Tuesday, December 6, 2022

IWSG: God Bless Us, Everyone!

It's the first Wednesday of the month and it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group post! If you'd like to join, go HERE

This month's optional question is: It's holiday time! Are the holidays a time to catch up or fall behind on writer goals?

I always feel like I'm behind on writer goals. I always want to do so much but life gets in the way. I retired last April, lived in our motorhome for five months while looking for an affordable forever home, found our forever home (yay!) in October and moved to Arizona. 

It was a crazy time. 

BUT!  I did NaNoWriMo last month and wrote over 50K words! I wrote two novellas and added some words onto a book I started seven years ago. I call that a win!

Of course, the downside is that I wrote it quickly and so most of it is not pretty! I have a lot of editing to do, but at least I have something to edit!

 I want to wish you all HAPPY HOLIDAYS! 
I'm grateful for you all, and your support.

Here's my favorite line from A Christmas Carol 
by Charles Dickens. 

Bob Cratchitt said of his son, Tiny Tim, at church on Christmas Eve:
Somehow he gets thoughtful, sitting by himself so much, and thinks the strangest things you ever heard. He told me, coming home, that he hoped the people saw him in the church, because he was a cripple, and it might be pleasant to them to remember upon Christmas day who made lame beggars walk, and blind men see.
Will you catch up on writing goals during the holidays, or fall behind? 

Do you keep to a writing schedule or does life get in the way? 


Wednesday, November 2, 2022

#IWSG: #NaNoWriMo2022

It's Insecure Writer's Support Group Day!

For reasons that I will explain shortly, I've turned off "comments" for today's post. 

If you'd like to join this monthly event go HERE.

Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for hosting this monthly event. And, thanks to the awesome co-hosts for the November 2 posting of the IWSG: Diedre Knight, Douglas Thomas Greening, Nick Wilford, and Diane Burton!

November's optional question is:

November is National Novel Writing Month. Have you ever participated? If not, why not? 

I've never had the time until now. Working full time with over time and attempting to do NaNoWriMo was too much to consider.

But now that I'm retired...I'm doing NaNoWriMo for the first time! 

I did BuNoWriMo once years ago when I wrote my first novel. It was kind of a disaster. Hopefully I'm more prepared this time around. 

Wish Me Luck!

Comments disabled so that I can participate in NaNoWriMo 2022!


Wednesday, October 5, 2022

IWSG: No Post: I’m On the Move


Sorry, no post today. I’m in the middle of moving house.  

I will see you next month!

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

#IWSG #NoSuspense #NoThriller #CozyGirl

It's Insecure Writer's Support Group Day! If you'd like to join this monthly event, go HERE to sign up. 

Many thanks to our host Alex Cavanaugh, and this month's co- hosts, for their time and efforts to make sure every one is included and receives a visit with kind words and encouragement:  Kim Lajevardi, Cathrina Constantine, Natalie Aguirre, Olga Godim, Michelle Wallace, and Louise - Fundy Blue! 

This month's optional question is: What genre would be the worst one for you to tackle and why? 

Suspense/Thriller would be the hardest for me. I find it hard enough to put my characters in danger as it is, and any gore or murder happens "off stage" in my books. I write "gentle" murders. Nothing like real life at all,  LOL. 

My biggest problem is that I'm a fixer. You got a problem? Let me help you fix it. I want people to be well and safe and not sad or stressed. Even in books I can't bring myself to make things too hard, and when I do put the pressure on, I fix it as well. Haha! Crazy, isn't it? 

What genre would be the worst for you?

(P.S. If you visited me last month and I didn't return the visit, I apologize. I'm a bit scattered right now. I had Covid, and then Covid Rebound so was basically sick for a month--so annoying!). 

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

#IWSG and Giving Readers What They Want


It's Insecure Writer's Support Group day! If you'd like to join, GO HERE. 

The awesome co-hosts for the August 3 posting of the IWSG are Tara Tyler, Lisa Buie Collard, Loni Townsend, and Lee Lowery! Also, many thanks to our host, Alex Cavanaugh.  

The optional question for August 3: When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want? 

Hmmm, I don't do either. Generally I get an idea about a story and then I go with it because it's what I want to write. I don't think about if it's original or not, or whether it's what the readers want. 

Which brings up something interesting. I recently took a free seminar in which the instructor basically said not to write what you want, but what the readers expect. Deliver the book that you promised and the books will sell themselves. No ads or social media required. 

I know, I know, hard to believe. 

But I get what she was saying. Design the book to sell itself. Readers are looking for certain things within the genre and we need to give it to them. The genre/subgenre tropes, the title, the description, delivery of the promised hook, the plot points, the stakes. 

Deliver to the reader what they want, and via word of mouth, the books will sell themselves. Huh. 

