#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 1 question – When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end? If have not started the writing yet, why do you think that is and what do you think could help you find your groove and start?

I show up to the page everyday and mostly at the same time. When ideas hit me I have learned to write them down before they flip away like hummingbirds! I just keep writing if I get stuck. Sometimes what I think is the end, is not. I use a lot of freewriting to break through my own limiting ideas of a story as well and do not censor what comes out of the pen.

It seems a simple answer, but it is the true one for me!

A quote I have been thinking about is, “Write one true sentence. And then another.” I believe it is Hemingway.

Other things that keep me writing and not running out of ideas are podcasts, conversations with other writers about process, reading [esp. poetry], and walking.

I enjoy talking about process with other writers but do not discuss writing ideas or plot points while I am writing.

Just write.

#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 6 Question

April 6 question – Have any of your books been made into audio books? If so, what is the main challenge in producing an audiobook?
The awesome co-hosts for the April 6 posting of the IWSG are Joylene Nowell Butler, Jemima Pett, Patricia Josephine, Louise – Fundy Blue, and Kim Lajevardi!

Not yet! But this question made me think about how I use audio in my writing.

For a short time I played with a podcast. I had been asked by several people to start one and wanted to experiment and see what that iteration of my writing life sounded like. It wasn’t something I promoted heavily because it was play. It didn’t light me up like writing does.

One of the revision techniques I have been remembering to use more frequently is to read my pieces out loud to myself. I can catch a lot that way just by hearing the music of the language. It also helps me fix awkward sentences. I have also been using a Read Aloud Google extension to just be able to listen and not look at the text.

Listening to writing podcast inspires me and lights me up. I have a whole list that I rotate through!

Talking to other writers about writing process makes me happy and fueled as well.

What role does audio play in your writing life?

#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 2 Question

March 2 question – Have you ever been conflicted about writing a story or adding a scene to a story? How did you decide to write it or not?


The awesome co-hosts for the March 2 posting of the IWSG are Janet Alcorn, Pat Garcia, Natalie Aguirre, and Shannon Lawrence!

The conflict I have had about writing a story deals with the sensitivity of the topic and if I am ready to write about it or not. If there is something I do not want to write directly about I come at it from a different angle, like telling it through a metaphor or a fairy tale.

It took me almost 15 years to write a story that dealt with a miscarriage I had endured. I did decide to publish the story, but that felt like a big risk. It felt like my truth that needed to be released which influenced the decision.

Most of the time the conflicted scenes are buried in a notebook somewhere disguised as fiction. There is always the writer’s choice to choose whether to share the story or not.

If it is too painful to write, I figure it isn’t time yet to do so. I am sure the time will come.

I never have a shortage of ideas so if it isn’t quite time then the painful story gets tabled. I do a lot of freewriting so I have found that hard topics come out when they need to if I let go.

A scene can be added to a piece, but it has to relate back to the heart of story and move the story forward.

#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 Question

February 2 question – Is there someone who supported or influenced you that perhaps isn’t around anymore? Anyone you miss?

The awesome co-hosts for the February 2 posting of the IWSG are Joylene Nowell Butler, Jacqui Murray, Sandra Cox, and Lee Lowery!


Wow. This prompt for the month hit me like a slap to the face. There were a couple of ways I could answer this question.

First, I lost my husband at the beginning of January suddenly. He was a support for my writing through and through. We had plans to retire early to a cabin the woods. He was my true north. Before he died, we had talked about me going to Nancy Stohlman and Kathy Fish’s writing retreat. I am signed up and am excited to go in August, but it is bittersweet knowing I will not be able to share the anticipation with him. He was funny and had great stories of childhood and career. He would often text me and say, “You should put THIS is one of your stories.”

Second, my first community of writers is one I no longer belong to. I changed and it was not a good fit anymore. As with time, and how things work, the group shifted. For a long while, I kept up with the community from the outside still subscribing to emails. I used to be in the inside circle and am no longer in that role. There is a challenge connected to this community so I still participate in that but it is mostly independent now and I limit my interaction. I am in contact with people I know from the orginial group. There was a magic to the beginning circle of writers that faded away for me over time.

There is no fault or malice. It just is what it is.

#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 5 Question

What’s the one thing about your writing career you regret the most? Were you able to overcome it?
The awesome co-hosts for the January 5 posting of the IWSG are Erika Beebe, Olga Godim, Sandra Cox, Sarah Foster, and Chemist Ken!

I grew up reading but in my Indiana hometown there were not any writers that I knew of. I found writers when I went to college but did not recognize myself as one of them until much later.

I found out about Iowa Writing Workshop from an interview with Oprah and author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, Ayana Mathis. She spoke about her experience there and I stopped what I was doing and listened intently to every word. This was something I had missed – you could go to school JUST for writing. If I had understood it I had blocked it out because of my parents reluctance to see writing as a real career colored my thinking.

My regret is that I did not pursue my MFA when I was young and unattached. I have always written. I didn’t need the MFA for motivation. I found writing community later in life which honed my skills. I wish I would have taken the writing seriously, earlier. I have a fantasy of having a tiny apartment, working in a bookstore and working at an independent press in Minnesota writing when I am not with books or writing friends. There is always lots of coffee.

I know my life experience makes me a better writer now. There is lots of material to mine and use. I have pursued my own style of MFA in this adult life of day jobs and responsibility.

I study with teachers I love and admire and cultivate community.

#happyreading #happywriting

#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