Wednesday, December 6, 2023


It's Insecure Writer's Support Group time again. And once again, I won't be participating this month. 

Comments have been disabled. 

But if you'd like to join, please go HERE





Wednesday, November 1, 2023

IWSG: Sick Day


It's Insecure Writer's Support Group Day! 

Unfortunately, I'm taking a sick day.

I'll see you next month.


Wednesday, October 4, 2023

IWSG: The AI Debate


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

Thanks to our host, Alex Cavanaugh, and the many co-hosts who donate their time to put this event on every month. This month's co-hosts are  Natalie Aguirre, Kim Lajevardi, Debs Carey, Gwen Gardner (Me!), Patricia Josephine, and Rebecca Douglass! Please stop by and say hello!

This month's optional question is: The topic of AI writing has been heavily debated across the world. According to various sources, generative AI will assist writers, not replace them. What are your thoughts?

For me, the AI Debate is another of the many divisions the world is facing. So many different viewpoints and nobody is completely right or completely wrong. The only thing I will say is that I am in favor of regulation. Other than that, I keep my thoughts on the subject to myself, and don't debate the pros and cons. 

And since I'm co-hosting this month, I'm off to visit my fellow insecure writers to see if I can impart some words of wisdom and support. 

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

IWSG: Happy 12th Anniversary


Happy 12th anniversary to the Insecure Writer's Support Group. In honor of the day, I posted my vintage badge. If you'd like to join us the first Wednesday of every month, GO HERE. 

Thanks to our host, Alex Cavanaugh, and this month's co-hosts:  Sonia Dogra, J Lenni Dorner, Pat Garcia, Sarah - The Faux Fountain Pen, and Meka James!

This month's optional question is The IWSG celebrates 12 years today! When did you discover the IWSG, how do you connect, and how has it helped you?

I had to look it up, but my first IWSG post was on February 2, 2012 from my Run Gwen, Run blog. That was my first blog where I stumbled across the writing community and I knew I'd hit pay dirt. I knew the Universe was looking out for me because I'd just started writing, and I really needed the connection. I still do! And through these writing blogs, I found my way to the Insecure Writer's Support Group!

While looking through my old blog I noticed all kinds of blog awards. Back in the day, bloggers handed them out all over the place. The Liebtster Award, the Versatile Blogger Award, Sunshine Blog, Kreativ Blogger, One Lovely Blog Award, The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award, The Roaring Lion Blog Award. I was always so thrilled when I got one, that I started a tab just for my awards. It really showed how supportive the writing community was. 

Of course, it was a much larger community back then. I remember once that I had commented on Alex Cavanaugh's blog and accidentally subscribed to comments. OMG, I had hundreds of comments hitting my email account for days!

We also had tons of blogfests back in those days, and they were all so much fun. You'd meet lots of writers, and some who became real friends. It's how I found Angela Brown, my first critique partner (we still text and had Zoom meetings every month during Covid). 

I've met so many wonderful people through blogging and the Insecure Writer's Support Group!

What about you? 
How long have you been blogging? 
When did you join the IWSG?  

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

IWSG: No Post Today

But if you'd like to join the awesome peeps at the Insecure Writer's Support Group, GO HERE

See you next month. 


Tuesday, July 4, 2023

#IWSG: Not Dreaming It Up


Wow, we're halfway through the year already?! And it's the first Wednesday of the month which means it's time for an Insecure Writer's Support Group post. If you'd like to join the fun, you can sign up HERE

Thanks to our host, Alex Cavanaugh, and this months co-hosts (including me!), PJ Colando, Kim Lajevardi, Gwen Gardner, Pat Garcia, and Natalie Aguirre! for supporting this month's event!

The July 5th optional question is: 99% of my ideas come from dreams. Where do yours predominantly come from? 

Soooo, I'm probably the odd man out, but here it goes...

In the cozy mystery genre, punny titles are a must. I write in the paranormal sub-genre of cozy mysteries, so I have to narrow it down to include my ghostly element. I do love my ghosties! 

Rather than coming up with the story, and then the title, which seems like the logical thing to do, I do the opposite. I spend a lot of time brainstorming paranormal punny titles, like, A Scandal in Boohemia (Sherlock Holmes fans will get it) and Something Borrowed, Something Booed (from the old wedding mantra, something borrowed, something blue). For this particular series, I use the word "boo" in the titles. From there, I develop my story idea (and often more than one). 

For some reason, titling in this way tends to spark my imagination for story ideas. So, 99% of my story ideas come from thinking up titles.

Weird, huh?

Where do your story ideas come from? 

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

#IWSG What Would You Do?

 It's Insecure Writer's support Group Day!

If you'd like to join, go HERE

Thanks to our our founder and host, Alex Cavanaugh, and this month's co-hosts,  Patrcia Josephine, Diedre Knight, Olga Godim, J. Lenni Dorner, and Cathrina Constantine!

This month's optional question is: 

If you ever stop writing, what would you replace it with?