Easier said than done, to be sure. But thinking on it, this could be why my books don't sell. They are not designed properly, because I don't hit all the expected marks. I mean, I read Save the Cat so this shouldn't be a revelation to me, but it kind of is. Because I'm still writing what I want, rather than treating writing books like a business out to make money. 

Don't get me wrong, we should all write what we want. But I think I can do both if I put my mind to it.

Do you pay particular attention to the tropes/plot points, etc., so that they fall where they should?

Or do you just write and let things fall where they may?

What are your thoughts on books selling themselves?

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

IWSG: My Favorite World

It's Insecure Writer's Support Group day! If you'd like to join, GO HERE. 

The awesome co-hosts for the July 6 posting of the IWSG are J Lenni Dorner, Janet Alcorn, PJ Colando, Jenni Enzor, and Diane Burton! Also, many thanks to our host, Alex Cavanaugh.  

The optional question for July 6: If you could live in any book world, which one would you choose?

This is an easy one for me--Harry Potter World!

The Harry Potter World is complete escapism for me. Sure, they have their warring with the dark lord, but it comes with options on how to fight him. It's good vs evil and there's some pretty clear lines--unlike the muggle world (real world). Everyone can fight against evil and it's pretty empowering. Even us non-magical folks can live vicariously through the witches and wizards of Harry Potter's world. 

Had this world been around when I was a kid, I would have had everything involving Harry Potter--a cloak, a time turner, a wand--wait, I do have a wand...even made it myself. Polished aspen. I'm still trying to figure out how to imbue it with magic though...if only I could contact Ollivander, the famous wand maker...or figure out how to get to Diagon Alley. 

This is how I'd spend my days. 

What book world would you live in 
given the chance? 
And what makes you want to live there? 

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

#IWSG No Post Today

 Sorry, no post today. I'm not quite settled into my "new" place yet. More about that another time ;)

If you'd like to join the Insecure Writer's Support Group, go HERE. 


Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Moving: No #IWSG Post Today


I’m on the move so can’t participate this month!

 If you’d like to join the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, please sign up HERE

See you next month! 

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Guest Post by Alex Cavanaugh: Switching the Main Character

Today I'd like to welcome Alex "the Ninja Captain" Cavanaugh to my blog to talk about his new release, CassaStar, and why he switched to a new main character. And now I'm getting ideas...but I digress. 

Please read on!

Switching to a New Main Character


The Cassa series follows Byron from hot-shot gifted pilot to retired war hero to commander of a base. He’s a character who has been with me since I was a young teen. So why would I switch from Byron to his son Bassan for the fourth book?


Each book has jumped ahead many years. By the time the third one begins, Byron is approximately sixty-two. While Cassans live to a hundred and twenty, Byron is at this point middle-aged. Another jump forward would’ve put him near senior citizen. I didn’t want to write Cassa: The Geriatric Years.


Enter Byron’s son, Bassan. He’s introduced in CassaStorm and the ten year-old rather stole the show. Jumping ahead a few years with Bassan made more sense. He’s a grown young man still finding his way in the world, which provided the perfect scenario for an interesting story line.


Bryon is still present, but he now takes a back seat as CassaDark follows Bassan across the galaxy. Normally I tell a tale through two points of view (and for CassaStorm, three) but this time I revealed everything through Bassan’s eyes only. That created a new challenge, but it also kept it simple in terms of voice and staying in character.


Will readers embrace this switch? I hope that those who grew attached with Bassan in the third book will continue to follow him into the fourth one. And for those picking up CassaDark on its own (since it follows a new character, it stands on its own better than any of the others) they will never know the difference!



Alex J. Cavanaugh works in web design and graphics, and he plays guitar in a Christian band. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is known as Ninja Captain Alex and he’s the founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.





By Alex J. Cavanaugh 

His world is unraveling…

Bassan’s father is stepping down from command. His best friend almost dies when Bassan freezes. Now, he’s being sent across the galaxy to speak at an important conference. Despite saving the eleven races years ago, he’s paralyzed by fear and doubt. Could things get any worse?

Once there, new acquaintance Zendar convinces Bassan to visit his planet for a humanitarian mission. Bassan’s special connection to ancient technology is the key to saving Zendar’s people. One problem though—it’s a prisoner planet.

On Ugar, he discovers things aren’t so straightforward. As each secret reveals itself, the situation grows more desperate. If he can’t find the right answers, he might die along with Zendar’s people. Can Bassan summon the courage to be a hero again?

Trade paperback, 226 pages, Dancing Lemur Press, LLC
Science fiction - Adventure (FIC028010) / Space Opera (FIC028030) / Space Exploration (FIC028130)
Print ISBN 9781939844842 $16.95 / eBook ISBN 9781939844859 $4.99

iTunes – https://books.apple.com/us/book/x/id1574189874
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0982FL3SH
Barnes & Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940164947033
Kobo – https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/Search?Query=9781939844859
Scribed – https://www.scribd.com/search?query=9781939844859&language=0
Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58461762-cassadark

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

#IWSG No #Audiobooks Here, But One Day...


