IWSG March 3, 2021: Favorite Genre?

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is enjoying its monthly blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. IWSG is a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.   

The awesome co-hosts for the March 3 posting of the IWSG are:

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?

ANSWER: Crime, Fiction, Mystery and an occasional thriller and SiFi.

While researching lists of authors and genres, I visited Wikipedia and discovered, James Patterson (disambiguation).”

Well, I’d never heard the word “disambiguation” so I consulted professor Google and read several definitions. Here’s what Cambridge had to say:

Cambridge Dictionary definition – the fact of showing the differences between two or more meanings clearly: No age differences were found in children’s disambiguation of novel words.

Isn’t that special? I’m still confused.

Another part of the IWSG question was, “What motivates your reading choice?” I live outside the US and access to printed books is limited to what’s donated and exchanged between the expats. I tend to select the popular authors; ones I recognize.  The common theme revolves around a murder. I’m feeling the nudge to expand horizons and explore other themes.

The enormous selection and obvious choice is in the eBook realm. That requires releasing my grip on the printed form.

I’m contemplating buying a Tablet. Rumor has it, there is a wealth of reading material sitting in a cloud somewhere. I’m assured I need not be concerned about eye strain. A neighbor tells me the fondness of holding a book shall pass.

Those of you that have transitioned to eBooks, what electronic reading device do you recommend?

Thank you for visiting and I look forward to reading your comment.

LCWG February 3, 2021: Blogging and friends

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is enjoying its monthly blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. IWSG is a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.   

The awesome co-hosts for the February 3 posting of the IWSG are:
Louise – Fundy Blue, Jennifer Lane, Mary Aalgaard, Patsy Collins at Womagwriter, and Nancy Gideon!
 
QUESTION: 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?
 
MY ANSWER: I started blogging when we set sail from San Diego, California to Mexico on La Vita, our 33 foot sailboat. Boy, did I have a story to tell. I’ve been blogging and sharing our real life stories ever since. Over the years I’ve shared our adventures with friends and family around the world. Twelve years later, and we are still in touch.
 
 

LCWG January 6, 2021: Stops You From Reading

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is enjoying its monthly blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. IWSG is a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.   

The awesome co-hosts for the January 6 posting of the IWSG are:
Ronel Janse van Vuuren, J Lenni Dorner, Gwen Gardner Sandra Cox, and Louise – Fundy Blue!
 
QUESTION: 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?
 
MY ANSWER:
Well, the subject has to interest me for starters. The real turn off is filler words and long descriptive paragraphs. Get on with the story. Show the character doing something and let my imagination fill in the details.
 
I enjoy reading authors. Except some are determined to include a fat descriptive paragraph in every chapter. I scan the words, get the gist of what the character is wearing, physical description, and move on. A sentence or two is my limit. 
 
Another turn off is unnecessary repetition and filler words.  Classic examples can be found in newspaper articles. Have you noticed when the author repeats the introduction and add useless text? I’m positive they are paid by the word and lack imagination.
 
It’s been said, folks have less attention span than a goldfish. Well, that’s me. Get on with the story.
 
Thanks for visiting and I’m looking forward to reading your answer to the January IWSG question.
 
P.S. La Cruz Writer’s Group (LCWG) would like to include more writers. We read,  comment, and encourage. If you or someone you know might be interested, please send me an email with LCWG in the subject line. Or let me know in the comment section below. (Email: sv.lavita@gmail.com). Thanks!
 
 

LCWG December 2, 2020: More Productive Months?

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is enjoying its monthly blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. IWSG is a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.   

The awesome co-hosts for the December 2 posting of the IWSG are Pat Garcia, Sylvia Ney, Liesbet @ Roaming About, Cathrina Constantine, and Natalie Aguirre!
 
QUESTION: Are there months or times of the year that you are more productive with your writing than other months, and why?
 
MY ANSWER: I guess, it’s easier to identify the months that are the lest productive: holiday months. And the last half of 2020.
 
We are “swallowing the anchor.” A term sailors use when they give up sailing and move on land. La Vita, our 33 foot sailboat, has been home since 2006.
 
