Wednesday, December 2, 2020

IWSG: Writing Encroachment and Staycation

It is the last post of the year for the Insecure Writers Support Group
If you'd like to join, or find out more about this group, GO HERE

Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for hosting this monthly event. The awesome co-hosts for this posting of the IWSG are Pat Garcia, Sylvia Ney, Liesbet @ Roaming About Cathrina Constantine, and Natalie Aguirre!

This month's optional question: Are there months or times of the year that you are more productive with your writing than other months, and why?

Winter is best for me. I work in swimming pool construction so summer is our busiest season. Long work hours makes writing tough. But I've carved out the hours between 6:00 - 7:00, before I start the day job, to write. 
But there is encroachment going on!  *sigh*

On the weekends, I write from wake-up until 11:00 or 12:00--after that, it's nap time!

Also, I'm worthless at night. I wish I could sit down and crank the words out, but at the end of the day my creativity and ability to think straight have both flown straight out the window. 


I just had a 3-week staycation in San Diego because I am a diehard social distancer. We've got the beaches and mountains--went to both. Watched hang gliders and surfers, searched the tidepools at low tide, found some cool shells, anemones and sand crabs. Picnicked in the mountains. Ate strawberry-rhubarb pie. Drank some wine and Irish Coffees. There are worse places I guess!

Did some writing, too, and got to add words to my word-count widgets up there in the sidebar--I love to see the colored bars move up! I'm a simple gal, LOL. 

Stay Safe Everyone!

What are your best months and times?

Care to share any secrets for getting 
more words on the page? 

Anyone else doing staycations and 
what did you do to make it fun?

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

IWSG: Writing is a Dog's Life


I'm on vacation this month so no post and comments have been disabled. 

But in the spirit of this month's optional question, I'll leave you with this: 

“Writing is a dog’s life, but the only life worth living.” 



It's Insecure Writers Support Group Day! We post on the first Wednesday of every month. If you'd like to join, go HERE.

The awesome co-hosts for the November 4 posting of the IWSG are Jemi Fraser, Kim Lajevardi, L.G Keltner, Tyrean Martinson, and Rachna Chhabria!

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

#IWSG: Working Writer and Plodder: Nap Required


It's Insecure Writer's Support Group Day! 

Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for hosting this event every month, as well as this month's awesome co-hosts, Jemima Pett, Beth Camp, Beverly Stowe McClure, and Gwen Gardner (Me!). 

Here is this month's optional 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?

Hello, my name is Gwen 
and I am a working writer. 

With Covid, I work from home and this is what my "working writer" routine looks like: 

Get up at 5:00 a.m., walk on my treadmill for half an hour. Get to my desk by 6:00 and write until 7:00 (and I use this term loosely, because this can mean outlining, editing, researching, critiquing, and sometimes--often?--I don't get a lot done because I've fallen down the rabbit hole). 

At 7:00 (and often before) I start my day job, and usually finish up by 5:00, sometimes 6:00 (with the random after-hours call or text thrown in just to stir things up). Rarely does a weekend go by that I'm not putting out some kind of fire, real or perceived. (Because swimming pool construction is that important... *eyeroll*)

I also write on weekends, but by noon, a nap is required. 

Trust me, I've never been a high energy person. But I am a plodder and I just keep going. Didn't the turtle beat the hare? Every little step is still a step forward. Perseverance is the name of the game!

What keeps me going is that I'm retiring in 1.5 years!  

I feel like that is when my writing career can really begin.

I can do this!

What does your working 
writing life look like?

Are you a high energy person?
Or a plodder like me?

Are you the Turtle or the Hare? 


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

#IWSG: Dickens vs Rowling


Another month has passed since my last posting! It's the first Wednesday of the month and so it's Insecure Writers Support Group day. If you'd like to join, go HERE

Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for hosting and to this month's co-hosts: 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!

This month's optional question is: If you could choose one author, living or dead, to be your beta partner, who would it be and why?

I'm going to choose two, for different reasons: 

Living, I would choose J.K. Rowling. Her world-building skills in the Harry Potter books made me, as an adult, want to go to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I wanted my Hogwarts letter to come via owl inviting me to attend. I wanted a wand. I wanted all sorts of magical things. I want to world-build like Rowling. 

Dead, I would choose Charles Dickens. His grasp on social issues in the Victorian era was remarkable. Take a look at A Christmas Carol: "Marley was dead to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the undertaker, and the chief mourner...Old Marley was as dead as a doornail." And, A Tale of Two Cities--"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness..." His mastery of the opening line and his ability to get his point across through his stories is unparalleled. He knows how to use his words. I want to learn how to use my words like Charles Dickens. 

