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!

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?

IWSG: Health Concerns

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It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means IWSG Day and I missed last month because I was really sick at the time, like serious chest cold sick.

Speaking of chest cold, I always get fall/winter allergies, but this past winter has been killer for me, in large part because of the up and down weather we’re having here in the Northeastern U.S. I’ve definitely been feeling down and like I Can’t Do Anything Right!! But at the same time I know myself and my body and health well enough to know – of course that isn’t actually true.

Just wondering, if anyone else has ever dealt with seasonal/long-term not feeling well ness, how it impacts your writing – or doesn’t, and what you’ve learned to do to cope? I try to remember to take allergy meds, and actually putting a reminder might help because that’s usually where my downward spiral starts. Forget to take meds, start to notice I’m coughing and congested a lot, wonder why that is while plowing through what I’m doing, and so on.

I keep hoping the weather will sort of settle down to cold or hot or whatever, but it just doesn’t. Today it’s warm like spring out and I will enjoy some brisk outdoor walking time, but it’ll go back to being winter in a couple of days. This yo-yo weather!

Anyway, hope all my fellow writers are having a good 2019 so far, better than me anyway. 🙂 I just want the congestion to stop, and it would be really great if my stories could finish and edit themselves too. And a pony. Or a unicorn. While I’m wishing for things.

IWSG: Constructive Writing

InsecureWritersSupportGroup2It’s once again the first Wednesday of the month, and that means IWSG Day in the Spookiest Month of All – October!  Every first Wednesday, members of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group get together to discuss our fear, hopes, and accomplishments.

This month I’m taking on the (optional) question of the month: How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?

Short answer: yes! Of course it has. Longer answer: Here are three kinds of writing I use to help deal with serious situations and how they’re different.

1. Journaling (aka aimless ranting). The first way that I use writing to move past something major, whether for good or ill, is to journal about it. I’ve found journaling is a great way for me to get that excess energy out and maybe eventually turn all of that stuff in my head into something that I might want to share with someone else someday.

2. Outlining/Pro-con lists. Another way I use writing is to outline a problem or question.  For example, when deciding to buy a house, I used a side-by-side list for the two locations I had in mind, so I could really weigh the pros and cons of each. Outlining like this is really good practice for streamlining my writing, too.

3. Narrative Fiction. Last but not least, for big problems I often use narrative fiction to  roleplay. What if this or that were true? What would that look like? In fiction, I can write about being someone or something (say a unicorn or a dragon) that I’m not. I can also let seriously messed-up hypothetical situations play out without anyone actually being hurt. What if I  went crazy and said all the things I wanted to say? Nothing good, which is terrible for real life but excellent for drama.

Those are the three kinds of writing I write in response to major life events. What about you? Has writing ever helped you through something? If so, how?