IWSG June 6: Book Title or Character Name?

IWSG Badge-smIt’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 6 posting of the IWSG are Beverly Stowe McClure, Tyrean Martinson, Tonja Drecker, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!

IWSG Question: What’s harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

My Answer: I write blog posts based on true events in my life. Except for my husband and me, most of the the names are changed to protect the privacy of others.

The post title is revealed to me as I write the post and tag line. The participant names are more difficult, because there are several. Often, the person appears in multiple posts, so keeping track of them requires a bit of organization.

If you write a true story, do you combine past events into a single time frame? If so, why?

Thank you for visiting and taking time to comment. I’m excited to visit & comment on your post, too.

P.S.: I’m pleased to say this post went live while I was asleep. I finally figured out how to set the WP UTC clock (-5hr/Guadeloupe, MX) and post us 24-hour clock (13 = 1pm).

IWSG May 3: It’s Spring!

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 May 3 posting of the IWSG are JQ Rose, C. Lee McKenzie, Raimey Gallant, & E.M.A Timar!

IWSG Question: It’s spring! Does this season inspire you to write more than others, or not?

My Answer: Spring inspired us to travel to the States and renew our Nevada driver’s license, then fly to San Diego, California and visit family.

We were over 65, so the DMV Website indicated a physical is required before renewing senior citizen’s driver’s licenses. CVS pharmacy assured us we could get a physical at their 1-Minute Clinic.

Sunday afternoon, we arrived at 1-Minute Clinic and explained our need for a physical. I handed her the DMV form she needed to complete and sign.

The lady in the 1-Minute Clinic said, “I can’t do it, you need a doctor. I’m a Nurse Practitioner (NP). You need a doctor to sign this form.”

I’m dumbfounded. “I called CVS 1-Minute Clinic customer service. She assured me we could get a physical here.”

“I’m sorry, I can’t help you. I’m a Nurse Practitioner, you need a doctor to sign this form,” she said again.

I’m so stunned, I can hardly speak, “I can’t believe what you’re saying. We booked a flight, hotel, and rented a car! We need this physical to renew our driver’s licenses!”

“You can go to Urgent Care. They have doctors, I’m sure they can help you. Here’s a list of their locations.” I take the paper and walk out.

We drove to the closest location and walked into the Urgent Care clinic. As we approached the desk, the receptionist stopped texting and looked up. I explained our need for a physical and showed her the DMV form. The receptionist glanced at the paper and said, “Can’t do it. It needs to be your family physician. No doctor here will sign this form.”

We don’t have a family physician in Nevada. How in heaven’s name can get a physical?

We’d just wasted $1,000 on the promise CVS could perform the physical. Without a driver’s license we are blocked from driving a car. What do we do?

We decided to keep our 10am DMV appointment. We needed to know exactly who can perform our physical.

All night long I visualized a successful DMV appointment.

We arrived on time and within 30 minutes DMV renewed our driver’s license. No physical required! We’ve just experienced a miracle.

The next day, we flew from Las Vegas to San Diego. We hired a taxi to take us to the San Diego naval base. We are staying on base in the Navy Lodge. As we are checking in I reached for my ID and discover my wallet is missing!

OMG, I left my wallet in the cab! It held my:

Credit Cards: possible false charges
Mexican Permanent Resident Visa: might be denied return entry into Mexico
Mexican Driver’s License: driving privilege in Mexico
Nevada Driver’s License: 
can’t drive or rent a car
Dependent military ID
: No longer able to shop on base. Denied all spousal privileges and medical services

As the enormity of loss sinks in, my brain started churning up mud. What do I do? Where do I start?

I called the cab company, it becomes crystal clear they can’t help me locate the driver. I paid cash, no receipt, no taxi number, no driver’s name. Once again, my world tilted on its axis.

Once again, I visualized a successful outcome; the return of my wallet and contents.

About two hours later, my iPhone rings. The incoming call is King Harbor Yacht Club. “Hello, how are you doing?” asked the lady.

I replied, “I’m not doing well at all, I just lost my wallet.”