I wouldn't have a problem keeping busy. As it is, I have lots of things I want to do that I put to the side so I can write. So in no order in particular:

  • Travel more (yeah, I could do this now, but...)
  • Plan and take more hikes and day trips
  • Make hiking sticks (I made 2 years ago, and am working on another one now)
  • Kayaking (I don't have one, but I want one...)
  • Archery (Don't have bows or arrows)
  • Knitting (learn how to. I have some needles and yarn and I'm sure YouTube could show me how!)
  • Baking (learn how to, LOL. I recently took up making sourdough bread)
  • Painting (Not a painter, but I love Impressionism--I think I could do it! YouTube has videos!)
  • Paint Rocks (again, not a painter but...)
  • Gardening (I wish my backyard wasn't so hilly!)
  • Learn graphic design
  • Become a better photographer (I actually have dark room equipment)
  • Learn how to create mini films
  • Pottery (I've had a potter's wheel forever, but don't use it. I took 2 semesters in college. I'm so glad I took these classes for credit only. LOL.). 
  • Buy a telescope and stargaze
  • Study the bible (I have a study bible but getting through the Old Testament is seriously testing me!)
Having listed all these things, I'm really not very creatively talented, but I think I could be okay with a little practice. I have so many interests, and so little time!

What would you do if you quit writing?
Do you make time for other creative endeavors? 
What are your hobbies? 

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Oops! No IWSG Post

Just spent the past week in San Diego and completely spaced my Insecure Writer’s Support Group post. 

So I’ll catch you next month!

(Comments turned off.)

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

#IWSG: First Book Blues and Other POVs

It's Insecure Writer's Support Group Day! 

If you'd like to join us, CLICK HERE

First, please help our writing buddy, Mary Pax, fight cancer by buying a book or making a donation. Every bit helps. Thank you!

Thanks to our host, Alex Cavanaugh, and this month's awesome co-hosts, Jemima Pett, Nancy Gideon, and Natalie Aguirre!

This month's optional question is: Do you remember writing your first book? What were your thoughts about a career path on writing? Where are you now and how is it working out for you? If you're at the start of the journey, what are your goals?

Many of you long time bloggers have already heard this story, but I'll tell it again!

Do You Remember Writing Your First Book?

I wrote my first book, Givin' Up the Ghost, in 2011. I wrote the first draft in third person POV. It was flat as stale soda, which is to be expected, really, because first drafts do tend to suck. But out of curiosity I decided to play with the point of view, so I rewrote it in first person POV. The first draft still sucked lemons, but it came alive in a way that the third person version had not. My MCs personality came into play and the interactions with the other characters clicked. 

I'm often told that people love the characters in this series, but the whole body of work had other issues; structure problems to include dead ends and disappearing characters, too many characters, etc. This is where my inexperience really showed itself. Long story, short, I unpublished the series. I hope to rewrite and republish these earlier books at some point in the future. 

Where am I Now?

Twelve years on, and I'm not much further in my writing journey, though I have a few things published: 

  • a novella, A Scandal in Boohemia
  • won first place in the 2018 Insecure Writer's Support Group anthology contest with my short story, A Stitch in Crime (Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime)
  • placed runner up with my Elephant in the Tomb flash short story (I got published and won an Amazon card!) 
  • various other stories in anthologies with other writers.  
I count these all as wins in my own small way!

I participated in NaNoWriMo in November and finished two novellas to make up the 50K words. It's a great way of getting the words down. As they say, you can't edit a blank page. 

As of now, I'm working on several novella series' which I hope to complete this year and publish next year. 

Thoughts on a Career Path in Writing

Recently retired, I now have more time to write and focus on writing. Finally! While I have aspirations, first and foremost I write for myself. Because I'm compelled, it's my calling, even though/if/when I'm not making money. 

Where are you at in your writing career? 

What are your writing successes (or horror stories, gasp!)

What are your writing goals? 

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

IWSG: No Post Today




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

Please visit our host, Alex Cavanaugh and this month's awesome co-hosts:  Diedre Knight, Tonya Drecker, Bish Denham, Olga Godim, and JQ Rose!


Tuesday, January 31, 2023

#IWSG How Are You (Book) Covered?


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

A million thanks to our host Alex Cavanaugh, and this month's co-hosts,  Jacqui Murray, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Pat Garcia, and me, Gwen Gardner!

This month's optional question is: If you are an indie author, do you make your own covers or purchase them? If you publish trad, how much input do you have about what goes on your cover? 

I'm primarily an indie author, and there is no way that I make my own covers. I have no talent in that direction. I have a long time relationship with my illustrator, Corona,  who has done all of my covers. She is extremely talented and open to my input. Plus she can make other marketing materials, such as post cards and bookmarks. She illustrated my blog and website headers as well. 

Do you make your own covers? 

Or have input on your traditionally published covers?

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

#IWSG: 2023 Word of the Year

It's the first posting of the year for Insecure Writer's Support Group. It you'd like to join, go HERE. 

Thanks to our host, Alex Cavanaugh, and this month's co-hosts for keeping this event ongoing: Jemima Pett, Debs Carey, Kim Lajevardi, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, and T. Powell Coltrin!

January 4 optional question - Do you have a word of the year? Is there one word that sums up what you need to work on or change in the coming year? For instance, in 2021 my word of the year was Finish. I was determined to finish my first draft by the end of the year. In 2022, my word of the year is Ease. I want to get my process, systems, finances, and routines where life flows with ease and less chaos. What is your word for 2023? Why?

I was texting with a friend on New Year's Day and she asked me about my "word" and shared that her word for 2023 is "release". I replied that that had been my word for the last fifteen years and that I was ready to let it go. *groans at my own joke*

Anyhoo, upon further thought, I chose the word "patience". Until recently I would have said that I am a very patient person. And I am...or I was. But I've found that age-related issues have provided me with new ways to test my patience in a different way. So thank you for that, Universe! *shakes fist*

I'm glad my friend prompted me to choose a word for 2023. I can use it as a way to be more mindful about being patient. 

Did you choose a word this year?

If so, please share! 

Happy New Year, everyone!