What about you?

Who would you choose as a beta 
partner and why? 



Wednesday, August 5, 2020

#IWSG: Always Cozy

Geez, it's August already? I'm shaking my head over how fast time is flying in 2020. When I think back I'm going to wonder if it really ever even happened.

ALSO, it's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for an Insecure Writer's Support Group meet-up. If you'd like to join, go HERE

Thanks to our host Alex Cavanaugh, and the awesome co-hosts for the August 5 posting of the IWSG:  Susan Baury Rouchard, Nancy Gideon, Jennifer Lane, Jennifer Hawes, Chemist Ken, and Chrys Fey!

This month's optional question is:

Quote: "Although I have written a short story collection, the form found me and not the other way around. Don't write short stories, novels or poems. Just write your truth and your stories will mold into the shapes they need to be."

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?

Almost from the very beginning, before I even knew what I was writing, before I knew enough to pick a genre, I wrote cozy mysteries. I've tried writing other genres but it doesn't turn out well. I'm a fixer. I spend my life trying to make sure everyone is okay and trying to make things right. 

So to write worlds where my characters are in extreme danger, and to make bad things happen to them, or to kill them off (when blood is no doubt involved *shivers*) goes so hard against the grain that...I can't do it. 

Nope, nope, nope. 

My books feature ghosts, so the victims are already dead.I don't have to kill them. 
See how I got around that whole violence thing? LOL. 

What about you? 
Do you swap genres?

Wednesday, July 1, 2020


And I'm AWOL!
Sorry I have to miss it. 
If you'd like to sign up, go HERE.

Stay safe and I'll see you next month!

(comments disabled)

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

IWSG: What's in a Name?

It's Insecure Writer's Support Group Day! If you'd like to join, go HERE

Thanks to our host, Alex Cavanaugh, and our awesome co-hosts for this posting of the IWSG, Pat Garcia, J.Q. Rose, and Natalie Aguirre!

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

My readers may not know how I came up with my protagonist's name, Indigo Eady. She was based on several concepts: 
  • My grandmother spent a lot of time raising my sister and I when we were growing up, so I wanted to honor her in my writing. That's why I gave my character my grandmother's maiden name, "Eady", along with her black hair and blue eyes.  
  • In my research for character names, I came across the concept of Indigo Children (also Crystal Children and Starseed Children) where it is thought that children born in recent years (since the 1970s) are arriving at a higher vibrational level. These individuals are highly intuitive and have exceptional qualities to include a strong desire to make a more fair and just world to live in. They stand up for what they believe and want to live a life of meaning. They exist to bring the world into a new state of consciousness. Because of their ideals, they won't back down, and so may find themselves toe to toe with the law.
This is how my Indigo Eady character was created. She speaks to ghosts and has strong psychic tendencies. She investigates murder on behalf of the ghosts she meets who need her help. Her methods may find her breaking and entering, but all in the name of justice. 

What secrets would your readers be surprised 
to find out about your writing?  

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

IWSG: No Post Today

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today. I won't be participating in the Insecure Writers Support Group blog hop event this month. No worries. Just a lot going on. 

For those who want to participate, you can sign up HERE

I will see you next month!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

IWSG: California is Closed

No kidding around, it's April 1st, and time for our monthly Insecure Writer's Support Group post, which occurs on the first Wednesday of every month. Please join us HERE. 

Thank you to our host, Alex Cavanaugh, and this month's co-hosts for making this monthly event work flawlesslyDiane Burton, JH Moncrieff, Anna @ Emaginette, Karen @ Reprobate Typewriter, Erika Beebe, and Lisa Buie-Collard!

This month's optional question is: 

The IWSG’s focus is on our writers. Each month, from all over the globe, we are a united group sharing our insecurities, our troubles, and our pain. So, in this time when our world is in crisis with the covid-19 pandemic, our optional question this month is: how are things in your world?

The governor of California issued a stay-at-home order on Thursday, March 19th. The next day I went to work to close things down, issued a blanket mass email to customers, and recorded a new voicemail to indicate we were closed for the foreseeable future. 

That lasted about a day, until we discovered construction was exempt from that order. We regrouped, issued new health and safety guidelines, and got back to work. I'm feeling very blessed and grateful that I can still bring in a paycheck. 

I work remotely from home and go into the office once per week for items such as banking and payroll. But I have to say, when I'm at work, people still come into the office even though I tell them we're closed. There are those who are not taking social distancing as seriously as they should. It's worrisome. 

