Guts, cartwheels, and bare feet to go the distance

Person doing a cartwheel on the beach.
Photo by Cristofer Jeschke on Unsplash

I asked my husband, “How can you run a marathon or even crazier, a 100-kilometer ultramarathon? That distance seems impossible to me.”

“You just do it,” he replied.

When my husband trained for running a 100km mountain trail race, it took a bulk of family time away from us throughout that year as he spent his evenings and weekends running through the woods.

I constantly worried about him running through trails into the night — with a headlamp strapped to his head while the mosquitos buzzed around the light. …


Mary Chang Story Writer: Photography, Six Word Story, Inspiration

Can you tell a story in 6 words inspired by a photo?

“The beach is calling my name!” Photo by Mary Chang.

I’m rediscovering the joys of creative writing by drawing inspiration from pictures through this wonderful photography-based publication called SNAPSHOTS. I challenged myself to write 16 photo stories for the month of June, and now — I’m challenging writers I’ve tagged at the bottom of this article (see rule #10) to participate in a “6-Word Photo Story Summer Challenge!”

You just need to write a 6-word photo story and self-publish it or get it published in SNAPSHOTS, Counter Arts, or For Awe. or another suitable publication on Medium (see Rule #1).

Feel free to participate even if I didn’t tag you!


“Salty Lips: Sign of Beach Addict” Photo by author, Mary Chang Story Writer

July Six Word Photo Stories, Photography, Nature

July’s Summer Collection of 6-Word Photo Stories by you!

Look, listen, touch — breathe. Nature’s medicine.

The 6-Word Photo Story Summer Challenge is spreading like wildfire through our writing community! To date, over 60 writers have participated — some stop at one, some become addicts and some have fallen in love with the simplicity of how you can tell a story in six words inspired by a photograph taken by yourself.

Shout out to Carlos Garbiras and Will Hull for publishing my first article in their great publication, Counter Arts, and for participating in our challenge with Carlos’ travel observations and Will’s quirky quarantine stories.

On June 29th, I posted a 6-Word Photo Story Summer Challenge


“Dead tree talking” Photo by author, Mary Chang Story Writer.

Photography, Nature, Writing Challenge

Six Word Photo Story Summer Challenge

Dead tree talking — heart to bark.

This story was inspired by K. Barrett, Editor of For Awe and Amanda Wilson for her soul-deep sentiments take on this challenge.

Whenever I see deadwood, I stop and look — in awe. Beauty never dies in a tree.

Sometimes, I explore the branches and bark with my fingertips, then bring my palm to my heart, close my eyes and wonder how this miraculous sculpture — just is. It has soul — nature answers me.

The 6-Word Photo Story Summer Challenge continues! Are you hooked on this challenge? Me too! Can you tell a story in six words inspired by…


I dared myself to go with my gut

Photo by Adriana Aceves on Unsplash

I’ve been packing the novel The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood in my backpack for several weeks with the intent to either read it during my transit commutes to work, during my lunch breaks, or at the playground during my son’s playdates.

But I never do.

Instead, I get preoccupied with reading articles online or decide to walk on my lunch breaks or end up preparing snacks at the playground. When a rare opportunity arrived where I was kidless and spouseless for an evening, I loaded my backpack and headed to the beach.

I was planning to start reading the…


“Splash!” Photo by Mary Chang Story Writer, the author. Children are known to the author.

Photography, Nature, Writing Challenge

Six Word Photo Story Summer Challenge

Gravity — nature’s endorphins at the lake.

The 6-Word Photo Story Summer Challenge continues! Can you tell a story in six words inspired by a photograph that you took yourself?

Curious? Here’s the buzz on what participating writers are saying.

“For those of you new to this craziness, Mary Chang Story Writer has thrown out a challenge that is gaining momentum — get on the ride and enjoy! “ — Barbara Dalton

“This challenge exercises your writing skills, cranks up your creativity, and gets you interacting with fellow Medium writers.” — Amanda Wilson

“Special credit goes to this gorgeous lady Mary Chang Story Writer who introduced me…


Lake Reflections. Photo by Mary Chang, the author.

Photography, Writing Challenge

Six Word Photo Story Summer Challenge

Lake reflection opens space to wonder.

The 6-Word Photo Story Summer Challenge that everyone is talking about…is — HOT! Can you tell a story in 6 words inspired by a photograph that you took yourself?

It may not be summer where you live, but you can still join. Get your cameras ready, or dig up your photo archives! Your story can be summer-related or any other topic of your choice, but it must be published in July or August 2021.

Thank you to all the writers who have participated. I’m constantly awed by the photos and the creativity of your stories.


Writing, Inspiration, Creativity

A love letter to myself and fellow writers

Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

Dear Self and (some) of My Fellow Writers:

I know you were disappointed that you didn’t receive the June bonus or any of the other bonuses rewarded this year. You told yourself not to set that cash bonus as a goal or expectation because, at heart — you’re not writing for the money.

At the same time, you secretly held onto a wish for that “fantasy bonus” because you created a list of self-challenges, pushed yourself harder, and wrote more articles last month than any other month since you started writing on the platform.

You wanted to be recognized and validated by the invisible Medium-employed “judges” by receiving…


A lake headstand and tripod selfie. Photo of the author, by Mary Chang Story Writer.

Six Word Photo Story Summer Challenge

Calming my mind — refreshing my outlook.

Yep, that’s me in the photo after a reviving summer lake swim last weekend. I’m addicted to outdoor fitness, headstands, and 6-word stories!

An update: The 6-Word Photo Story Summer Challenge is off to a swimmingly start since I launched the challenge off the dock on June 29.

Here is the original link to the 6-Word Photo Story Summer Challenge if you’d like to give it a try!

Thank you to the following writers who have participated so far.


For the Summer Challenge? Here’s how!

Insert your photo below the title. Add photo credit: Include the credit of your self-taken photo beneath your photo—Eg. Photo by Mary Chang, author.

Attention: 6-Word Photo Story Summer Challenge participants!

I’ve had a few questions from writers as to how to format your story so I’ve created a guideline to follow — if it works for you! Note: I’m not a stickler as to the formatting of your story.

Mary Chang Story Writer

Striving to become a better human, parent & writer through stories inspired by exercise, humor & people. Fueled by cartwheels. www.marychangstorywriter.com

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