King Harbor manager, “I just received a call from someone named Lance saying he found your wallet.”

“Are you serious?”

Manager, “Yes, here’s his phone number, 555-xxx-xxxx.”

I called Lance and sure enough, he had my wallet.

We meet two hours later. I offered him a reward and he wouldn’t accept it.

Apparently, Lance and his wife hired the same cab at the airport. They saw my wallet on the seat and decided they would return it to me rather than give it to the driver.

They had opened my wallet and saw my King Harbor Yacht Club. They called King Harbor and asked them to contact me.

The weird thing is, the US phone number on my iPhone was activated two days ago. How did King Harbor Yacht Club get my current number?

I’m writing this post at 3:30am Wednesday morning. These two events started and ended within the last 72 hours. I’m still spinning from my wild three-day roller coaster ride.

I’ve used visualization all my life to “see” my desired outcome, but I have to admit these two events suggest there is a higher energy at work that is beyond my understanding.

Lynn’s IMDb Movie Sound Mixer Career

When Alex Cavanaugh  challenged, “Lynn, really?” my creative juices kicked into gear.

Thank you, Alex for being curious about my IMDb credits (listed under my previous name: L. Sharon Tammarine). Curiosity opens so many door. It was fun and an honor to share a share a bit of my film making history with you.

Here’s my story on Alex’s blog “Behind the Scenes with Movie Sound Mixer.

Alex’s question was expressed Wednesday March 7, during the IWSG blog-hop. Thank you all for stopping by for a visit. If you have any questions, please ask & I’ll do my best to answer.


IWSG April 4: Dig Down & Write

IWSG Badge-smIt’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 April 4 posting of the IWSG are Olga Godim, Chemist Ken,  Renee Scattergood, and Tamara Narayan!

IWSG Question: When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing?

My Answer: It depends how deep the funk is. Light clouds: take photos. Thunderstorm: scribble thoughts in a journal. Constant in my life: maintain relationships with other writers. Accepted writing invitation.

In 2016, I snapped pictures and filled my pocket-size spiral notebooks. That year Rick (my husband) walked into the hospital and after his spinal surgery his right leg didn’t work. Two more surgeries and two years were required to inspire life in pinched sciatic nerves and rebuild strength in atrophied thigh muscles. We both devoted all our energy to his recovery. I was spent.

My writing life withered into a dormant state; but not abandoned. I received life-sustaining oxygen as the leader of La Cruz Writers’ Group, here in Mexico.

I was too pigheaded to surrender my status in Insecure Writers Support Group. I inched from #257 (2015) to #160 (2016). I could manage the once-a-month blog-hop. I clung with limpet-tight tenacity to maintain my status.

My IWSG blog-hop posts frequently expressed pain and helplessness. True to the IWSG code of ethics, every visitor offered compassion and reassurance. These monthly meet ups became a safe refuge.

In spring 2018 Rick reached a recovery plateau. We are making peace with our new reality.

By chance, someone we all know & respect, invited me to write about my movie career. Something about his request awakened my hibernating desire to write. The deadline launched my creativity and revived my ol’ desire to engage my readers.

IWSG March 7, 2018: Writing Celebration

IWSG Badge-smIt’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 7 posting of the IWSG are Mary Aalgaard, Bish Denham, Jennifer Hawes, Diane Burton, and Gwen Gardner!

IWSG Question: How do you celebrate when you achiever a writing goal / finish a story?

My Answer: It never occurred to me, but I love the idea. I’m eager to learn from other IWSG Blog-Hop participants.

I would like to change the subject, if I may. I’m determined to master the writing mode known as “show.” I’ve been told my example below is Tell. I simply don’t understand why it’s Tell.

If possible, would you rewrite this into “Show” mode?

Can you tell me why this is Tell?

“She reaches into the bowl and wraps her gnarled fingers around the orange.”

Thank you for your time and I look forward to visiting your blog.