Shortages of certain foods and cleaning supplies is the norm, but in no way are we hungry. We eat some things we don't normally eat (I found some Vienna sausages--yum!). We're more appreciative of things we used to take for granted--the hubs found some gallon containers of water and some butter and flour (score!). Now if I could only find some yeast, LOL. I looked up yeast making on YouTube, but it requires a bit of coddling, which I will do if it comes down to it. 

I love on my dog more, and tell him how special he is (#TuffyGardner is nearly 15 years old and struggling a bit), which makes my hubs jealous. 🤷‍♀️😆😉

But honestly, I have no complaints. I pray a lot. I work. I write. 

I'm not bored in the least. 

(P.S. After writing this post, the coffee machine went out on Monday morning. (*&$@#!!!). I searched the cupboards and pulled out an electric coffee pot that belonged to my parents circa 1970s. It works perfectly. They knew how to make things back then!)

Are you well?
How are you coping with the Corona Virus?
Best Wishes to You All, and
God Bless!

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

IWSG: No Poop Talk Here

It's the first Wednesday of the month and time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group post. 

About our group: We are writers of all levels of experience and genres, published and unpublished, who support and encourage each other on our writing journeys. If you'd like to join, go HERE

Thanks so much to our host Alex Cavanaugh and our awesome co-hosts this month:  Jacqui Murray, Lisa Buie-Collard, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, and Shannon Lawrence!

Here is the optional question for March: Other than the obvious holiday traditions, have you ever included any personal or family traditions/customs in your stories?

My short answer is no. My family is scattered to the far corners of the earth and other than immediate family, we don't see each other much. So no real traditions exist--except poop talk at the table. But let's not go into that. It certainly never made it into any of my books. LoL. 

What I have included in my Indigo Eady Cozy Mystery series is that I've given my main character my grandmother's maiden name (Eady), along with her looks--black hair and blue eyes. A combination that I've always loved and wish I possessed. You can check out my further train of thought on the spooky/funny aspect over at the Untethered Realms Blog

Do your stories ever include real life 
traditions or customs from your own family?

Or have you included family names 
or characteristics in your writing? 

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

#IWSG Still Writing!

It's Insecure Writer's Support Group day! This monthly event occurs on the first Wednesday of every month. As writers of every genre and level of experience, we post about our writing insecurities and offer support to our fellow writers. If you'd like to join, go HERE

I'm unable to participate this month due to other obligations, but thank you so much for stopping by!

Be sure to stop by our host Alex Cavanaugh's blog, as well as this month's co-hosts:  Lee Lowery, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Jennifer Hawes, Cathrina Constantine, and Tyrean Martinson!



Wednesday, January 8, 2020

#IWSG : #Writing and The Ticking Time Clock

It's the first post of the year for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Our #WritingCommunity consists of writers of every genre, and all levels of experience. Everyone is welcome. If you'd like to join, go HERE

Many thanks to our founder and host, Alex Cavanaugh, and our awesome co-hosts for this month: T. Powell Coltrin, Victoria Marie Lees, Stephen Tremp, Renee Scattergood, and J.H. Moncrieff!

If you can't think about what to write, here is this month's optional question:

What started you on your writing journey? Was it a particular book, movie, story, or series? Was it a teacher/coach/spouse/friend/parent? Did you just "know" suddenly you wanted to write?


Like most writers, my journey started with a love of reading. The discovery of the school library somewhere around third grade (late to be introduced to books, in my opinion) is when it all started for me. The whole class tromped down to the library together. This was around the time when writing book reports became part of the curriculum. Most kids grumbled about it, but I secretly loved it. 

It never occurred to me that I could be a writer until later in life. Education or book learning wasn't a high priority growing up. I knew that "IF" I graduated from high school, I was going to work. College didn't appear on my very short list of options.  

Long story short, I did go to college as an older adult (encouraged by my very supportive hubby) and earned a BA in English Literature. I got to read a lot! And write a lot!  I started questioning what I could do with my life. Up until this time, I worked and went to school and took care of my family. 

But what did I want? 

The answer was writing. Even so, it took me a long while to follow through--because life, and fear, and doubt.... 

And eventually...

There is a sell-by date on our lives that we don't tend to notice until middle age. The thought that time might run out before accomplishing something in life.

And so I decided to start writing. Better late than never. 

The ticking time clock spurred me on. 

What about you? 

Were you spurred on by a ticking clock? 

Or had you always known you wanted to be a writer?