#IWSG October

Purpose: 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!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

October Question

October 6 question – In your writing, where do you draw the line, with either topics or language?

The awesome co-hosts for the October 6 posting of the IWSG are Jemima Pitt,J Lenni Dorner,Cathrina Constantine,Ronel Janse van Vuuren, and Mary Aalgaard!

In my writing, I do not censor myself for the most part. If I feel it isn’t something to be shared, then I do not. That is up to me as a writer.

There are a couple topics that I feel I cannot write about…yet. Maybe I need to move to another state again to get more distance. I have been thinking a lot about the stories I retell over and over and to write them down. Some things that have happened in my life I feel I would never write about either because I do not want to relive the memories.

This month I am examining some more of my shadow self and try to examine why I do not want to revisit certain topics. I am paying attention to what I read and what appeals to me and what doesn’t.

I am certain it is a fine line.

#happyreading #happywriting

#IWSG September

Purpose: 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!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

September Question


September 1 question – How do you define success as a writer? Is it holding your book in your hand? Having a short story published? Making a certain amount of income from your writing?
The awesome co-hosts for the September 1 posting of the IWSG are Rebecca Douglass, T. Powell Coltrin @Journaling Woman, Natalie Aguirre, Karen Lynn, and C. Lee McKenzie!

Over the years, the definition of success has been layered for me. At first, it was just to write and finish stories. Then it became about being published and I began my 100 submissions project. Then it became about teaching and sharing what I have learned.

Now it seems I am back to just the writing. It is what is fueling to me and always what it comes down to. The idea of what constitutes finished is different now though. I have to find a time that I will stick to revision. The ways of the past do not motivate me lately.

I think I bridge revision with submissions and sharing. I am not motivated by sharing my work at the present moment. Even a strict schedule I used to keep for the blog has fallen to the side and that is ok.

If I write, I am a writer and that fact will always be true.

#happyreading #happywriting

#IWSG August

Purpose: 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!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

August 4 question – What is your favorite writing craft book? Think of a book that every time you read it you learn something or you are inspired to write or try the new technique. And why?

The awesome co-hosts for the August 4 posting of the IWSG are PK Hrezo, Cathrina Constantine, PJ Colando, Kim Lajevardi, and Sandra Cox!

There are so many favorite craft books, but the one I go back to over and over again is Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg.

The chapters are short which encourages me to read a bit and then get right to writing. I have noted how her last sentences are zingers as well and most of them are underlined in my stained and water logged copy.

There is a simplicity to this book that is appealing. Most of the advice centers around, “just write” which is helpful for some reason coming from her.

I am inspired by her prompts like, “I remember..” that is referenced in many other writing classes. I love the idea of her Spontaneous Poetry Booth that she sets up at a fair.

Natalie writes alone, with other people, in notebooks, and for publication. She hikes and is a Buddhist. Reading her stories make me want to write my own.

I am looking forward to reading what books appeal to other members today in the group as well!

#IWSG July

Purpose: 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!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

July 7th optional question – What would make you quit writing?
The awesome co-hosts for the July 7 posting of the IWSG are Pat Garcia, Victoria Marie Lees, and Louise – Fundy Blue!

First off, how in the world is it July? The pace of the world is certainly different now that the world is opening up more.

There is nothing that could make me quit writing all together. I have tried to take breaks in the past and I always come back to it. It is my default setting. It is how I think and how I figure out what is going on in my brain that has way too many drawers open at once.

When I feel bad I go to the page. When I feel good I come to the page. I start my morning with coffee and writing every day no matter what.

The past few weeks have been rough emotionally for me and also filled with travel so the amount of writing that has been done on the page has been much less. Most days when I am in my regular routine my writing time can range between 1 hour to 4 before I go for my walk. I made sure to write my 10 minutes every morning but I felt like I was in practicing just the physical movement more. The thoughts and ideas were marinating.

I have found that the connection to my husband, my coffee, and my daily walks are vital to my creative life. It has been an interesting reflection period these last few weeks!

#IWSG June

Purpose: 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!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

June Question


June 2 question – For how long do you shelve your first draft, before reading it and re-drafting? Is this dependent on your writing experience and the number of stories/books under your belt?
The awesome co-hosts for the June 2 posting of the IWSG are J Lenni Dorner, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, Lee Lowery, and Rachna Chhabria!

Short stories and flash fiction are shelved for at least a month. Honestly, I draft so much that there has to be a reminder of a particular story or when i am searching for something else it appears.

The story has to light me up in order for me to revise it.

I usually go through spurts of being in creation mode or revision mode. I typically draft in the morning and then do revision work in the afternoons or evenings.

To trick myself to revise this June I made a challenge for myself. I am using the self-directed Bradbury MFA idea of reading a poem, short story, and essay each day as a lens for revision. Sometimes it will be a direct craft move from the author to one of my own pieces and other times I am working with the idea that good words in mean good words out.

Over the weekend, I was organizing my drive and found so many unfinished and unpolished flash pieces.

I usually operate under the idea to “just get the words down” and “I can fix it later”. However, later rarely comes because I love drafting and the new so much. One of the reasons I am drawn to writing short fiction is because I get bored easily. In a writing podcast last week I learned of an author who writes 1000 words a day. The next day she rereads her words and cuts and revises. She then writes forward from her favorite sentence.

