The #CleanWIP theme for January 18, 2021 is Similar. It’s National Thesaurus Day here in the US and a great time to remind the authors who often join in the CleanWIP fun that an exact match to our theme is never necessary. We love synonyms and we love to share writers’ words with readers.

Photo by Bodobe

Lea Carter ~
(excerpt from A Country Mile)
Lowering her passenger side window a bit, she hummed along with an old song on the radio. In an unusual bit of luck, the radio station kept up a steady stream of similar, hummable songs all the way home.

Earl Chinnici ~
(from a work-in-progress with a secret title)
He closed my door and in a flourishing maneuver similar to a cowboy mounting a horse, hopped into the bed of the truck. By then, I was seriously questioning his motives and his ear-to-ear grin didn’t help ease my suspicious mind. From beneath a loose spare tire, he carefully removed a large cardboard sign and held it for me to read.
I was impressed. I could tell he’d spent a lot of time preparing it and I was more than a little ashamed for doubting his motives. He had glued rhinestones and glitter of various colors to make pictures on the sign. Small hearts and horseshoes he’d placed pseudo-randomly around a large horse, rider, and barrel at the center. Artistically forming the glitter into huge rustic letters, he had written “Cowgirl up, Kinsley. Turn & burn!”


The #CleanWIP theme for January 17, 2021 is DITCH. [More info]

Photo by Mabel Amber

Lea Carter ~
(excerpt from Food for Thought)
“I see how it is,” a man’s voice called out. “You think just because you own the place you get to ditch work for a pretty girl.”
Noella was laughing before she even saw the man the voice belonged to. “You must be Chuck.”

Earl Chinnici ~
I began writing while overcoming cigarette addiction gradually. As I started to believe success was possible, I also started to believe perhaps my journal and story could help others. So I wrote and published  Maybe You Should Move Those Away From You, a memoir of how I quit smoking and became an author. I included in it the journal, nearly in its entirety, and a special tips and tricks section for those who might be facing their own addiction. A single entry in the relatively mundane journal portion of the book obviously isn’t a great selling point, but it includes today’s theme and is slightly comical this was the first thing I wrote after I smoked that last cigarette—two hours earlier.
It is now 1:39 PM – so far, so good. I stocked up on peppermints for those last ditch efforts to avoid “you-know-what”. I also purchased a bag of almonds. I read in more than one place that almonds can help reduce cravings, so I thought it would be worth trying.

Relaxed Friday 67

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Gundula Vogel

All morning I’ve been thinking about working out, adding new content to this magazine, creating a list of questions for the upcoming character interviews, designing new products for the CleanWIP store, connecting with new authors, reading a couple dozen emails, and creating a proper business plan. ~ Sigh. ~ I’ve been thinking about these things all morning. I believe I may need to take off the remainder of the day and relax.


Today’s #CleanWIP theme is Sandwich. [More info]

Photo by Silvia

~ Earl Chinnici ~
(excerpt from Maybe You Should Move Those Away From You)
I took several short bike rides during this day to pass some time and to get further away from my cigarettes. During one such ride, I stopped by to visit my parents. Their home is not too far from mine and the view along the way is nice. The private dirt drive that leads to their home separates a hay field from a wooded area. There is not much traffic either.
Mom was watering her garden when I arrived. While visiting, I nibbled on some raw spearmint, peppermint, and rosemary. These edible plants have strong flavors and I got the notion that they might help curb a craving. I filled a plastic sandwich bag with leaves from each of these three herbs. When I returned home, I put my bag of herbs in the refrigerator to help keep them fresh.
Over the next few days, I would sometimes use these herbs as a substitute for smoking. I would crave a cigarette, but I would instead get a pinch of herbs from the bag and slowly chew them. A couple of times, I tried placing the entire pinch of herbs into my mouth between my gums and cheek similar to the way smokeless tobacco (snuff) is used. It was not too awful, but maybe it would have been better to cut the herbs into much smaller pieces.
It is likely that the strong taste of these herbs lessened a few of my cravings over the next few days. Perhaps even more importantly, the presence of this bag of herbs gave me something to consider other than a cigarette when I experienced a craving. Surely, I was able to prolong the time between a few cigarettes by doing this.


The #CleanWIP theme for January 13, 2021 is DUCK. [More info]

Photo by Katja

All jokes aside, we recently left Facebook and Twitter and we’re very happy about the decision. We hope you’ll join us on MeWe where we intend to focus on improving our social skills.

Public page for readers:
Private collaboration group:
Friends of the owner:


Our #CleanWIP theme for January 12, 2021 is YOUTH. [More info]

Photo by Jill Wellington

Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. ~ I Timothy 4:12 ~

Cherry Christensen ~
(excerpt from Love’s Full Circle)
“That’s a good sign, huh?”
“Indeed. It means you’re going to be fine. Even if he is the sneaky young man I disliked.”
Kayden gasped as her hand flew to her mouth.
“That’s right. I did some investigating of my own and found out all about Liam from your mom. However, I believe people can change, and it’s foolish to base an opinion of someone on their actions from fifteen years ago. Like I said. Pray about it.”

