#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!

April 1 question — The IWSG’s focus is on our writers. Each month, from all over the globe, we are a united group sharing our insecurities, our troubles, and our pain. So, in this time when our world is in crisis with the COVID-19 pandemic, our optional question this month is: how are things in your world?

Over the last several years I have structured my life to center around more of what is essential to me. As I have come to know myself this means to be around less people. I recently changed jobs where I was split between two schools as a coach working with elementary teachers. There was a lot of travel and juggling of people and materials. I had three offices — four if you count the car. There were a lot of advantages to this work but one large downfall was the compensation.

My husband and I have a long term goal to be in a cabin in a lake. I am a step closer to that with a move north. There is a running path just outside my door. My new space is airy and bright.

Being told to stay at home is fairly close to my ideal life. I have been using this time as a gift to read, write, study and evaluate. The dreams are starting to get darker though and my past is trying to visit. I am running again which is great and I feel more myself than I have in a long while. I am lucky I can still get outside. I have friends where this time is limited to them.

I am safe and people I love are safe…for now.

I have several support systems in place with my writing communities so I do not feel alone. I am more connected to them through Zoom, Slack, and email than normal. There are important people I would rather see in person now but that cannot happen so I must wait.

The air of uncertainty is in the back of my mind. It is always looming, but I have been in a liminal space for quite a while with other issues in my life. I feel the obstacles of my past are helping me not panic in the state we are in now. So I will deal with what is right in front of me when I need to and otherwise enjoy the time.

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#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!

The awesome co-hosts for the March 4 posting of the IWSG are Jacqui Murray, Lisa Buie-Collard, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, and Shannon Lawrence!

March 4 optional question — Other than the obvious holiday traditions, have you ever included any personal or family traditions/customs in your stories?

I think my own life sneaks its way into my stories. I enjoy using snippets of my life and then spinning them. Some of my closest friends recognize some events.

I find “ordinary” things that happen interesting. Even as a young girl I was fascinated with asking my pen pals the way their family did things. Birthdays, weddings, etc.

I’m in Charge of Celebrations is a book by Byrd Baylor I read in college. We had to write about a normal activity we did that we could make a celebration as a writing extension for the read-aloud. I wrote about letter writing. I have been an avid letter writer during my childhood and it was always joyous when envelopes came in the mail.

Christmas Eve was a magical time hosted by my maternal grandmother. She made every day things special. Lunches, hot chocolate, cookouts outside — everything. Those elements often end up in stories. Dinner at my grandmother’s was a regular Sunday occurrence. The dinners in my stories are based on those memories. The places I have gone with my grandparents also become starters for descriptions of setting.

But it is part of who I am and therefore it comes through in my stories.

#IWSG FEB!

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 awesome co-hosts for the The awesome co-hosts for the January 8 posting of the IWSG are T. Powell Coltrin,Victoria Marie Lees,Stephen Tremp,Renee Scattergood, and J.H. Moncrieff!

February 5 question – Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it?

I have used pieces of art or photos several times over the past several years as a springboard for my writing.

In Storyaday May and September Julie Duffy has used pieces of fine art as the inspirational prompts.

The most recent piece I used was Van Gogh’s Starry Night in a Skillshare Class from Kathy Fish. I like the piece from Kathy’s class. It has more movement in it than some of the other pieces. During the exercise I was also focusing on unexpected descriptions so it was fun to write.

Maybe someday soon you will see that piece published somewhere.

#IWSG June

The next IWSG Day will be June 5th 
Sign up here.
OPTIONAL IWSG Day Question: Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?

It is the first Wednesday of the month and time for the IWSG. My favorite genre to write in is magical realism.

On Wikipedia it is defined as: Magical realismmagic realism, or marvelous realism is a style of fiction that paints a realistic view of the modern world while also adding magical elements. It is sometimes called fabulism, in reference to the conventions of fablesmyths, and allegory. “Magical realism”, perhaps the most common term, often refers to fiction and literature in particular,[1]:1–5 with magic or the supernatural presented in an otherwise real-world or mundane setting.

I believe I like this type of fiction because many of my stories begin with a kernel of truth and then the details are exaggerated. I enjoy stories with magical elements and have always been attracted to stories with such components. When a story takes a turn into the unbelievable it is exciting to me.

Magical realism is the type of fiction I enjoy reading and writing. I am always looking for authors who do this type of writing well!

#IWSG – 1st May Wednesday!

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here. Welcome to May 2019!