I have been trying to utilize this technique for the last few days. To reread something I have written to get my eyes on it in small chunks. I have a limiting belief that revisions have to be “serious” and sometimes I set aside large chunks of time for. This is the case in some instances but I can make a lot of progress with just 10 minutes of revision time.

#happyreading #happywriting

#IWSG May

Purpose: 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!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

The May 5th 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 awesome co-hosts for the May 5 posting of the IWSG are Erika Beebe, PJ Colando, Tonja Drecker, Sadira Stone, and Cathrina Constantine!

Readers come to a piece with their own exeriences and interests. I often forget this as a writer because there is always an intention for writing the poem, story or essay. We cannot control what ultimately our reader gathers from our words.

Several years ago I shared a piece of writing with a friend who read it in a much different way than I intended while writing it. Her background was horror and she also was a middle school English teacher. [Somehow those seems weirdly connected!]

It was a sad story with a conflicted main character. The character was upset because she was not with her husband. You do not know til the end where he is when she gets a phone call.

Her take on the story was that the main character was being held in an apartment but someone who had kidnapped her. Her impression was that she had fallen in love with her kidnapper!

My initial reaction was shock and then laughter. I reread the story through her lens and saw how with that mindset it could read that way!

I am glad we had that conversation because I learned first hand about what people see when they read my words.

#happyreading #happywriting

#IWSG April

Purpose: 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!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

April 7th’s question, if you’d like to answer it, is:  Are you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work?

Thanks to our awesome co-hosts for the April 7 posting of the IWSG! PK Hrezo, Pat Garcia, SE White, Lisa Buie Collard, and Diane Burton!

This month’s question gave me pause. I usually consider myself a risk taker. I have burned down my life several times in order to find happiness and start fresh.

I do like to play with my writing, more so than in real life honestly. I will try exercises and classes to see where it takes me. I am not afraid of the page. Those pieces don’t typically make it out of the notebook unless there is a real draw from it for me to do something with it.

I do love it when my own writing surprises me.

Right now I am playing with dreams and my subconscious. I have an amazing writing book that I am working through the exercises called Writing Open the Mind.

I am also playing with a Personal Universe Deck!

In the past, I have played with the same piece and written sections from a different point of view or a different type of first sentence. You just never know where those experiments will take you.

#happyreading #happywriting

#IWSG March

Purpose: 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!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

March 3 question – 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?
The awesome co-hosts for the March 3 posting of the IWSG are Sarah – The Faux Fountain Pen Jacqui Murray, Chemist Ken, Victoria Marie Lees, Natalie Aguirre, and JQ Rose!

I prefer to write stories with a little bit of magic. I do like to read that type of story as well.

I am drawn to stories about people or things that are lost. I like to read about adventure.

There are favorite authors that I read of course. Do you have favorites that are your “go-tos”?

Lately, I have been reading short stories, flash and poetry. The nonfiction I read is about teaching or writing.

If it keeps my attention, then I am reading it lately. I read several poems every morning and I have set myself up for that by subscribing to services that send them to me every morning.

I also read a lot of other writer’s work in order for feedback, support, or critique.

I read whatever strikes my fancy!

#happyreading #happywriting

#IWSG February

Purpose: 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!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

February 3 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? The awesome co-hosts for the February 3 posting of the IWSG are Louise – Fundy Blue ,Jennifer Lane,Mary Aalgaard,Patsy Collins at Womagwriter, and Nancy Gideon!

I have made friends through blogging at an arm’s length. I recognize their names in comments and feeds which is a comfort. There are many friends online that I would consider closer than in real life friends but I am not certain I would classify them as “blogging” friends. Some of them I have met through other communities and they have become readers of the blog or the newsletter.

I am so lucky to have found the writing circle I have. I have people I talk writing in general with, friends I exchange work with, and others that I have a kindred spirit relationship with. I am so grateful for the variety of writers in my circle.

I also have many friends who are readers and not writers which is a whole other relationship. They are all special and valuable to me.

#happyreading #happywriting

#IWSG January

Purpose: 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!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

January 6 question – Being a writer, when you’re reading someone else’s work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people’s books? The awesome co-hosts for the January 6 posting of the IWSG are Ronel Janse van Vuuren ,J Lenni Dorner,Gwen GardnerSandra Cox, and Louise – Fundy Blue!

It seems to vary according to the story of what takes me out but a fairly quick answer. Sometimes it is a strange reference that doesn’t quite fit in my mind or a repeated phrase that is not powerful in the way the writer intended.

An editing mishap will take me out of the story most times.

If there is too much exhibition, especially in a short work. Repeated explanation that is unnecessary.

If it is not holding my attention and I am not compelled to read past the first couple of pages then I usually will stop. I may try again, but most likely not. It might just be that I thought the book was about one thing and was about another.

I love when there are lines that sparkle to me that I have to stop reading and write down immediately!

Just like I feel I can learn something from anyone I meet I feel that way about books as well. There is also something new to uncover.

#happyreading #happywriting