding story titles and then writing the story. I gave it a shot, and just finished a 3,200 word story.

Then I saw a post by Chuck Wendig with another flash fiction challenge to write a story mashing up two randomly chosen genres***, and I got started on another story.

With a little momentum behind me, I went back to the publishing and tried to figure out where I left off. Oh right, review the websites with the book and make sure everything looked okay. Which it should, since I have been over this book a zillion times by now.

On the preview, IN THE FIRST SENTENCE OF THE FIRST STORY, right there in front of me, was a spelling error.

On the freaking preview.

<face palm>

So back to the ebook mines. I fixed the problem, finding other minor problems as well, and then uploaded the corrected files. And now I wait for the sites to process and approve them. Which means more time to wait.

It’s progress, I think. Just very very slow, 2 steps-forward-1-step-back progress (i.e. the new normal).

Hopefully this just means a week or so delay, and then I can post links to the book and get on with my publishing life.




*It’s funnier to me if I say it to the tune of “You’ve lost that loving feeling”.

**See Julia Cameron’s classic “The Artist’s Way” for more info.

***I <3 these challenges. They are brilliantly inspirational.

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