Writing Exercise #6 and Conference Challenge #2: How do you like me now?

It’s Thursday and you know what that means, right? Time for another writing exercise cleverly disguised as a conference challenge!

Last week, Laura laid down the ground rules and issued the first challenge. Remember, even if you haven’t started you can always go back and do them at your leisure. Just make sure you comment in the specific challenge post that you have indeed done the exercise. We don’t want you to go through all that work and not have a chance to win a writer’s goodie basket at our region’s 20th Anniversary Conference and Celebration in March.

I thought about saving this, seeing that Valentine’s Day isn’t until next Thursday, but I figured that everyone is already planning treats, flowers and other surprises for the ones they love – from grandparents to parents to significant others. What better way to chase away the mid-winter doldrums?


There’s a great Toby Keith song from a few years ago called – wait for it – “How Do You Like Me Now?” It’s about a music geek guy in high school who couldn’t get the attention of the pretty and popular girl. Now he’s a big star and the tables are turned.

There’s a lot of those stories out there and I love them. Like the shy and awkward girl that everyone made fun of who wins America’s Next Top Model, Nicole:


(from blog.zap2it.com )

Or the young man whose life started in hopelessness and was told his future was bleak and is now a Superbowl Champion, Michael Oher:


(from nydailynews.com)

Or what I think is the mother of all “how do you like me nows” – the middle schooler who was teased that grew up to be, ahem, the future queen of England:


(from www.time.com )

“That’s right, you can call me Your Royal Highness now that I’ve snagged the most eligible man on the planet.”

Maybe you know someone with a story like this, even if it’s not on such a grand scale. Perhaps that someone is even you. Whether you know the person or just read about him or her in the newspaper, I want you to use them as the inspiration for this challenge.

What has this got to do with Valentine’s Day, you ask? Read the challenges below and you will find out.


Writing Exercise #6/Conference Challenge #2

Think about your favorite “how do you like me now” story. How were they treated and by whom – peer, teacher, relative? Who was the guy that barely acknowledged her existence and wouldn’t even think of asking her to the prom or the girl that turned him down for a date and then snickered with a friend that he even had the nerve to ask?

Now that things have changed – big time – think about what kind of Valentine’s Day card the snubbed would like to send those people. What would it say inside? That’s your challenge – to write a couple of verses fitting of a greeting card. Make it as funny, nasty or sweet as you like. And, if you’re feeling really ambitious, turn it around and write a Valentine’s from the snubber to the snubbee.

Illustrating Exercise #6/Conference Challenge #2

Design the above Valentine’s Day Card. Again, make it as funny, nasty or sweet as you like – just as long as you get the point across.

Have fun and make Hallmark proud!

About Susan Mannix

Susan worked as a biomedical research editor for the Department of the Navy for fourteen years and has been a member of SCBWI since 2007. She writes young adult and middle grade novels. When she isn’t writing, she spends her time doing all things horses, including attending her teenaged daughters’ many competitions. Susan lives in Maryland on a small farm with her husband, two children, an adorable black lab, two cats, and three horses.
This entry was posted in Writing & Drawing Exercises. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Writing Exercise #6 and Conference Challenge #2: How do you like me now?

  1. Jenny Sokol says:

    Sweet blown kisses and
    Valentine’s wishes
    to the one who said we’d never last

    Proved fiction
    twenty years past

  2. Sue Poduska says:

    Not sure how proud Hallmark would be, but here’s an effort.

    As the day of love and roses comes
    I’m reminded of the bums
    Who made my life a hell.

    Now that heaven is on my side,
    Let me be a little snide.
    Don’t need you to be well.

    Un-happy Valentine’s Day!

  3. Done!

    I actually wrote 2 cards. I’ll post the inscription from the first one here:
    “I can’t remember my life without you in it…
    … I wish I could!”

    I had to design the actual cards, because Valentines should be pretty (no, I didn’t draw them myself – I downloaded clipart), so I posted the images on my website, if you want to see them. (Couldn’t upload images to the comments here, but both cards are on this page.)


    • susanmannix says:

      Oooh, Veronica! Well done. Reminds me of this exchange between Howard Roark and his antagonist from the movie “The Fountainhead”:
      “Mr. Roark, we’re alone here. Why don’t you tell me what you think of me in any words you wish.”
      “But I don’t think of you!”

      Love the second one as well!

  4. Miranda McClain says:

    In school you said my work was s**t.
    I’d never make it. Not one bit

    But now I’m published and a hit.
    So maybe it’s just you, who’s s**t.

    Sorry for the profanity. It just rhymed. I’m not really this bitter. Honest.

    • susanmannix says:

      OUCH! Haha! Living well (and making sure the doubters know it) is the best revenge! Btw, I don’t think you’re bitter at all!

  5. Sarah M says:

    That’s right you said I couldn’t
    but I did it anyway.
    I bet on me, believed in me
    and look where I am today!

    I might not have the money
    the fortune or the fame,
    but I am loved and happy
    too bad you can’t say the same!

  6. Pingback: Conference Challenge #8: Preparing for a successful conference! | As the Eraser Burns

  7. Pingback: Writing Exercise #12: Quote it up | As the Eraser Burns

  8. For My Third Grade Crush

    It embarrassed you when I wrote
    Our initials in the snow
    But when you dropped trou and peed on them
    It came as quite a blow.

    So when Mrs. Campbell asked about
    My red eyes and still-wet cheeks,
    I told–And then she kept you in
    From recess for two weeks.

    I heard through friends about how the sitter
    Told her own tales to your wife.
    I said, “Boy that one body part
    Has brought him trouble his whole life.”

    • susanmannix says:

      OMG, Kara! This is brilliant. Good thing I wasn’t drinking coffee, otherwise it would be all over my computer screen!

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