IWSG: My Time in Exile


This is the first Wednesday of the month, and that means IWSG Day! Like much of the “free” world, I am currently writing this from inside my home in the course of a weeks-long lock down to help slow the spread of a deadly disease in order to make the terrible less terrible.

I know that many of my fellow writers are using this as an excellent time to do excellent things such as a) editing that novel and b) finishing that novel and c) researching that novel or d) short stories.

In all honesty, I’ve been a bit busy with option f) Freaking Out.

Yes, even though I have had a job (writing) that requires a lot of private time, suddenly I’m feeling like a gerbil freaking out every time it reaches yet another invisible wall.

I know it’s at least partly that I recently got a great job and recently reconnected with a great church community. Both of which are now closed. I also find it disheartening that there are signs like this one everywhere.


I mean, dinosaurs got 177 million years on earth, and we’ve only been here for 200,000. Come on, human race. If Jeff Goldblum could do it, we can give dinosaurs a run for their money too.

Honesty time. I do not like Being Told What To Do. Because I’m an American darn it. I live in the land of the free and the more than occasionally ridiculously stupid, where we have hit songs about our tendency to make the same mistake again for the tenth time because – seriously? – that wall is STILL there???

Yep. It’s frustrating. But Stay Home. Please. Gaia will thank you.

I’d like to say that – yeah, I will do what the doctors say and be Zen about it. I can pretty much get the first part down, but the second part gets my mind pacing like a caged tiger not-so-secretly planning my escape.

captive tiger

I imagine I’m not the only one feeling this way, so … yeah.

Anyway, how are you all doing? Finding writing harder or easier? Finding life in general harder or easier? Or is it just another day at the office?

IWSG: Getting Personal Now!


It’s the first Wednesday in March and that means IWSG Day and I have been having a rough month, busy-ness and inspiration wise.

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

I’m stumped on something to say this month. This question seems fitting, because in undergrad my favorite creative writing prof taught us (among other things) that we should avoid being autobiographical in fiction. It’s something I struggle with a lot. Sometimes the personal is the public. We all have our little eccentricities and stories – and even if they’re all different, we *get* it.

It’s something I struggle with, and so I’m not sure if I ever get personal. I try very deliberately not to – and maybe that’s part of my problem right now.

Hope everyone has a great March! Stay healthy and well.

IWSG: New Year Writer Resolution


2020 is here and it’s now the second Wednesday of 2020, but the Insecure Writer’s Support Group graciously gave us an extra week to write our posts for the month – and to go around and visit.

This January, I was somewhat amused to discover that all of us in this Science Fiction/Fantasy Writer’s Group, that about 90% of us have the same resolution: to finally finish and publish/submit a novel that we’ve been working on forever. That’s what I’m doing, and it’s rough. Editing is hard. Writing is hard, but editing is even harder. Writing is like the sprint, and editing is the marathon. Anyway, my new year’s resolution is to face that dreaded beast: editing. To do my best to not be sidelined by shiny new things and to focus on the story I really love – and yet hate a little at the same time. Because I’ve been working on it for So Long.

How about what you? Do you have any resolutions this year?

Happy 2020!!! May 2020 be even better than 2019!

IWSG: New Normal


Hard to believe, but November is finally here and that means the first Wednesday and IWSG Day.

This month’s optional question is a fun one: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever googled in researching a story?

This month is NaNoWriMo, and as always I seem to use November for writing crazy, wacky experimental stories. This month, I’m doing … something on the afterlife. That’s all I can really say at this point. It’s Just That Weird.

Am I the only one who has had the experience where you’ll be researching something strange and out there for a story, and suddenly the subject starts coming up in random conversation?

For example, while researching this afterlife story, it somehow came up that Australia is not quite on the other side of the world from the U.S. – where I live. In fact, it’s opposite the ocean. In fact, pretty much all of the continents are opposite oceans. More so than should be by pure chance. There are scientific theories that discuss this.

I was so fascinated by this random subject that I was debating getting a globe because it’s really hard to see without an actual globe.

I decided not to get a globe because, honestly, I wasn’t that curious. Okay, maybe I was a little curious.

Then, I found out that my sister recently bought a globe and (here’s the weird part) she bought it because she was wondering the same thing, about continents and oceans. Sisters and psychic links maybe? She’s often been able to read my mind. Makes getting away with things harder….

Anyway, like many weird research subjects I’ve somehow tripped over while writing, I’m still not all that interested in continent and ocean placement. The last thing I need in my house is a globe. But it’s funny and kind of cool. And absolutely NOTHING to do with what I’m actually writing. But that’s also kind of the point. My brain may think it’s tricking me with this “related research,” but I know better. Sort of.


IWSG: Busy Months

Hard to believe October let alone IWSG Day is here. I have had a busy couple of months including a new job which I love!

My job is appropriate to the question of the month: It’s been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don’t enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?

Well, as someone who works at a library and reads a lot, I cannot disagree with option A more! I love to be independent and creative, but I know from experience that if I want to share my writing, I need to read and I need to live, to experience life. There is no other way.

I find myself wondering who said this business about writing without reading? What have they written? I’m trying to think of authors I personally enjoy, and I can’t think of one who has ever said this. Even if such a writer exists, would they admit to it?

Unless we are inventing our own language, all writing is derivative, all based on a shared culture. And if we are going to invent a language and expect other people to learn it, well, good luck with that. To me, that’s just silly. And unnecessary.

What do you think? To me it’s an question but I’m always open to other perspectives!

IWSG: Long Summer


This is my August post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

I’ve had a long summer and not so much in a good way. Well, okay, mostly in a good way. Right now, though, I’m mentally stuck on the fact that my father is in the hospital – again – because he fell and couldn’t get up. I’m hesitant to write about this, actually. It’s a moral decision that has almost nothing to do with writing, but I’m not sure what to do in this situation, and my brain is finding it hard to think about anything else for very long. They’re saying he cannot live alone, and all he wants is to be independent.

Meanwhile, I just got a new job, and I love my job, and I just got more hours at my job working for the library. Meanwhile, it’s exhausting dealing life right now, and my daily writing practice helps. It helps a lot in fact. Sometimes I feel like writing is the only thing helping me edge toward some semblance of sanity.

And that’s all I have the emotional energy to share right now. Trudging along day by day, continuing my daily writing practice, almost entirely journaling the past week or so. Hope everyone has had a great summer. Fall is coming soon!

Widow Dies Alone



When they found her, she wore a white wedding dress, the last remains of a memory. Amanda McKinnon, age 90, used to give out candy to all the kids in the neighborhood. In exchange, all she ever asked was polite conversation and company.

Then, the police came to politely tell her she had to stop. There had been complaints. She donated the remaining sweets to charity and died in her sleep two days later. Concerned neighbors found her a week after that.

Her passing, some said, was the end of an age, a time when people could (afford to) be more trusting.

This story is partly based on an old person I knew IRL who used to give out candy to kids in the neighborhood. Part of me always wondered why they would exchange something so valuable (candy) in for something silly – looking at old pictures and listening to stories. The parents in the neighborhood knew about it and as long as we didn’t take advantage of this person, they were like fine – but not too much candy! I wonder sometimes if this would be allowed these days.

Nostalgia! Such a funny thing.

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