A year for firsts

It’s 2021 and I’m believing it will be a year of firsts.

I am attending the first in person writing retreat since March 2020. My friend Jackie and I have been writing together for 21 years and before COVID we didn’t have to clarify that we were writing “in person.” We continued throughout last year, meeting on zoom and talking on the phone. In July, we taught a class online as well. But today and tomorrow, we are writing in person (distanced and masked) but IN PERSON.

What other firsts will I accomplish this year? I have several writing projects underway- a romance novella, a children’s chapter book series, write a short story and sell it, weekly devotionals at newhopevolcano.com, teach another class, develop a new class and blog more. Some of these goals are “firsts” (those in bold are firsts) and some are “seconds.”

These are not “pie in the sky” goals, these are goals that are planned and happening!

I’m doing much better at making and achieving goals since Jackie got me “My Brilliant Writing Planner” for a Christmas gift. I recommend it for any writer. Check it out at https://www.mybrilliantwritingplanner.com/

Seriously, it will change your writing life.

Writing class


I don’t know if I told you that my friend Jacquolyn Mcmurray and I are teaching a writing class at the Volcano Art Center on July 25th. 

This has been a dream of ours for almost as long as we’ve been writing together – TWENTY years. Once we got up the guts to ask, Volcano Art Center said they’d be pleased to have us.  (How sweet!) 

We threw ourselves into planning an awesome day of writing activities for folks who are ready to get inspired and do a little bit of writing. Then (you already know it) Corona Virus appeared.

Like a good villain, it pushed us to change. And, change we did. 

We proposed a workshop via zoom and cut it down to just three hours- 9-12 Hawaii Standard Time (HST). But, there is a silver lining. Now you don’t have to be in Volcano, HI to come to our workshop.  You can be ANYWHERE on the planet. (I really like silver linings.) 

So, besides telling you about our exciting class, I want to ask you if you know anyone who might want to come to our class. Maybe someone who’s always talking about starting that novel, writing a memoir or creating a new hobby. We’d love to meet them! Or, maybe you! 

 If no one in particular comes to mind, do you think you could share it on your facebook page for us? 

Maybe you could include a little caption like: 
Check out this cool zoom writing class that my friend is teaching. July 25, 9-12 (Hawaiian time). She and her friend Jacquolyn are writers and teachers. They have fun, inspiring activities planned and you won’t have to “share” your writing out loud.  🙂 
Be sure to include the link:  Strategies to Jump-Start Your Writing Class


Summer Writing!

Last week my writing partner Jackie and I wrote for three days and it was so awesome that I decided we should do mini retreats every week. This week we’re writing on Tuesday and Thursday.

Every time we write together we both write our goals on post its and text them to each other. When we meet in person (pre-COVID for roughly the last TWENTY years) we post our goals on the sliding glass door at Jackie’s house.

This summer I MUST finish revising my novella and get it self published and out in the world.

We are also working very hard to prep for our online writing class at the Volcano Art Center July 25. It’s for anyone who wants to write or wants to get back to writing. It will be FUN!! Join us!! volcanoartcenter.org

Enough of this blogging- back to work!!!

The Art of the short story

In my last blog, I was wondering what to do next. I have quite a few novel/novellas in draft form and a few completed. I think it’s time to step back to short story and really work my craft witshout worrying about the long form. Add to that the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge and I’m ready to write. http://www.nycmidnight.com/

This short story challenge provides the genre, subject and character and the writers need to rise to the challenge in 8 days. The top five winners of each heat move on to the next challenge which is only 3 days, then 2 days, sounds like fun, don’t you think?

Plus, my daughter Koral (avid story writer) wants to try it out as well.

The first heat assignments are released January 17. Until then, I’ll be brushing up on my Short Story skills. I’ll start by writing a story assigned by my other daughter (Kalea). Genre: suspense, Character: Lorelei Gilmore, subject: intellectual disability.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

Looking for next steps

Today I made an inventory of all the projects I’ve done on this writing journey. I have 4 novels (between 25,000 and 50,000 words) that are first drafted. I have 2 novels (both 25,000 words) that are finished, one published, one still yet adrift. There is also the teacher’s guide, published in 2005. Then there’s a few poems, short stories, essays, character sketches and picture books.

I’ve been writing formally with goals in mind for the past 18 years. How crazy is that? I’m glad I have a body of work to show for it, but I have more goals. How does one move from writing to regularly publishing? How can I get more of my projects in the hands of publishers who want them? I’ve been searching for an agent since last year at this time, trying to work with my children’s chapter book. 24 agents, no requests. And the chapter book (ages 7-10) is a hard one.

So, where to go next?

Mauna Kea and the moon over looking Hilo Bay, Hilo, Hawai’i

14,766 words on draft one

It’s June 24th and I have 10,000 words to go on the Christmas Romance Novella. It’s just a first draft, so I have permission (from myself) to not make every line perfect. I’m getting down the main story line and fleshing out the characters and their motivations. This morning, my daughter read for two hours while I wrote for two hours and now we’re preparing for a Gilmore Girls marathon.

Hoping to do the same tomorrow!

Kristin Noelle Wolfgang, writer and teacher

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