Hello! It's Insecure Writer's Support Group Day. We "meet" on the first Wednesday of every month to support and encourage each other and to touch base on what everyone has going on. If you'd like to join, GO HERE

Thanks to our host, Alex Cavanaugh for hosting every month, and to this month's co-hosting volunteers: Joylene Nowell Butler, Jemima Pett, Patricia Josephine, Louise - Fundy Blue, and Kim Lajevardi!

This month's optional question is: Have any of your books been made into audio books? If so, what is the main challenge in producing an audiobook?

I'd love to have my books on audio one day, but keeping up with this fast-paced industry is leaving me in the dust. Retirement is looming at the end of the tunnel (April 29th!) and I have a lot going on to prepare for it, including a temporary move. But once I'm settled into my "forever" home I will have a very busy "retirement" catching up on writing and publishing. 

Also, our ninja captain Alex Cavanaugh, is going to be a guest on my blog next Wednesday April 13th to talk about his new release. Please come back next week to find out why he switched to a new main character. 

Have you published an audiobook?
Do you recommend it?
Got any advice?
Biggest challenges? 
Best place to start? 

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

IWSG: Conflicting Stories and Scenes

Welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group monthly event. If you'd like to join , we post on the first Wednesday of every month. You can sign up HERE

Thanks to our host Alex Cavanaugh and this month's co-hosts:  Janet Alcorn, Pat Garcia, Natalie Aguirre, and Shannon Lawrence!

This month's optional question is: Have you ever been conflicted about writing a story or adding a scene to a story? How did you decide to write it or not?

No conflicts about writing a story, but I have been conflicted about whether or not to kill a character. I wanted to add to the word count so thought about killing a character which would add another murder to investigate, hence more words. Instead of doing that, though, I quit being lazy and fleshed out the story instead. LOL. 

And anyway, when I asked myself if the murder would have added anything to the story, the answer was "no". 

Any conflicting stories or scenes you were hesitant to write? 
What were your deciding factors? 
Did you decide to write it or not?


Wednesday, February 2, 2022

#IWSG Encouragement is Everything

It's Insecure Writer's Support Group Day! If you'd like to join us on the first Wednesday of every month, you can sign up HERE. 

As always, thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for hosting, as well as the awesome co-hosts this month, Joylene Nowell Butler, Jacqui Murray, Sandra Cox, and Lee Lowery!
This month's optional question: Is there someone who supported or influenced you that perhaps isn't around anymore? Anyone you miss?

Answer: All my supporters are present and accounted for! My mom, sister, daughter and husband are my biggest supporters. 

Even so, my husband is my biggest supporter! Because of his encouragement I went to school, earned my degree, and discovered my love of writing. 

My husband is also my biggest fan (other than that one fan who always checks in to see when my next book is coming out LOL). He is the first to read my books and stories and says he loves them even though I know my cutesy paranormal cozy mysteries are on the opposite spectrum of what he usually reads. 

Whatever I'm endeavoring to do, my hubs is always my biggest supporter and fan. 

I used to play women's soccer, and he came to every game to cheer me on, referring to himself as my "athletic supporter" 😆

Grateful doesn't begin to describe how much his encouragement means to me!

Who is/was your biggest supporter?

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

#IWSG: #FearSucks #NoNegativityAllowed


Welp, it's January 2022 already! 

Happy New Year! 

This is the first Wednesday of the month and the first Insecure Writer's Support Group posting of the year. Need support or advice from the best writing community out there? Join us HERE.  

Thanks so much to Alex Cavanaugh for hosting, and to this month's co-hosts: Erika Beebe, Olga Godim, Sandra Cox, Sarah Foster, and Chemist Ken!

This month's optional question is: What's the one thing about your writing career you regret the most? Were you able to overcome it? 

Answer? I wish I had started writing sooner. I'd wanted to write for years, but circumstances were never right (according to the negative mind chatter that also said I couldn't do it, so why bother). And I wish that I hadn't let my fears keep me from actively writing once I did decide to start (you know, that negative mind chatter thing again that stopped me from putting words on paper because they weren't good enough). 

I've come to the conclusion that fear is the root of all evil. How many times have I let it get in the way?  How many times have I given negativity too much space in my head? Too many to count on both counts. 

Now I write because I can't not do it. Right or Wrong, Good or Bad, I just do it, which is what I should have done all along. 

Why does it take so long to learn a valuable lesson?

Do you let fear or negativity get in your way? 

What do you regret the most about your writing career,

and have you overcome it?