Lea Carter ~
(excerpt from A Country Mile)
The usual suspects were there—the soup kitchen; handmade items by a local artisan; the ad offering firewood ‘cheep.’ She had to squint to read the faded flyer for the summer youth baseball program. And yet, nothing about the annual charity play.

Scott R. Rezer ~ 
(from The Haberdasher’s Wife)
I draw the worn beads of my mother’s rosary through my fingers and shake my head. Too often have I whispered to the long night of my dotage that youth is wasted on those too foolish to appreciate it. Had I bothered to learn anything from those patient friars who sought to discipline me in the faith of my father, perhaps so many things might have turned out differently, not that I regret my life, only the foolish mistakes I made, things I can never undo. But then, the depth of one’s character is measured by the mistakes we make, and the wisdom we learn from them…

Earl Chinnici ~
(from a WIP with a female author/mechanic/hero protagonist—book’s title not yet public)
One day while I was working and the bosses were off having lunch, a handsome young man pulled up to one of the open bay doors. I recognized the parking decal in the windshield immediately; we attended the same college. I also recognized a sound coming from his truck indicating the engine wasn’t firing on all eight cylinders. In the engine repair business, we commonly refer to this telltale noise as a “miss” or we’ll say it is “missing on one of the cylinders,” so I didn’t give it a second thought as I welcomed him with a smile and said “Something seems to be missing.”
“Not any more,” he replied with a slow side-to-side shaking of his head as though he had discovered one of the universe’s best-kept secrets. “Not any more.”


The #CleanWIP theme for Monday, January 11, 2020 is MILK. [More info]

Photo by Couleur

~ Lea Carter ~
(excerpt from A Country Mile)
“I’ll get them,” he volunteered. Retrieving the milk, he relocated it to near their place settings. By the time he’d made it back around to what had officially become his place at the island, she’d added bacon, butter, and syrup to the spread.

Growing on MeWe
(Hope you’ll join us.)

Public page for readers:
Private collaboration group:
Friends of the owner:


Thank you and announcement by Earl Chinnici.

Photo by Andrea Candraja

Whether you are a reader, a writer, or both, I greatly appreciate your interest in CleanWIP Magazine and the #CleanWIP cross-platform hashtag exercise. I have some great plans and as you surely know, great plans don’t always fly. Nonetheless, I’m rolling up my proverbial sleeves and making a few adjustments, determined to push forward with those plans and continue to create fun articles that highlight those who choose to write on the less vulgar and less gory end of the writing spectrum.

I announced in our CleanWIP collaboration group back in November that I was leaving Facebook and Twitter. The move from Facebook was swift and I quickly started networking and reconnecting with authors and readers via MeWe. For various reasons, I have been slower to leave Twitter. One hurdle I’m facing is the Twitter-embedded animated theme announcements. Deleting my account as I did with Facebook will distort every previous article here. But, let’s face it, several years ago Twitter left those who wish to immerse in decency and common courtesy each day. The constant hatred and vulgarities promoted via the manipulated What’s happening section surely can’t be healthy nor can the targeted advertising directly in the feed. Alas. I choose to shift my focus away from all of that to instead focus on the encouraging… the comical… the beautiful… the inspirational… and continue to bring you great content from people who also prefer the clean end of the spectrum.

So, whether you’re a reader, a writer, or both, thank you. If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll join us as we connect and reconnect on MeWe—where I also intend to work much harder on my social skills.


Public page for readers:
Private collaboration group:
Friends of the owner:

Relaxed Friday 66

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Sean Griffin


Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Bounce. [More info]

Photo by Samuel-Elias Nadler


Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Cuddle. [More info]

Photo by Mikey Campling


Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Bird. [More info]

Photo by Frank Winkler

~ Earl Chinnici ~
I began writing in a composition book in 2011 as I quit smoking gradually then later published a memoir about the journey. After much consideration, I decided to include in the book the notes I had written, in nearly raw form so as not to leave out something that might help somebody else overcome tobacco cigarette addiction. Reading this short passage from the morning of my third day without a cigarette still makes me feel good—despite the many tragedies that have since occurred. Can you imagine if I had been smoking a cigarette when the tornado destroyed my home around me? It’s strange this moment is the first time that thought crossed my mind.

The sun is just beginning to rise, relatively speaking. It is 6:20 and I feel good, as I sit here on the steps just outside of my front door and enjoy a cup of dark roasted coffee and a symphony of birds and other animals. This just keeps getting better.


Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaboration is Trivia. [More info]

Photo by Sean Benesh


Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Bang. [More info]

Photo by Jill Wellington

Coming Soon!

* exciting character interviews
* more teases from clean reads, both works-in-progress and published books
* more specialty products (and more nature) in our Zazzle storefront
* more original word search puzzles based on books written by authors who often join in the CleanWIP fun

Relaxed Friday 65

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Jan Alexander