Allison Renner Writes a Blog

Dreams Come True

All my life, I’ve wanted built-in bookshelves. It’s something I’ve dreamed of since seeing Beauty and the Beast. Except I don’t need the rolling ladder, because I’m already tall enough. My dad is a talented carpenter. You can point to anything in my parents’ house and many things in my house asking, “Where did youContinue reading “Dreams Come True”

All is Not Lost

I recently lost 15 years of data due to a corrupt external hard drive. Three and a half degrees’ worth of research and projects. Graphic design. English. Creative Writing. Library Science. Fifteen years of photography portfolios and outtakes. Art. Band photos. Portraits. Personal images. Notes, journals, and photographs of my travels up and down theContinue reading “All is Not Lost”

Blurred Lines

Today I’m thinking of the time a male classmate walked out of workshop with me. He said, “I find that when women write stories like yours, they’re usually true.” I’m thinking of the editor that rejected my story. He said it seemed like I didn’t understand depression, so I shouldn’t write about it. I’m thinkingContinue reading “Blurred Lines”

3 Weeks of Writing

I did it. I dedicated three weeks to creative writing. Of course I still did paid work. I also did housework, parenting, mowing, and managed a few unexpected things that were fairly stressful in their own right. But I did it all. And I produced over 18,000 words of new material. I started with JamiContinue reading “3 Weeks of Writing”


For as much as I felt “Zoomed out” last Spring, I’ve been loving how connected I’ve felt to the literary community lately. This past week’s SMOL Fair was no exception. SMOL Fair is an online book fair for small presses, created because most indie publishers felt AWP was charging too much for a virtual fair.Continue reading “SMOL Fair”


Is it a cliffhanger if you kind of forget you left it hanging? Why not. Ironically, I forgot about sharing my personal writing news because I was busy with professional writing deadlines. But the fact that I couldn’t finish a follow-up post makes all of the other pieces fall into place… I’ve been writing flashContinue reading “Cliffhanger”

Shifting Priorities

I previously wrote about how I was finally making a living as a writer, but I used it as more of a “Farewell, 2020” post than a substantial update about the state of my own life. But honestly, sometimes all I need to say is: I’m making a living as a writer. What? I stillContinue reading “Shifting Priorities”

Ending 2020

I know tomorrow is another day, but I’m the type of person who likes the idea of a new year being a fresh start. I think this year we’re all feeling that way, and I also think that by December 31st we’re all sick of people rolling their eyes and wishing 2020 away. Because we’reContinue reading “Ending 2020”

What Matters to You?

Another morning feeling like I’m struggling to keep my head above water, another morning of Writing to Transform from UNCW – which thankfully helps me keep my head up. This morning was “Send Word” with Anna Lena Phillips Bell, and the purpose was to inspire us to send postcards to connect with family and friends.Continue reading “What Matters to You?”

Alive in the Same Room

I started my “first” poetry notebook earlier this spring. I say “first” because I’ve written poetry before and took a poetry workshop in college, but this was a notebook only for poems. I wrote in it from March 9th to August 17th, and though I still have a few blank pages left, it’s time forContinue reading “Alive in the Same Room”

Writing to Transform

This morning I joined UNCW’s Writing to Transform session “Who Said Nights Were for Sleep: The Power of Aubades and Nocturnes” with Aimee Nezhukumatahil. I’m a huge fan of Nezhukumatahil and have been attending many enjoyable Zoom events for her new book, but this one was a nice change of pace. While I love hearingContinue reading “Writing to Transform”

Sunday Expert

Scrolling Twitter can be a good experience or a terrible one, but I try to follow a lot of writers, publishers, and librarians so that my timeline is filled with creative, book-loving, often amusing information. One of my favorite tweets lately really got me thinking, so I wanted to share it here. I love theContinue reading “Sunday Expert”

Daily Delights

Last fall, when times were tough, I found a blank notebook and pushed myself to write two sentences about good things that happened each day. Sometimes it was hard, and my sentences were just “The day is over. I can sleep now.” or something along those lines. But it still pushed me to see theContinue reading “Daily Delights”

Shade Sails for Outdoor Learning Spaces (Writing Sample)

Schools across the country are trying to figure out the safest way to reopen their doors for students this fall. In addition to covid health screening precautions, many school buildings are discovering that they need more space to properly adhere to the 6 feet required for social distancing. With the first day fast approaching, schoolContinue reading “Shade Sails for Outdoor Learning Spaces (Writing Sample)”

Time Passing

The last time I wrote was July 2nd, and I don’t even remember that. It’s just over a month ago, but it feels like ages. Isn’t that how time is passing these days? Isn’t that what we all say? I wrote about Camp Nano, which ended recently without me winning or even finishing. I wroteContinue reading “Time Passing”

In Dreams

Day Two of Camp NaNo and I’m on track with my “suspense” novella, even though I haven’t added any elements of suspense yet. I read The Last Flight by Julie Clark on Saturday, a great new suspense novel with a lot of twists and potential and, best of all, two strong women characters. A niceContinue reading “In Dreams”


