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Wednesday, May 5, 2021

IWSG Goodness for May!

 

It's IWSG time!!!!

What is that?

In the words of the founder, Alex J Cavanaugh, the IWSG is here 'To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!'

The first Wednesday of every month is the time we post our woes, hopes, dreams, concerns, ideas, chit-chats, or whatever else moves us. 

(Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database; articles; monthly blog posting; Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram groups; #IWSGPit, and a newsletter. https://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/)


I'm co-hosting this month, right along with Erika Beebe, PJ ColandoSadira Stone, and Cathrina ConstantineStop by and give them a 'hello', too.

Today's a special day for IWSG because it's the first day after the release of the latest anthology!


Dark Matter: Artificial

An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

 

Discover dark matter’s secrets…

 

What is an AI’s true role? Will bumbling siblings find their way home from deep space? Dark matter is judging us—are we worthy of existence? Would you step through a portal into another reality? Can the discoverer of dark matter uncover its secrets?

Ten authors explore dark matter, unraveling its secrets and revealing its mysterious nature. Featuring the talents of Stephanie Espinoza Villamor, C.D. Gallant-King, Tara Tyler, Mark Alpert, Olga Godim, Steph Wolmarans, Charles Kowalski, Kim Mannix, Elizabeth Mueller, and Deniz Bevan.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents, authors, and editors, these ten tales will take readers on a journey across time and space. Prepare for ignition!

Print ISBN 9781939844828 $14.95       EBook ISBN 9781939844835 $4.99

Science Fiction: Collections & Anthologies / Space Exploration / Genetic Engineering

 Amazon iTunes /   Kobo  /  Barnes & Noble /  Goodreads 





Also, the new contest is being announced today! Head on over here to learn all about it...
because you aren't going to miss that, either!







Now, that we've gotten the announcements out of the way, it's time for this month's question!!!



Has any of your readers ever responded to your writing in a way that you didn't expect? If so, did it surprise you?

The first answer, which pops into my head is...

Some people actually claimed they enjoyed my writing!

Now, this might sound like a silly statement, but I'm more than willing to bet that I'm not the only one who was and is seriously shocked by this, at times. Of course, we hope for it and dream about people saying, "Wow. That was good!" But if you're anything like me, there's always that huge voice inside, which really isn't convinced this will ever be the case. So, hearing that for the first time is a shocker. Very unexpected (even if that sounds crazy). And even now, part of me whispers a little doubt, wondering if they're just saying it to be nice or maybe didn't read correctly? 

That self-doubt monster is ruthless. Always has been. Always will be.

But here's my other answer:  When Music Boxes came out, I did have a person in my family, who was disappointed I went into 'darker magic'. Since it's an evil witch, who's spinning her most sinister magic in the last scenes, I didn't think this was any worse than the usual, run-of-the-mill fairy tale. But my aunt was frustrated by the unsuitable dark tones, and that surprised me. 

Another piece I wrote received feedback that I'd opened up the reader's eyes to a new-for-them genre...which was unexpected and nice. And then another, never printed tale shocked a reader with it's 'brutality and twisted-ness', which they later admitted wasn't really that bad, since they discovered I'd only based it on facts from history. 


So, what odd or surprising remarks have you received? What response weren't you expecting and made you take a think-pause?




Wednesday, March 3, 2021

IWSG: My Escape

It's IWSG time!!!!

What is that?

In the words of the founder, Alex J Cavanaugh, the IWSG is there 'To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!'

The first Wednesday of every month is the time we post our woes, hopes, dreams, concerns, ideas, chit-chats, or whatever else moves us. 

Special thanks goes to this month's co-hosts: 



I'm going to be boring this month because I, honestly, don't have much to report. Life is calm, moving along, I've done some writing (could always do more) and all is good. I hope that many of you can say the same. 

So, let's just go right to this month's question, shall we?


Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write. But what about your reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choice?


Most of my reading is influenced by the reviews I do for Bookworm for Kids. Obviously. And I honestly try to keep this list fairly broad, since I'm also trying to provide a wide-ranged reading source for audiences ages 18 and under.

That said...

My secret reading desires...yep, I call them secret (shhhh)...do tend to lean in the fantasy and science fiction directions. And with that I mean lighter reads, which buzz along with the pure intention to hit adventures and take me to other worlds. No strong messages, please. Just sheer entertainment. But I also grab up books, which dive into science facts or historical fiction or historical facts or cozy mysteries or thrillers or graphic novels or almost anything.

Except drama. Please, not sheer drama.  And I'm definitely not a fan of contemporary or literary fiction. It's simply too serious. 

Reading is, in most cases, an escape for me, and a chance to let my imagination free. Real life is serious enough, and the people I deal with often have more than enough 'deep thought' discussions about everything from philosophy to culture to science to medicine to politics to religion and beyond. So, I steer clear of that in my hours of relaxation (aka reading). But sometimes the most entertaining reads have more depth than anyone might expect...just delivered in a different way.

And what about you? What do you like to read most?