Knowing Goldy-(updated FEB 12, 2018)

(The True Story Of An Adventurous Englishman Born In 1892)

By Wayland Combe Wright  


The Octopus’s Garden

Goldy Becomes An Engineer

Leopold Aloysius Goldsmith, whom we nicknamed Goldy, was very much a part of our family. He had been born in Birmingham to a good well-to-do Jewish family and he certainly looked very Jewish but I wasn’t to realise that until I was older.

Goldy was a born performer. As a boy he wanted to join the circus and he trained to be a contortionist at home. He was so insistent that his parents let him stay at home on Sundays when they went to church so that he could practice (like Albert Einstein’s parents and many others, Goldy’s parents though ethnically Jewish belonged to a Christian church). Once, he proudly told me that on one Sunday he got to the point of being able to hook both feet behind his head but then he laughingly continued saying that he got locked in this position and couldn’t get out.

Continue reading “Knowing Goldy-(updated FEB 12, 2018)”

IWSG Feb 7, 2018: Genre Love

IWSG Badge-smIt’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 7 posting of the IWSG are: Stephen Tremp, Pat Garcia, Angela Wooldridge, Victoria Marie Lees, and Madeline Mora-Summonte!

IWSG Question: What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

My Answer: My genre, memoirs, offer a peep hole into our life in Mexico while living on our sailboat, La Vita. I write to inspire, enlighten, & entertain in a style that makes my readers cry, cringe, & chuckle.

A steady barrage of medical challenges has dogged us from Mexico to France through USA, and back to Mexico. I fear my audience will abandon me if my blog evolves into a medical diary. My solution is to focus on human interest events I experienced.

For example, when Rick was in French hospital and I’m suspicious of a stranger’s offer of help. More recently, help magically appeared as I struggled to control a heavily loaded two-wheel dolly down a steep ramp.

Life is filled with dramatic and heart warming events. It’s exciting to watch for them and I delight sharing them with my readers.

I just read ‘s post It’s Never Too Late to Make a Fresh Start on IWSG as well as the comments. Wow, what an inspiring post and comments. I’m not the only one that gets stuck when dealing with life-consuming events.

Thank you for visiting and taking time to share your comments. It’s a joy to hear from you and I promise to visit you, too.

UPDATE: Wed Feb 7 @ 8:50am

I just read Joylene’s answer to IWSG Feb Blog Hop question. If the universe throws you a curve, consider following the advice she offers in her answer to this month’s Blog Hop:  https://cluculzwriter.blogspot.mx/

IWSG January 3, 2018: Schedule Writing & Publishing

IWSG Badge-smIt’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 3 posting of the IWSG are: Tyrean Martinson, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Megan Morgan, Jennifer Lane, and Rachna Chhabria!

IWSG Day Question: What steps have you taken to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

IWSG Short Answer: Gratitude.

Until a few minutes ago, my answer was “Conflict” followed by a sob-story about my dedication to others while sacrificing my time to write.

Conflict: My needs or the needs of my husband and others? This question really forced me to take a fresh at my priorities.

Without out a doubt, it takes time to spend three days a week supporting husband by driving him to rehabilitation. It was the right decision. Shouldering all the household chores and using a two-wheel dolly to get our laundry and groceries to/from the boat is just part of the deal. (We live in a marina, on a boat in Mexico).

Gratitude: How many people witness and help a person realize miracle? After three back surgeries, he was forced to learn to walk again. It’s been a long hard fought battle. After 18 months of blood, sweat, and tears, he’s gone from a leg brace & walker to vigorous workouts on the ellipse/step machine and treadmill.

About six weeks ago he had a big set back. The intense workouts stressed his big toe joint. The pain was so intense he needed a wheelchair to get from the boat to the car. Gratitude: we had doctors and medication to assist with recovery.

In November, our La Cruz Writers’ Group restarted our Saturday gatherings.  I’m their fearless leader. Gratitude: my reward is getting personal writing tips  and watching others thrive and attain their writing goals.

One member is a paraplegic and uses Voice to Text software to write. I volunteered to be his beta reader and provide feedback. Once this article is complete (20,000 words and growing), I’ll turn my attention to my writing. Gratitude: The joy we both experience as his true story comes alive.

Did I mention I’m also producing a local Meet The Author event? Gratitude: Three authors will meet new fans and three terrific writers enrich my life.

