Friday, January 13, 2023


Renée Stout © 2023

                                                      A Confession

See that sky. Isn't it beautiful? Majestic? The dawn of a New Day. An epiphany upon waking.

Even before I saw it this morning, I knew. Today would be different. Today would genuinely be the first day of my life.

I know trite. But it's true. Today I feel as those I were reborn. Today I know who I am. I know what I want. And by damn, I'm going to have it!

Last year I found myself in a blue funk. One of those where you wander around, being and yet not fully existing. I was a ghost. Searching, and yet not knowing what it was I was searching for. Dreaming dreams that were nightmares. And while I was in this so-called blue funk. I did not know that I was. But something was off. I was off.

I didn't know whether to blame it on the pandemic, the stupidity of the political climate, or the frighteningly dangerous failed-class clowns we elected to run this magnificent country. Or the war where Nuclear disaster was tossed around like babies playing a nerf ball game. Or was it that I gave myself 10 years to succeed at writing?

Your guess was as good as mine.

For periods, I would rally. Working on my posts for the WEP October Challenge was the highlight. I love Halloween and enjoyed writing and posting two months of poetry and short stories. That was when I felt like myself.

But at the beginning of the year, I had set specific goals to finish, and by finish, I mean publish at least 3 of the 4 projects I was working on.

It wasn't happening.

I was stalled!

Almost full stop. Except for the WEP challenges. They were the only real writing I could accomplish. WEP was a lifesaver in a sea of doubt and uncertainty. I didn't even participate in NANO. Something that always brought me success.

Where the hell was I, and when would I find my way home? Again, I had no idea. I even looked outside of my writing for fulfillment. Taxes, can you believe it? What can I say? As a former accountant, taxes were always fun. I know, odd, but what do you expect from a horror writer? 😊

Still, while studying and preparing for the new tax season, I thought I'd found my calling.

I didn't!

Today, Friday, January 13th, 2023, I know for sure, and most likely for the first time in 12 years, that I am a WRITER!

It's my craft.

My happiness!

My life's mission!

Hell, writing is my everything!

Hello world, I'm back!


2023 GOALS

1.   Re-claim my real name—Renée Stout. Yes, folks, I'm dropping Yolanda. It's my first name. Given to me by my mother. She loved the combination—Yolanda Renée. So did my aunt. They were both pregnant at the same time. I was born first, so I got the name. Which was good because my cousin Steve would have hated growing up as Yolanda Renée. 😊

But I was always called Renée. Mom made sure to tell all my teachers to use my middle name. It's really who I am. Yolanda means violet. Violet? That's not me.

Renée is of French origin, and the meaning of Renée is"reborn." Apropos, don't you think?

So I'm only going to be using Yolanda Renée on the last book of the Quaid series and Renée Stout on all other books.

2.   Re-Edit & Re-Publish:       Love & Revenge: Tales of Murder & Romance.

3.   Publish Murder by Proxy – NOW Murder on Mount Fairweather. The last of the Alaskan Series. An ode to the love story between Detective Quaid and Sarah.

4.   Publish my second book of poetry. My memoir.

5.   Publish the 1st book of Myrtle Beach Mysteries: Her Mona Lisa Smile

6.   Finish A Stylish Murder, book 2nd of the Myrtle Beach Mysteries

7.   Finish Moonlight Goddess, the 3rd of the Myrtle Beach Mysteries.

8.   Support and cherish the WEP writing community. They, above all else, kept me sane in an insane year!

Renée Stout -!


I know it seems like a lot, but oh, how much time I wasted studying taxes? 😉

Friday, January 6, 2023

Announcing the WEPs 2023 Challenge Calendar

As it was the Movie Poster we found

most inspiring we'll be starting off

in February with


Remember, it's all about what inspires you:

GWTW can be the springboard for a million ideas- civil war, love, the definition of beauty (‘Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful but men seldom realized it..’), racism, slavery, strong women, gun violence, plantations, breaking conventions, the bond between fathers and daughters, mothers and daughters, the love for a piece of land, a lament for a vanishing society…alternatively, even an essay on the stars or the film director or the author Margaret Mitchell or some aspect of the making of the film...endless opportunities for creativity.