I’m re-watching Dead to Me so I can fully appreciate the second season. I remember some things about the show, but not all, and the way it’s crafted, I can really appreciate the suspense and the slow revelations. I wrote about the show before, which I previously binged during a reading slump. I’m kind ofContinue reading “Cliffhangers”

One Year In

One year of daily writing. With everything going on, it doesn’t seem important, but I still don’t want to let it pass without acknowledging it. One year of putting down my thoughts every day, whether it was morning pages, poetry, or fiction. One year of pen to paper, ink staining my fingers. One year down,Continue reading “One Year In”

Let’s Craft a Story

Something about this uncertain time has made me feel listless, as I think many of us feel. I haven’t wanted to do much, especially because working from home seems to require more time than the standard 40 hours in the office. Don’t even get me started on parenting… I read a great quote in anContinue reading “Let’s Craft a Story”

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month, which I love because I love themes and “holidays” and celebrations of the literary persuasion, especially those that help me with library and creative writing lesson plans. I love a month to push myself to read more poetry, because I have a growing collection I dip in and out of,Continue reading “National Poetry Month”

Writing Daily Scenes

Ten months of daily writing, and what a strange month it’s been. As I mentioned, I decided to step up my morning pages, and in March started writing daily scenes. The first half of the month was interesting, purely on the writing front… I feel like writing a scene a day rather than writing aboutContinue reading “Writing Daily Scenes”

The Heyday of Blogging

Back in 2008 I started a blog, Allison Writes, just to have a place to put my thoughts. I had been online journaling off and on since Diary-x was a thing, and LiveJournal still holds a major piece of my heart. I’ve made many good friends through LiveJournal and the blogs that came after, andContinue reading “The Heyday of Blogging”

Daily Writing

I’ve been writing every day for nine months now. It’s an accomplishment, and I should be proud (and I am…), but in true me fashion, I have to analyze it to death. See, I’ve been writing morning pages. Sure, I’m getting up before 5:30am and putting pen to paper (literally), but it’s just a brainContinue reading “Daily Writing”

High Fidelity

I’ve been watching High Fidelity on Hulu, trying not to binge because it’s so good, I want to make it last. I read High Fidelity in high school – maybe freshman or sophomore year? When music meant everything and a book, and book character, that understood that was like my bible. I saw the movieContinue reading “High Fidelity”

Just for Fun

Last semester I taught a Creative Writing club for 3rd – 7th graders. Besides learning a lot about how to teach writing, and how to encourage creativity in young kids, I learned a lot about my own writing. About how it’s one thing to write to pursue publication, but also that it’s important to haveContinue reading “Just for Fun”

Curb Your Enthusiasm

I’m re-watching Curb Your Enthusiasm because, lets be honest, I re-watch the same shows every couple of years. But also because this show is basically a MasterClass on storytelling and dialogue. If Seinfeld was a show about nothing, then Curb Your Enthusiasm is a show that makes something out of nothing. The pants tent. TheContinue reading “Curb Your Enthusiasm”

… Sometimes

[As in, the title should be “Allison Renner Writes a Blog … Sometimes.”] NaNoWriMo has taken over my writing world this year, and it’s one of the best feelings ever. I’m still behind in terms of word count, but I’m catching up every day. And while I’m catching up, I feel like my story isContinue reading “… Sometimes”


I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month for the 9th time since 2007. It’s interesting, scrolling back through my project history on the site, and having no recollection of a few of the WIPs. The ones I didn’t finished, incidentally, which kind of makes sense. I remember most details of 4 of the 5 novelsContinue reading “NaNoWriMo”

Tweeting the Night Away

In 2009 I made a Twitter account because… because. But as a result, I made so many wonderful friends. We tweeted every morning to the extent that it felt like we had our own morning show. I tweeted my morning commutes from Midtown to East Shelby because there was so much to share. This wasContinue reading “Tweeting the Night Away”


I remember reading cards on PostSecret and thinking “Yes! That is exactly what I’m feeling right now.” I remember creating cards I never sent to PostSecret, thinking “I hope people will be able to relate to this feeling.” Now I feel things and I keep them inside. I don’t ask other women, other parents, ifContinue reading “PostSecret”

Little Cat Feet

(Be warned: if you send me a picture text, I’m likely to use it as a writing prompt. After asking permission, of course – I’m not a monster!) This picture was sent to me one early morning by Janet, a fellow writer who most likely knew this type of image would inspire a story. I’mContinue reading “Little Cat Feet”

Picking Up Where I Left Off

From 2008 to 2017 I had a personal blog called Allison Writes. It was initially, until someone convinced me to buy I did, and I blogged thrice a week for many, many years, until it fizzled out. To be fair, “fizzling out” coincided with having a toddler and my dream job, so bloggingContinue reading “Picking Up Where I Left Off”

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