Category Archives: Uncategorized

Be the Book #IWSG

[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here

Thank you to our awesome co-hosts this month: Sarah – The Faux Fountain Pen Jacqui Murray, Chemist Ken, Victoria Marie Lees, Natalie Aguirre, and JQ Rose!

Check out our IWSG homepage for recent news and events.  And as always, thank you to founder Alex J. Cavaugh 🙂 

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Plutarch quote

You are what you eat.

Or maybe it’s you become what you think.

Either thought makes me nervous. I eat some strange things and my thoughts drift in very odd directions.

My dad raised me to believe we could become stronger and more competent with big tasks (like sports) if we listened to motivating messages while we slept. I did it. I don’t know if I became a better athlete, but the voice sure calmed me enough to sleep and I could picture myself on the green tennis court with my Boris Becker Racket gripped in my hands just right. He was my favorite tennis player back in the day. 

Is reading equally powerful? For me, yes. I’m a visual learner. I’m a graphic designer. I picture something so full of color and detail in my mind it has to be real. I can draw it. I can write it.  And the question brings me to this month’s IWSG question: “Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write. But what about your reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choice?”

Plutarch made me think. Our minds are a fire to be kindled. We dream to have a fire. We use a method to build the flames, the heat. Once we taste it with our eyes, we feed it with wood, watching the tips of the fire dance. Writing is my fire.  So I fuel it with books in my genre so I can keep up with the world I hope to compete in someday. My mind is influenced so easily by voice and word choice. If I drift to another genre, I’m afraid my voice will drift too.  So rarely do I read other genres. I simply have no time left. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.

Happy IWSG day. Keep that fire alive and fill it with the fuel that burns within you.  

Friendships Around the Globe #IWSG

[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here

Thank you to our awesome co-hosts this month:  Louise – Fundy Blue ,Jennifer Lane,Mary Aalgaard,Patsy Collins at Womagwriter, and Nancy Gideon!

 Check out our IWSG homepage for recent news and events.  And as always, thank you to founder Alex J. Cavaugh 🙂 

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"The world is round" quote

Ten years ago, I was lonely, at my low, and wanting someone who loved words as much as I do to talk to, to be a friend. I had two little babes then and finding free time to go out and mingle in the world was a chore. I started blogging and another author found me and we chatted through her blog and mine. She encouraged me to seek out writing competitions through publishers. I did. I published my first piece in 2014 and met several other wonderful writing friends also published in that book who I still admire today. Because of those friends I found the IWSG group.

This month’s question asks: “Blogging is often more than just sharing stories. It’s often the start of special friendships and relationships. Have you made any friends through the blogosphere?

Yes, and turning to the online world for support with writing was the best decision I ever made. Thank you writing friends! This circle has become a link of invisible hands for all sorts of inspiration. Especially during these scary COVID times when going out and mingling with others isn’t the safest way to be right now.

How about you? Are most of your writing friends online? How did you meet them?

Happy IWSG, friends. I hope you are safe and well. I hope, HOPE still lives in your heart.

The Attention Trap #IWSG #AmWriting

[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here

Thank you to our awesome co-hosts this month:  Pat Garcia, Sylvia Ney, Liesbet @ Roaming About, Cathrina Constantine, and Natalie Aguirre!

 Check out our IWSG homepage for recent news and events.  And as always, thank you to founder Alex J. Cavaugh 🙂 

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Henry Miller Quote on Attention

I stare at the computer screen at my desk in the office slouched over with a tight deadline on my school district’s magazine. I’m already behind. I was quarantined for COVID exposure just before the holiday when … an Administrator blows past my desk. “Hey, Erika, I’ve got an idea and I need your help.”

“Great! When do you need it by?” I ask.

The smile gets me every time. “Today. Before you leave would be great.”

At home, I’m working out on my new Spin bike, zoned into and pushing up a hill when I can’t shake a sudden idea about my recent story. I can’t focus. I need to write down some notes. Then again, my youngest child could cruise by, begging for immediate attention with her school issued device. Big Tears. Huge! I have to solve it. I want to solve it all at once. Wouldn’t it be nice to be an Octopus for a day?

In any case, my point is this: as I’ve aged through the years, my attention competes with multiple distractions no matter where I am. I’m in a constant battle to stay in the now, to stay on a topic or a single focused project. This dilemma may also be applied to reading great books. I do very much love reading. However, I admit it (raising one hand in the air while covering my eyes with the other). I do not always finish a book I start.

What could go so wrong I put down a book? A friend of mine is a diligent reader. She never puts a book down without finishing it. When I told her I have no problems doing so, it blew her away.

Then I saw this month’s question and it was perfect. “Being a writer, when you’re reading someone else’s work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people’s books?”

I think the biggest frustration I have when reading a new book, especially by a different author, is building the scene in my mind. To do so, I need a really great feel of the main character right from the start with a really great line showing me the struggle in the moment. If a writer throws me straight into the action, I’m fine with that. But I also need reflection. I need a sense of urgency. A reason to relate to the conflict with a balance of why I should care so much. Sometimes great books start off with this in the beginning, but something I’ve noticed that often happens in books is a fizzle effect through the middle. The first quarter of the book is great, maybe even a first chapter, and then the plot somehow falls apart. I don’t see a reason to turn the page with a muddling of too much detail and not enough conflict.

I have been reading a bit. I have a great example of a book where I’ve been drawn in and I can’t put it down. Try Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. WOW WOW Wow! The first four chapters are poetic, magical and make me care about the world.

What competes for your attention? Do find it hard to focus on one project at a time?

Happy New Year! May we all be filled with peace, hope and healthy vibes.

May Love and Work be the Same #IWSG #AmWriting

[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here

Thank you to our awesome co-hosts this month:  Pat Garcia, Sylvia Ney, Liesbet @ Roaming About, Cathrina Constantine, and Natalie Aguirre!

 Check out our IWSG homepage for recent news and events.  And as always, thank you to founder Alex J. Cavaugh 🙂 

Quote about work and love

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The month of December fuels my fire more than some months. The year wraps up. There’s wrapping to do. If there were ever a shortage of time, I believe December is that month because in a blink, it’s is over and then we are left with a new year to dream.

This month’s questions asks December 2 question – Are there months or times of the year that you are more productive with your writing than other months, and why?

I love Coco Chanel’s quote so much because in my eyes, we work because we love and love is founded in so many different roles. Maybe someday my work and my love will be the same, but for now, I’m loving where I am. To answer this month’s question, I’ve actually picked up my writing pace doubling my time spent with my editor. Meeting with her twice a month keeps the story in the forefront of my mind.

Here’s a few thoughts to consider when thinking about where you are with your own writing work:

“Do or do not. There is no try.”
~Yoda

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”
~Thomas Jefferson

Cheers to you this month. Especially if you’re on that sprinting spree right along with me. Happy Holidays. I’ll see you next year 🙂