Thank you Alex and your awesome co-hosts for creating this safe space to write. Gratitude: For nearly two years, I’ve kept my writing commitment alive by setting time aside to participate in IWSG monthly blog fest.

Gratitude: Rick is recovering, he’s driving again and able to lift the laundry from the dock to the boat. I have more energy for me. I’m discovering scrapes of time to write. With a bit of luck, I’ll return to my favorite writing ritual: writing before dawn & with a good cup of coffee.

Gratitude: I’m editing this post in the wee hours of the morning and sipping delicious java.

Gratitude: Fresh perspective + different choices = new reality

IWSG 6 December 2017: Looking Back

IWSG Badge-smIt’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 6 posting of the IWSG are: Julie Flanders, Shannon Lawrence, Fundy Blue, and Heather Gardner!

IWSG Question: As you look back on 2017, with all its successes and failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

IWSG Short Answer: I didn’t say, “Thank you.”

In June of last year, I was on my own in France, I didn’t speak a word of French, and Rick (my husband) was on morphine in a nearby hospital. Today’s challenge: find the bus to his hospital and put money on my cell phone.

Head down I studied my wrinkled map and hoping it I was moving in the general direction of the bus stop and phone store. I sensed someone walking in step beside me. I was instantly on guard. I glanced to my left and there was a somewhat disheveled young man with a shaggy hair cut, a tired backpack strapped to his back, and wearing frayed sneakers.

My first thought, “Is he homeless?”

He asked, in English tinged with a French accent, “Can I help you with your map?” I asked myself, Do I accept his help? Can I trust this young man? I’m on high alert remembering the time I gave a friendly smile to a stranger and damn near got raped.

I decided my need for help was greater than my safety.

I glance over and say, “I’m trying to get to the Orange phone store and put money on my cell phone. Can you find it on my map?”

I hand him the crumpled map, he looks at it and turns it 90 degrees. He says, “See the railroad station over there?”

He nods to our right. Then points to the railroad line on the map, and says “Now where we are standing is in alignment with the railroad tracks.”

I think to myself, “Duh, I’m so stupid. How did I miss the railroad tracks?

With the map oriented to the railway station, he pointed to a street a few blocks away, “The Orange store is there, let’s go.”

I said, “The owner of the Inn, where I’m staying, gave me this map and told me to stay on this street, walk three blocks, and turn left.”

He said, “This is a short cut.”

“Do I go with him?”

After about a five-minute walk, I see the Orange store up ahead in the middle of the block.

He says, “I’ll go in with you to make sure you get what you pay for.”

I thought, “Be careful, he’s probably going to pick your pocket. Don’t let him see how many Euros you have in your wallet.”

We finish my transaction and back on the sidewalk, he asks, “Where are you going?”

I reply, “I’m taking the bus to the hospital to see my husband.”

He said, “I’m going to the hospital, too.”

Now I’m convinced he’s going to tell me his Hard Luck story and try to separate me from my money.

We boarded the bus and pay the fare. The bus is fairly empty, I settle on a bench seat and he sits across from me. Convinced he wanted money, I offered him two Euros for his help. He refuses and says he goes to the hospital twice a month.

I turn from gazing out the window and ask, “Are you a hospital volunteer?”

He kinda shrugs and says, “My kidneys are failing, so I go in for renal tests.”

Looking at my shoes, I say, “I’m so very sorry.” I lift my chin and ask, “How are you doing?”

He replies, “I’m OK. I have my own place and my parents live nearby.”

I asked, “Do you have a job?”

He replies, “No, I’m on disability. My biggest joy in life is helping strangers.”

I say to myself, “And I thought he might rape me!

Suddenly, my mind sparkles with insight and fresh understanding.

We look at each other and I know I can trust him.

The bus stops at the hospital and we get off. Silently, we walk together toward the hospital and before we go our separate ways, I turn and say, “Take care of yourself.”

I stepped into the elevator and punched the second floor button. As I ascend, I realize I was so consumed with fear and distrust, I didn’t ask his name or even thank him.