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

IWSG - Blogging, friends and the universe

It's IWSG time!!!!

Even if I'm a little late today.

In the words of the founder, Alex J Cavanaugh, the IWSG is there 'To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!'

The first Wednesday of every month is the time we post our woes, hopes, dreams, concerns, ideas, chit-chats, or whatever else moves us. 

Special thanks goes to the co-hosts this month:  Louise - Fundy Blue , Jennifer Lane, Mary Aalgaard, Patsy Collins at Womagwriter, and Nancy Gideon!
 


Actually, I've been thinking all the last days... "Wednesday is IWSG! This month, I'm going to get that post ready more than a few minutes beforehand. I even know what I want to say!"  And then, this morning hit and.... 

Yep, I'd forgotten to do it.

But at least, I know what I want to say! 


First:

Bookworm for Kids has its own domain! You can now type www.bookwormforkids.com and be taken right to the site. Awesome? I think so.


Second:

This month's question:

Blogging is often more than just sharing stories. It’s often the start of special friendships and relationships. Have you made any friends through the blogosphere?

Gosh, yes. I can't even begin to count the amount of super, amazing people I've met because of blogging. Honestly, it's changed my world on that end, and I count every single one of them as a blessing. There are tons and tons of great people out there, and blogging has given me a way to meet some of them. Each one is really dear to me... even if I have time issues and don't reach out to all of them nearly often enough. And some have even fallen by the way-side, which makes me feel so terrible...but I can't keep up with all of them even if I wished I could. Is there any way just to reach out and give all of you a huge hug?

Not being able to keep up with everyone is probably one of my biggest regrets in life. All of you are really that wonderful.


Third: (and this one does have to do with some of those amazing friends I've made on through blogging)

I'm just going to quickly mention this now because I'm actually saving the announcement for a later date, but I received an email Sunday which offered to have Music Boxes included in a time capsule that's being sent to the moon through Writers on the Moon. (Super cool, right?) This also involved writing a small note to future 'readers'.  I hate these things because I never have any idea what I should say. 

Well, a few hours after I received that email, my brother called to tell me about a package my parents received from the cousin of my grandfather (who lived to be a week short of 99 and passed away about 10 years ago). She was cleaning out her house and found a box of old papers from my great, great, great grandfather. Not only does it include perfectly preserved love letters and postcards from the 1890s, but there was a manuscript, which was published in 1956 by my great, great, great grandfather. 

Turns out that he was a writer and a poet. He was commissioned to write the town's history of where he lived...oh, it's not a gripping read and really only done for someone who knows the area well. Which I do not. But the poem was neat and actually, fit the moon idea very, very well. Or at least, the last half of his poem did.

Now, some of his poem is heading to the moon, and I can't help but wonder what he might have thought of that if he had known.  

So, I'll just leave you with the last bit of his poem, too.


"Then let us pause a spell to write

that future youth may know,

Those valiant men who strove with might

to lay the forest low.”



Wednesday, January 6, 2021

IWSG - Writer What-haves and What-nots

 
Welcome to 2021 and another year of IWSG! 

In the words of the founder, Alex J Cavanaugh, the IWSG is there 'To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!'

The first Wednesday of every month is the time we post our woes, hopes, dreams, concerns, ideas, chit-chats, or whatever else moves us. 

Special thanks goes to the co-hosts this month: Ronel Janse van Vuuren , J Lenni Dorner, Gwen Gardner Sandra Cox, and Louise - Fundy Blue!


 I'm going to forgo this month's question and head into writer what-haves and what-nots.

The last 8 months or so, I slipped away from my connection to the blog-o-sphere and even struggled to halfway keep up with IWSG. The reason—life simply got busy. And my preferred browser doesn't let me post comments on Blogger, which doesn't make things any easier (Evil computer). But I'm determined to get all of that back underway, stop by and say 'hi' to all of you...I have missed you...and force myself to make time for writing, too. (Seriously, isn't cloning possible, yet?)

Writing has suffered, but with all of the COVID shut-downs, I don't feel so guilty on that front. I'm impressed with those authors, who have had releases the last year and are forced to deal with the much tighter marketing front (as if being a writer isn't hard enough). So, I see this as time for me to get my story ideas tightened up and refined. No time pressure...more because I haven't had the time....but that's neither her nor there. Right?

I have thought about closing myself in my little writing office and ignoring the world to finally let those words flow, but the kids and my husband weren't huge fans of that idea (go figure)...and my cows and chickens might complain, too (yeah, they want to eat).

Oh, and I might have spent a little too much time binging shows on Netflix and Youtube. I consider that research for my writing brain...which it might not be, but I'm not convinced of that, yet.

Add over 300 reviews I did on Bookworm for Kids (*aehm* is that too much?), and yep, writing has fallen by the wayside.

But that's going to get better now. Right?

(A magic wand might be better than cloning, but I haven't found that one yet, either.)


And what about all of you? Are you filled with writer what-haves, what-nots, or what-evers?
Or have you been indulging in 'writer research' as well?