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

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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

PHOTO PROMPT © Ceayr

CLICK ZE FROG, S’IL  VOUS PLAIT

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.

For more stories or to write your own don’t forget to click the froggy! Por favor. 😉

IWSG: New Job

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Today is the first Wednesday of the month, and that means IWSG Day! It’s a chance for writers to talk about our insecurities, triumphs, and momentary hurdles on the way to triumph.

This month, the main thing going on in my life is that I’ve finally broken down and very quickly (it all happened so fast I’m still like … how did this happen?) gotten a part-time job – working at a library, so this is probably my ideal job like ever. Seriously, I’m thinking of what job could be better and my brain thinks – bookstore? – but no, then I’d have to *sell* books, which is not as good for my emotional state. So, I’m good here.

Writing wise, I’m working on this crazy project right now, so involved, so little hope of success that I suspect it’s at least 50% of the reason I decided to take a job that does not involve sitting in front of a computer all day. Typing. There’s only so much my eyes and fingers can take. But, I love it. But, writing can be exhausting at times.

Hope you have a great June! Happy writing – and reading.

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IWSG: Happy May Day!

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May 1st happens to be on a Wednesday this year, so that means it’s IWSG Day AND May Day at the same time.

I’m a writer, so language fascinates me – and I get easily sidetracked by it. May Day is one of those funny language things where two words have so many different meanings depending on context. May Day is also International Workers Day, a day to celebrate the working people of the world. It’s also the day we celebrate spring. After a crazy winter here in the Northeastern United States, we finally have flowers! (And weeds – lots of flowering weeds. Not sure I feel about those….)

Mayday is also a phrase that means “help me” in French, and Mayday Mayday Mayday is the way ships let people know they’re in serious trouble over the radio, where transmissions can get staticky, so they need quick call signs.

This Spring, I’m feeling a little all of the above. I’m really glad spring is here, but I’m also kind of finding it hard to stay motivated to write. But, I’m sticking in there. Sort of. Some days more than others.

Hope you have a great May wherever you are!

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IWSG: If Wishes Came True

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?

It’s IWSG Day and that means time to share another milepost along the writing journey. What part of my book would I like to be able to write via magic wish?

Is all of it an option? In all seriousness, it’s always amazed me how often my ideas sound so good in my head but not in writing. If I had a magic genie and were going to use just one wish, I’d say something like – please Genie just write the First Chapter for me. After that, I can do the rest.

Now I’m wondering, does it count as plagiarism if you steal from magic writing? I’m picturing an awkward conversation with Copyscape about this. Like, dear Copyscape I think my genie has been helping multiple writers, because that should be all original.

Here’s a life hack I picked up from the well-written opening scene of Dead Witch Watching, one of my favorite urban fantasy novels. If you’re going to make magic wishes, your first wish should always be … to not get caught. Think it through!

Happy April!

IWSG: Heroes & Villains

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It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s Support Group time!

Optional March 6 question – Whose perspective do you like to write from best, the hero (protagonist) or the villain (antagonist)? And why?

This is a really good question for me this month. I’ve been working on back story for an epic fantasy novel. I’ve been meeting an interesting range of characters, thinking about who interests me and why.

I like the kind of heroes who I probably wouldn’t want to live next door to because they have some serious attitude problems and/or they attract chaos like a magnet. And I like the kind of villains where – after a while – you think, what they’re doing is wrong, but they have a point.

In that sense, I guess the boundaries aren’t all that clear. For example, the main antagonist in the novel may not actually be the main antagonist – and she might have good reasons for doing the evil, definitely destructive things she does. Then again, maybe not. Regardless, beating her may not be the end of my protagonist’s problems after all.

I like writing both in different ways. I love writing (and reading!) vicariously, crazy stories about good and bad guys who would do things I would never dream of doing – well maybe *dream* but never do.

What about you? What kind of characters do you like to read – and write about?