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#IWSG Your Future Writer Self

Join us for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group at creator Alex Cavanaugh’s blog.

Happy Holidays, writers! I just returned from Chicago where my family celebrated Thanksgiving. My oldest sister made a yummy meal including a brussels sprout salad, and my middle sister went all out planning a Frozen-themed party for my niece’s second birthday. (The seal was a gift for my niece that snuck onto the table. Not part of the movie, but still a wintry theme.)



December 4 question – Let’s play a game. Imagine. Role-play. How would you describe your future writer self, your life and what it looks and feels like if you were living the dream? Or if you are already there, what does it look and feel like? Tell the rest of us. What would you change or improve?

Imagining the future, hmm. My writing life has never been intentional–I fell into it through fan fiction, and I consider writing more of a hobby than a career. As a result, it’s tough to plot a future for my writer self. 


I have envisioned a time when my psychology career slows down, meeting with fewer clients per week, and increasing writing time then. I’d like to venture into different genres, character ages, and tenses. I want to continue improving my craft. I also picture myself near a beach somewhere, likely South Carolina to watch my precious niece grow up! 


Thank you to the courageous co-hosts for December 4: Tonja Drecker, Beverly Stowe McClure, Nicki Elson, Fundy Blue, and Tyrean Martinson (A special thanks to Nicki Elson for being the best damn critique partner a writer can have.)
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#IWSG Arresting Google Searches




It’s time to disclose our inadequacy and excitement about writing. Check out where it all started on Alex Cavanaugh’s blog.

Thank you to this month’s co-hosts:


This month’s question:

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever googled in researching a story?

What a great question! I’m sure many of us fear getting arrested for our bizarro and sometimes illegal internet searches, all in pursuit of writing with authenticity.


No way I can choose just one, so here’s a list of strange searches I’ve conducted:

Nicotine patches (for my WIP)
NCAA recruiting rules (also WIP)
Seafood restaurants in Pensacola, Florida
Secret Service protection for families of presidential candidates
ANFO (explosive)
Paintings of dogs playing poker
US Naval Academy Honor Concept
Parts of a guitar
Insulin pumps
Frank Sinatra songs
Parolee voting rights
Chemistry experiments gone wrong

And last but not least: 
Splenectomy!
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#IWSG How Does Reading Affect Writing?

Writing can be lonely and disheartening, and I’m thankful for our monthly support group to lift up writers everywhere. Alex Cavanaugh started the group and has a great admin team to keep it going.

Thank you to these intrepid co-hosts:


This month’s question:
It’s been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don’t enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?


I’ve only heard about how much reading can help writing, and I’ve experienced those benefits myself, so I disagree with the notion that reading may interfere with originality in writing. Our imaginations are infinite–even if we read an idea that inspires our own work, we will produce a much different take on the story than any other writer.

It is true that particular genres sometimes flood the market (like paranormal romance around the time of my debut novel in 2010), but this phenomenon is probably more about following trends than about too much reading.

How has voracious reading made your writing better? Here’s how it has helped me:

1) Familiarity with the genre helps me improve my story’s structure (including pacing, voice, length, characterization). 

2) Reading increases my vocabulary and clarity. Occasionally, I jot down words or phrases that resonate with me, like in the murder mystery Defending Jacob that I just finished reading. The author described a TV news van barnacled with satellite dishes and antennae–a cool description, I thought. 

3) Reading absolutely stimulates my writing! When I read an amazing book, I can’t wait to get back to my manuscript and try to create a teensy bit of magic myself.
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#IWSG Bounce Back

Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and this month’s co-hosts:
Gwen Gardner, Doreen McGettigan, Tyrean Martinson,Chemist Ken, and Cathrina Constantine!

I really enjoyed the IWSG Newsletter this month, featuring some great advice…

Just Take a Walk 

“What do you do when you hit a wall with your writing? When the words just come out wonky? Or you realized you haven’t written a word in two weeks and you find the blank page daunting?
You could take a walk. It’s a tried and true way to break your mind free of distractions and worries.”


Thanks, Tyrean! I agree that walking (and other exercise) unlocks our creativity.

Instead of answering this month’s question, I ask for your support. I’m going through a tough time on the day job, feeling mired in rejection and poor communication from my bosses. I pour my heart into my career, so recent work events have cut deep. As a psychologist, I know we all endure hard times, and I want to practice what I preach by responding with resilience.