It was easy to sell our home in California and move on board 14 years ago. We sailed La Vita down the coast of Mexico and in 2011 arrived in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Medical challenges kept up tied to the dock. After nine years, we accepted the fact it was time to sell.
 
Our home since 2006. Some may not understand, but I felt more secure owing La Vita and living in a Mexican marina than leasing a condo in Mexico.
 
Adjusting to this monumental change to our life style and packing/unpacking nearly 100 boxes has taken its toll. What if the landlord increases the rent or won’t renew our lease? The What If game is not fun to play.
 
As I adapt to this new normal, my intention is to thrive, embrace the future, and write.
 
I’m especially interesting in hearing from folks that have limited resources:
How have you managed major upheavals in your life?
 
 

LCWG: November 4, 2020: Why Do Your Write?

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is enjoying its monthly blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. IWSG is a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.   

The awesome co-hosts for the October 4 posting of the IWSG are Jemi Fraser, Kim Lajevardi, L.G Keltner, Tyrean Martinson, and Rachn Chhabria!
 
QUESTION:
November 4 question – Albert Camus once said, “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” Flannery O’Conner said, “I write to discover what I know.”Authors across time and distance have had many reasons to write. Why do you write what you write?
 
MY ANSWER:
I had a clever answer, but the truth is deeper.
Writing is my tool to uncover what is behind my thoughts and actions.
My avenue of expression is a series called, “Slices of Life.” 
Through hard work, I hope to capture your imagination and inspire.
 
Here’s a slice:
I grin as I smell my bagel toasting, positive it will be perfectly golden when it pops up. My own toaster. My own shower. The bed so big, I hardly know Rick is sleeping next to me. Two hours to clean.
 
We have swallowed the anchor. A term used by sailors when they give up sailing move on land.
 
We signed a year lease. Then what? As tenants we can be tossed out on our ear. The thought of starting over is daunting.
 
Cost? Giving up our dream to sail through the Panama canal and on to the Mediterranean. Soon our sailboat will be put up for sale. Our home since 2006. We own her free and clear. She is a treasured elegant lady ready to sail across vast oceans.

Cost? Watching the occasional sea turtle pop its head up to breath. Fish swimming along the dock nudging barnacles for bits of food.

Cost? Our friends. We sailed into this Mexican marina Valentines day 2011. We love the people and the lifestyle. Our friends in the marina wave and ask how things were going. A bunch of self-reliant, independent, and quick to offer a hand. Our soul mates.
 
These condo folks tend look away rather than crack a smile. We a live few miles from the marina, but it feels like a different world.
 
Over cups of coffee, we’d stare at each other, jot notes on yellow pads of paper, ponder silently. Against the wishes of our heart and sole, we accepted the fact someone else will love and maintain her. Rick’s fused spine and neck limits his ability to stretch into those awkward positions so often required on a boat. Swollen fingers reduce his grip.
 
Our faithful vessel evolved into a tiny home. I started to resent the efficient galley where the counter top doubled as the lid to the refrigerator. No room for appliances such as a microwave. I fried bread on a hot griddle. Two bright spots: took 30 minute to clean and our cozy bed allowed us to snuggle during the night.
 
For the last month, Rick has driven our car to the marina several days a week. With cane in hand, walks down the dock to the boat. There he packs our personal possessions into boxes.
 
My some miracle he moves these heavy boxes from inside the boat to the cockpit. Folks in the marina help him get the boxes off the boat and to the car. It’s a process he prefers to do alone. Perhaps it is his way of letting go of a life long dream.
 
Her name is La Vita. The Life, in Italian. She lived up to her name. Together we created vivid memories. Her spirit is with us as we wonder about our future.
 
Thank you for visiting and taking a moment to read a slice of my life. I look forward to visiting your site and reading your answer to this question.

IWSG October 7, 2020: Working Writer

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is enjoying its monthly blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. IWSG is a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.   

The awesome co-hosts for the September 2 posting of the IWSG are Jemima Pett, Beth Camp, Beverly Stowe McClure, and Gwen Gardner!
 
