#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.

#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!

#IWSG Set Fire to the Rain

Happy spring, writers! Join us as we vent and cheer at the monthly Insecure Writers Support Group, hosted by Alex J Cavanaugh.


Thank you to this month’s co-hosts:


IWSG Day Question: 


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

This is a timely question for me because it feels like fog has rolled into my writing life. I haven’t written since December of 2017. I’m not upset about it–I just don’t have ideas for new stories whispering in my ear. So I’m not digging down deep for now, but that’s okay with me.

Instead of writing, I’ve enjoyed hanging with my friends and family on the weekends. I visited one sister (along with my 4-month-old niece) in South Carolina in March, and I’ll visit my other sister (and three nephews) in Chicago in April. 

I also found time to assemble Pinterest recipes for Easter, each with only 3 ingredients:





I look forward to learning how you respond to the rain.

Learning Cool Stuff Through Writing #IWSG


Woo hoo, I love summer. Time for June’s Insecure Writers Support Group, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh

Alex’s awesome co-hosts for the June 3 posting of the IWSG are M. Pax, Tracy Jo,Patricia Lynne, Rachna Chhabria, Feather Stone, and Randi Lee!

Writers, join us HERE


There are so many cool aspects about writing, but one of my favorites is learning something new.

I just wrote a chapter in my work-in-progress Aced where the hero attends confession with a priest. I like to write moments when my characters grow and challenge dysfunctional behaviors. Typically this involves throwing my characters into therapy. But Aced’s hero Alejandro is a Catholic Latino good boy, and I wanted to try a new space for healing and development outside the therapy office.

Although I attended Notre Dame for grad school, I’m not Catholic, and I’ve never experienced confession myself. Luckily, my critique partner is Catholic, and she provided a helpful link explaining the process. I also found this list of sins that blew me away. Jeez… I sin all the time!

Did you know that pirating ebooks is a sin? 😮

Both confession and therapy involve reflection and sharing secrets. But one unique part of confession is FORGIVENESS. I love the idea of seeking God’s mercy in an effort to forgive ourselves.

What cool stuff have you learned through writing?

#IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond & Writing Dialogue

Thank you to Alex Cavanaugh for hosting The Insecure Writers’ Support Group, where we journey together down this lonesome writing road.


Have you downloaded your free copy of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond?


The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond


Tapping into the expertise of over a hundred talented authors from around the globe, The IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond contains something for every writer. Whether you are starting out and need tips on the craft of writing, looking for encouragement as an already established author, taking the plunge into self-publishing, or seeking innovative ways to market and promote your work, this guide is a useful tool. Compiled into three key areas of writing, publishing, and marketing, this valuable resource offers inspirational articles, helpful anecdotes, and excellent advice on dos and don’ts that we all wish we knew when we first started out on this writing journey.

ISBN 9781939844088
235 pages, FREE
IWSG sites – website, Facebook, and Facebook Critique Circle
Find the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords,Goodreads.


I contributed a piece on writing character relational styles, and I can’t wait to dive into reading all the helpful advice. Suddenly the writing journey isn’t so lonely!

Today I want to share tips for writing dialogue from author Justin McLaughlin:

Check them out HERE

Good tips, you think? 

What do you struggle with when writing dialogue? 

I have been guilty of fluffy tags like “she shouted” or “he groaned” instead of the less distracting “said”.

I’m also learning to write with more economy, like “Thought you hated Fox News” or “Kind of tall for a setter, aren’t you?”

Happy writing!

#IWSG Editing, Blurbs, Cover Design


Happy July to all writers! Join us at Alex Cavanaugh’s blog for the monthly support group.



My favorite season is summer, especially swimming outside. Swimming a couple of miles is much more fun in the sunshine.


Americans, what are you doing July 4th? Attending a cookout like me? I’ll attempt these patriotic red velvet brownies (*points right*)

Check out the recipe HERE.

My editor and I are thick into edits for my fifth novel, Blocked.

We came up with a blurb (that was tough!) and posted it on Goodreads.

And now I’m getting quotes from cover designers. What do you think is a reasonable cost for a cover artist? I’ll likely pony up and pay a bit more than I’d planned in order to get the designer I want.

One thing I’ve noticed in editing is my typical writer mistakes. (Thank God for editors!) In the past, I’ve had shifty POV, but I think I’ve cleared that up. But I continue to struggle with the timeline. My editor has to ask “When is this happening?” or “Is this before or after Beergate?” I wrote out a timeline, chapter by chapter, so hopefully that will help. 

A new problem with this manuscript seems to be my use of commas. Apparently, I use, commas, too much, at times. And at other times I don’t use commas enough. 😉

What writer mistakes haunt you?

I’m giving away a $10 gift card for the Freedom to Read Giveaway…feel free to enter below. Hope you have a wonderful July!