Image by alan9187 from Pixabay

How do YOU bounce back from setbacks in writing or in other areas of your life? What are your tips for growing from pain?
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#IWSG Writing Surprises #insecure #writers #support #group

Let’s support each other during the August group meeting, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh.

Thank you to this month’s co-hosts: Renee Scattergood, Sadira Stone,Jacqui Murray, Tamara Narayan,and LG Keltner!

Today’s question: Has your writing ever taken you by surprise?

Some of my best writing moments have been surprises!

I had no clue how to write when I started my first story, Bad Blood into Good (awful title). The climax involved my hero eating poisoned food, turning his skin blue. When I returned his skin to a healthy color upon healing, one of my readers observed how this plot element exactly echoed my title. How fun when something unexpected like that happens.

Credit: Irina Kukuts from Pixabay


I love when writing takes a surprising direction, turning out better than we planned. I suppose we also face some nasty surprises as writers.

Here’s an article for insecure writers: How to Stop Self-Doubt From Holding You Back The idea of writing about your doubt intrigues me.

Also, I’m giving away a $10 gift card as part of the Back to School Giveaway. Enter here if you’re interested.

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#IWSG Infusing Characters with Personal Traits

Happy July to all writers! And Happy July 4th to Americans. Thank you to Alex Cavanaugh for starting the Insecure Writers’ Support Group, where we support and befriend writerly peeps.


I’m excited to be a co-host this month along with Erika Beebe, Natalie Aguirre, MJ Fifield, Lisa Buie-Collard,and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!


Congratulations to Ellen Jacobson (The Cynical Sailor) for her new release, Poisoned by the Pier (Molly McGhie Cozy Sailing Mystery #3). I’m reading it now and it’s a lot of fun! Molly’s husband is trying a fad diet involving rutabaga–this is not going to end well.

Are you entering the 2019 IWSG Anthology Contest? The genre is middle grade historical adventure/fantasy. I was fortunate to be part of Masquerade: Oddly Suited, Dancing Lemur Press’s young adult romance anthology, and I met some wonderful IWSG authors in addition to working with a publisher featuring fast, clear communication. What a pleasure! I encourage you to submit a story for this year’s contest.

Speaking of Dancing Lemur Press, they have a BOGO book sale this week! Check it out


I love the introspective nature of this month’s question: What personal trait(s) have you written into your characters?

Wow. What personal traits haven’t I written into my characters? I find writing to be therapeutic, so I pour myself into my characters. I’m a psychologist and my books typically feature at least one therapist character. I’ve infused characters with these personal traits as well: anxious, romantic yet clueless at romance, intellectual, sporty (particularly swimming and volleyball), competitive, sensitive, analytical, passionate, persevering, overeating, loud laugher.

I’m working on a new novel, and my heroine is a smoker. Since I abhor smoking, this is a bit of a challenge for me.

I’m curious to hear your responses to this question! Write on.



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#IWSG Favorite Genres

Happy June to all writers! Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for starting this support group.


Ack, I’m a little late getting my post up. My work has slowed down for the summer, and apparently my memory has slowed as well.


IWSG Day Question: Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?

I write sports romance and romantic suspense–the same genres I tend to read. A newer genre to me is psychological thrillers. For book club this month, I chose The Silent Patient, a 5-star read for me that featured some great insight into therapy. 

A friend loaned me The Breakdown, another psychological thriller I enjoyed (here’s my review.) I rarely figure out mysteries when I read. Do you?

I wanted to read that same author’s debut, Behind Closed Doors, so I was lucky to find an e-audiobook at the library right away. I had so much fun listening to the audiobook that I promptly downloaded a romantic suspense favorite by Pamela Clare, Breaking Point. It’s 12 hours long and about 2 of those hours seem to be sex scenes–too much for me. But I love the plot and characterization.

After an 18-month hiatus, I finally started writing my next novel, a sport romance. I’m going to take it slowly and only write when I feel like it. 

Hope your writing is going well!

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#IWSG The Power of Language and New Anthology

Ho hey, it’s MAY! My favorite season of summer is upon us, and I can’t wait to swim in the sunshine and absorb vitamin D.

Just yesterday, Dancing Lemur Press released the latest IWSG anthology, Masquerade: Oddly Suited. I’m delighted to join nine authors penning short stories. Check out all of the blogs to read blurbs and learn more about these diverse, engaging characters!

Myles Christensen www.myleschristensen.com

Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for starting this awesome support group. Sign up HERE.