QUESTION:
When you think of the term working writer, what does that look like to you? What do you think it is supposed to look like? Do you see yourself as a working writer or aspiring or hobbyist, and if latter two, what does that look like?
 
MY ANSWER:
Hobbyist: Are You A Hobbyist? Hobby artists may spend years, decades, or even an entire lifetime making art strictly for personal pleasure. They want no responsibility for a business. They don’t desire to develop a following, sell their artwork, or try to support themselves with their artwork.
 
Aspiring: desiring and working to achieve a particular goal : having aspirations to attain a specified profession, position, etc. an aspiring actor [=a person who aspires to be and is trying to become an actor] an aspiring novelist.
 
Granville Redmond: is my grandfather and he relied on patrons to promote and sell his art. Much like today, he poured his energy into his creative expression, not sales. He did not want to take responsibility for a business. So does that make him an hobbyist?
 
I’m reluctant to pigeon hole myself as aspiring, but I guess that’s the best fit. My focus in improving my craft. I have no interest in the business side; however the word hobbyist rubs me the wrong way. the term working writer caused me to pause. I certainly work and write, but I’m not paid.
 
Does every definition need to be defined by money?
 
I’m very curious to read how others in our IWSG blog hop answered this question.
 
 

IWSG September 2, 2020: Beta Partner


It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is enjoying its monthly blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. IWSG is a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.   

The awesome co-hosts for the September 2 posting of the IWSG are PJ Colando J Lenni Dorner Deniz Bevan, Kim Lajevardi, Natalie Aguirre, and Louise – Fundy Blue!
 
QUESTION: If you could choose one author, living or dead, to be your beta partner, who would it be and why?
 
MY ANSWER:  Joylene Butler The first thing this author did was give my imagination permission to soar. Next she showed me how to breath life into my stories. The rest is up to me: write, write, write.
 
Question: How did you expand your vocabulary?
 
Thank you for your time. I look forward to visiting your blog, too.
 
 

IWSG August 5: Genre/Form

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is enjoying its monthly blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. IWSG is a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.   

The awesome co-hosts for the August 5 posting of the IWSG are Susan Baury Rouchard, Nancy Gideon, Jennifer Lane, Jennifer Hawes, Chemist Ken, and Chrys Fey! 

QUESTION: Have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn’t planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance?
 
MY ANSWER:  The form chose me.
Here’s a sample:
~~ _/) ~~ _/) ~~ _/) ~~ _/) ~~ _/)

Dense gray fog surrounded us and it was dark. My eyes were fixed on the compass needle while my hands gripped the wheel as I drove La Vita, our 33 foot sailboat south. Mexico on my left and Hawaii thousands of miles on my right.

Rick set the mainsail to catch the light breeze and keep us steady. The fresh salty ocean air filled my lungs. The engine’s steady hum vibrated through my body. My first night at sea and I’m in charge.”
                                                                           ~~ _/) ~~ _/) ~~ _/) ~~ _/) ~~ _/)

My background was technical writing, so my blogs posts resembled a How To manual. I wanted to capture my adventures in vivid detail.

I joined a writer’s group in La Cruz, Mexico. After weeks of whining and filling pages with dull phrases, my writer friends sat me down and held an intervention. They told me what was missing. My stories lacked feelings and emotions.

I learned the importance of including the senses: what saw, heard, felt, smelled. That was in 2012.

Five years later, new writer to the group made a comment that rang true. She said, “You write slices of life.” I had no idea I my writing evolved or tumbled into this form: Each story a single episode. A slice of my life. The form found me.

I’m seeking an online fictional writing course that includes feedback. Any suggestions deeply appreciated.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to reading your blog, too.

IWSG JULY 1: Industry Changes

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is enjoying its monthly blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. IWSG is a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.    

QUESTION: There have been many industry changes in the last decade, so what are some changes you would like to see happen in the next decade?
 
The awesome co-hosts for the July 1 posting of the IWSG are Jenni Enzor, Beth Camp, Liesbet, Tyrean Martinson, and Sandra Cox! 
 