Today is an exciting day for writing! Storyaday May begins today and I am ready to write 31 stories for the month with writing friends.

May 1 question – What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

Words have had power ever since I can remember.

I remember the letter people in kindergarten and the power of owning books. I ordered from the Scholastic book club and it was a joy I still get when I buy a book. This title was The Night Before Christmas with a record. That feeling never gets old.

I knew I felt better and could think clearer when I wrote as a young girl too. There is one story that is metaphor with trees and a forest I wish I could find!

Happy Wednesday Writing! Happy short story month!

#IWSG – It’s Wednesday!

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here. Welcome to April 2019!

April 3 question: If you could use a wish to help you write just ONE scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be? (examples: fight scene / first kiss scene / death scene / chase scene / first chapter / middle chapter / end chapter, etc.)

My wish today would be to help me write a scene with my character Brooklyn in a fantasy/sci fi story titled Dreams and Hourglasses. I need to have readers connect more emotionally to her in the beginning. I am trying to build the story and not overexplain right away but I am leaving my readers wanting.

I asked my writing group for recs for stories that have strong emotional reactions and was reminded of All Summer in A Day by Bradbury. I will study it again later today. I will also break out the Emotional Craft of Fiction and do some work from that text.

Happy Wednesday Writing!

#IWSG March

This post is for Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group (click the link for details on what that means and how to join. You will also find a list of bloggers signed up to the challenge that are worth checking out. The first Wednesday of every month, we all post our thoughts, fears or words of encouragement for fellow writers.

Today’s question is my own – What point of view do you prefer to write in?

In most of my writing I prefer to write in first person. I think this is partially because the reading I am drawn to is the first person format. I love to get inside a character’s head and know what they are thinking and why they are making the moves they make.

My novel, however, is written in third person because I include several different character perspectives. It is still in revision so that may change!

On another note, yesterday I picked up Bradbury’s 100 story collection from the library. It is a doorstop of a book and I am looking forward to diving into it at lunch time today! I use his writing as a mentor text and am excited to read and ponder!

Image result for bradbury's 100

February Reflection

It is the last day of February which means it is time to reflect. Last year it was FIB – uary so luckily that was not the case in 2019.

In February, I participated in INCOWRIMO which is a letter writing challenge. The challenge is set up to send a letter every day but I didn’t. I wrote several and received responses back. It was nice to get real mail again. I missed my stationary collection I used to have but used my fountain pens a lot.

In February, I reconnected with my old home. It was great to drive around Kokomo and think about the great memories I experienced there. If you would like to read that post you can here.

In February, I connected with a writing/teaching friend from Twitter in real life. We met at a local Panera and talked writing and poetry and teaching. We are planning a writing meeting soon.

In February, I connected with more readers on the blog! I am now at over 1000 followers and am super excited. I also posted a survey to better serve my readers. I commented on posts that spoke to me and had some lovely conversation in comments and on Twitter.

In February, I connected with other writing communities through #write28days and IWSG. I was active with my Storyaday Superstars group every day. I did not attend my in real life writing group.

At the beginning of February, I attended a coaching training and enjoyed talking with other coaches and educators from the region. I was able to hand out my business cards for the first time which was exciting.

In February, I emailed several authors I admire. I also didn’t hesitate to send messages to people who wrote pieces I enjoyed.

Yesterday I met some of my husband’s family which was lovely. I was able to go to a cute coffee shop which was a bonus.

In February, I became a part of Emily P Freeman’s Book Launch Team. The book is released on April 2! I just received the full book yesterday and cannot wait to dig in.

In February, what happened? One thing is I feel more connected to people. I facilitated a Workshop Wednesday this month which was fantastic. There was lots of sharing and great discussion about checks for understanding BUT the next day was difficult because I was tired and felt depleted. I have to figure out some strategies to have that not occur.

Moving forward I have new exciting changes that are coming. I am participating in the Two Writing Teachers March Blog Challenge. I will continue to write daily and to submit short stories.

Writing Prompt: How would you finish the sentence starter: In February…

IWSG – It’s Wednesday!

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here. Welcome to 2019!

Quote that has resonated with me lately:

Ray Bradbury’s words have been popping up over the last year. This is the quote lately that has stuck with me. I enjoy the reality I live in most of the time. I have crafted my life differently over the past year to made that so.

I like the idea of being drunk on words in this context. It gives a different perspective on “writing drunk”.

I love the worlds I write and create in! It is only one advantage of being a writer!