IWSG Day Question:
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power? 


Wow, this question provokes thought. One time that stands out for me is when I learned to be a therapist in grad school. I remember my supervisors teaching me the importance of language for accurate listening and building rapport with my clients. I learned to use the same words as my clients–if they say, “That pissed me off!” then I reply, “You were pissed off.” But I also developed the skill of listening to the unsaid words, empathizing with something like, “Underneath your anger is a deep sense of hurt.”

Thank you to the awesome co-hosts for the May 1 posting of the IWSG:

Lee Lowery, Juneta Key, Yvonne Ventresca, and T. Powell Coltrin 


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New Release! MASQUERADE: ODDLY SUITED #YA #romance #shortstory #anthology

An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

Find love at the ball…
Can a fake dating game show lead to love? Will a missing key free a clock-bound prince? Can a softball pitcher and a baseball catcher work together? Is there a vampire living in Paradise,Newfoundland? What’s more important—a virtual companion or a date to the ball?

Ten authors explore young love in all its facets, from heartbreak to budding passion. Featuring the talents of L.G. Keltner, Jennifer Lane, C.D. Gallant-King, Elizabeth Mueller, Angela Brown, Myles Christensen, Deborah Solice, Carrie-Anne Brownian, Anstice Brown, and Chelsea Marie Ballard.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these ten tales will mystify and surprise even as they touch your heart. Don your mask and join the party

“READ IT! There is something for everyone! Do you want Love? Got it! Do you want vampires? Got it! Do you want time travel? Go it!” – Jessica Renfro, book reviewer

“A diverse collection of m/f YA clean-reads romances to transport readers between thepast, present, and future, from the sea bottom to the virtual clouds.” – J. Lenni Dorner, author

“Stories that will chill your heart, bring smiles to your lips, and keep you turning pages.” – Beverly Stowe McClure, author

Barnes & Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130407099?ean=2940155956860

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N893HPT

iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/masquerade-oddly-suited/id1451605312?mt=11

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/masquerade-oddly-suited Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43785750-masquerade



I’m honored to have written the second story in the anthology, Behind the Catcher’s Mask.


❤️Who can help her through a meltdown on the pitcher’s mound? ❤️

Fast-pitch softball is Andie Wilson’s life. She’s a fierce pitcher hoping to score a college scholarship, and she hates the annoying distraction of cocky baseball players crashing her high-school charity game. But she doesn’t anticipate the impact of one baseball player: Colt Turner. As Colt stares at her through his catcher’s mask, his steadfast gaze may be just what she needs to guide her through a crisis. And Colt may need Andie, too—to cope with the secret hiding behind his mask.

Thank you to author Elizabeth Mueller for creating this visual of baseball catcher, Colt!

Head to all of the authors’ blogs to read their blurbs and view their characters.

Myles Christensen www.myleschristensen.com
Available April 30, 2019

$14.95 USA, 6×9 Trade paperback, 200 pages, Freedom Fox Press

Young Adult Fiction: Romance – General (YAF052000) / Paranormal (YAF052050) / Contemporary (YAF052020)
Print ISBN 9781939844644 eBook ISBN 9781939844651
Order through Ingram, Follett Library Resources, or publisher direct
$4.99 EBook available in all formats
Freedom Fox Press A division of Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. P.O. Box 383, Pikeville, NC 27863-0383  
inquiries@dancinglemurpressllc.com  
http://www.dancinglemurpress.com

Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database; articles; monthly blog posting; Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram groups; #IWSGPit, and a newsletter. http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com

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#IWSG Release Date Nears #MasqueradeOddlySuited #shortstory #anthology




Welcome to our writerly support group. We share hopes and fears the first Wednesday of every month. Bunny hop over to Alex Cavanaugh’s blog to sign up.

Thanks to our co-hosts for April:


As one of ten authors with short stories in the Masquerade: Oddly Suited IWSG anthology, I’m psyched about the release date in less than one month. April 30, baby!

Add the anthology to your Goodreads shelf. And you can pre-order on Amazon and other sites.

Author Elizabeth Mueller has created gorgeous masked and unmasked images of our characters that we will reveal as the release date approaches.

We also wrote 600-word teasers with our short-story characters. My baseball catcher, Colt, picks up softball pitcher, Andie, for a high-school party in my teaser, Get Your Own Girlfriend. Carrie-Anne Brownian’s blog will feature my masked image and teaser on 4.25.19.

Happy writing!