MY ANSWER is more current day than of the future:
Does your compensation and reward depend on a contract?
Many of us create from a deep unstoppable desire to express. Regardless of reward. As a result, many are taken advantage of. In the past an artist required patrons for support and to promote their work. Publishers were required to presented and sell books. Now days self-publishing has gained respect and working for many. These arrangements required a contract of one kind or another.
 
Now Covid-19 has entered the picture. What’s the connection? Our shrinking economy has caused some publishing companies to shutter their doors. Where does that leave us, the writer? What are the terms of our contracts? Do we still retain the rights to our work? Or did our rights expire with the company? What happened to our royalties; lost in bankruptcy proceedings?
 
I suggest those of us with contracts to look at them. Read them. Renegotiate if necessary.  Just as we are driven to express, we must divert some of that same desire to protect our-self interests.
 
 

IWSG June 3: Secrets

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is enjoying its monthly blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. IWSG is a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.    

The awesome co-hosts for the June 3 posting of the IWSG are Pat Garcia, J.Q. Rose, and Natalie Aguirre!

QUESTION: Writers have secrets! What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?

MY ANSWER: I thought about my secrets from the time I went to Donovan State Prison in the US and Puente Grande women’s prison in Mexico. I was there to listen to their stories. Most of what I heard was dark and best saved for a different time.

Let’s move to a lighter part of my life. For the last eight years, I’ve managed an international group of writer’s called La Cruz Writers’ Group (LCWG). I will tell you my secret. But first, I must tell you last month we featured author Michelle O’Healy. She presented us with this question, “What Happens When Unicorns Fart?

Michelle is a long time member of LCWG and frequent reader. Even as grownups, we sat spellbound and giggled as we listened to her childrens’ stories. Michelle loved telling her kids original bedtime stories. Now she is beginning to publish them.

Rusty Debris, another long time member often entertained us with his guitar and we learned the similarity of song writing and story telling.

Take a moment, if you will, and enjoy the poem Rusty wrote in honor of “What Happens When Unicorns Fart?

Unicorns
There’s a wild and wooly creature
With a spiral horn-like feature
Tho’ not a goat, wild ass or horse
We’re talking unicorn, of course

Bearded beasts from antiquity
Eat pomegranates constantly
The crimson fruit that’s slightly tart
Makes them pee red and want to fart

As to unicorns’ flatulence
These days we strive for more nuance
Now farts are “anal acoustics”
Here are some more popular picks:

Cutting cheese or breaking the breeze
Squeezing wind or waxing the skis
Air biscuits, plonkers, anus noodles
Afterburners or fluff doodles

It sounds like stepping on a goose
When unicorns are cutting loose
Making stinky or a tooter
A mouse on a motor scooter

Butt trumpets, gas plants, ass rippers
Trouser coughs, Dutch ovens, air dumps
Subcutaneous tissue disorders
Arkansas barking spiders

Drop the bomb, play the tushy horn
Blame it all on the unicorn
When gastric gas begins to pain
Better let fluffy off the chain

©️Rusty Debris 2020
Holdingforth, MN
Always on time and in tune.

La Cruz Writers’ Group is open to all writers and our purpose is to support and encourage. Folks are encouraged to read an excerpt from their writing. Next, they receive invaluable and positive feedback on their piece.

We are a transient group. Snow Birds flock via sail, air, or land to La Cruz and surrounding areas (near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico) each winter. For years we met each Saturday in the air conditioned marina VIP room. 

Earlier this year we transitioned to monthly Zoom webinars. I host our Zoom gatherings from our sailboat, La Vita, moored in Marina La Cruz, Mexico.

Here’s my secret: I’m not a natural leader. Often I’m stressed to tears before our gatherings. Consumed with self doubt I always ask myself, “Will folks be able to join Zoom? Will our writers find value in our gathering? Have I done enough?
 
Rick, my husband reassures me. He holds my hand and reminds me to feel my breath as I inhale and exhale. He whispers, “You’ve done enough. It will be OK.”
 
I take a deep breath, dry my eyes, smile and open the Zoom Waiting Room. Sometimes, we talk about Unicorns and farts.

P.S. I’ll forever grateful if anyone can tell me how to:
     1. Create a One Click link to join Zoom
     2. Create a custom Zoom Invitation page