insecure writers support group, new release

IWSG: New Releases by Nicki Elson and Chrys Fey

Welcome to the August 2020 edition of the Insecure Writers Support Group, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh.

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Congratulations to my critique partner, Nicki Elson, on the launch of her 8th novel yesterday: MOLLY UNPLANNED.

Here’s my 5-star review of Miss Molly.

I’m thrilled to co-host today, along with: Susan Baury Rouchard, Nancy Gideon, Jennifer Hawes, Chemist Ken, and Chrys Fey!

Speaking of the lovely Chrys Fey, I’m part of the blog hop to celebrate her new release, Keep Writing with Fey: Sparks to Defeat Writer’s Block, Depression, and Burnout. Congratulations to Chrys! Scroll down to read my own experience with these issues.

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Catch the sparks you need to conquer writer’s block, depression, and burnout!

When Chrys Fey shared her story about depression and burnout, it struck a chord with other writers. That put into perspective for her how desperate writers are to hear they aren’t alone. Many creative types experience these challenges, battling to recover. Let Keep Writing with Fey: Sparks to Defeat Writer’s Block, Depression, and Burnout guide you through:

  • Writer’s block
  • Depression
  • Writer’s burnout
  • What a writer doesn’t need to succeed
  • Finding creativity boosts

With these sparks, you can begin your journey of rediscovering your creativity and get back to what you love – writing.

(The table of contents of this book looks fantastic!)

BOOK LINKS:

Amazon / Nook / iTunes / Kobo

Goodreads

Chrys Fey Author Photo

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chrys Fey is the author of Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication. She is also the author of the Disaster Crimes series. Visit her blog, Write with Fey, for more tips on how to reverse writer’s burnout. https://www.chrysfey.com/

Keep Writing with Fey Blog Hop: Share your story about writer’s block, depression, and/or burnout and how you overcame it or what you are currently doing to heal.

Since writing is secondary to my work as a psychologist, I write only when I feel like it. Therefore, I don’t experience much writer’s block or burnout. But I have turned to writing to deal with feelings of depression from painful events in my psychology career.

For 15 years, I have worked for two different university departments, and I don’t seem to fit well with one of them. Twice, that department has chosen to work with another psychologist instead of me. (I guess I’m a masochist for returning after the first time they let me go.) The process has been all the more agonizing due to their lack of direct communication. It was a gradual ghosting instead of a kind cutoff.

Therapy has taught me that self-talk is important for healing. When hurtful events happen, we can benefit from compassionate narratives. Since I write romance novels, some of my narratives compared getting fired to romantic rejection:

When reality sucked, I turned to fiction.

They don’t know my strength.

I won’t let one person determine my value.

We separated, then reunited, but the bitterness and poor communication continued, leading to a divorce.

A relationship breakup doesn’t mean either person is wrong or bad; it’s just a poor fit. I can find a better fit elsewhere, or I can stay single by going into private practice! 😀

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What is YOUR experience with writer’s block, depression, or burnout? Thanks for stopping by.

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Writers, Have You Heard About The Occupation Thesaurus?

Hi everyone! Today I feature a new book for writers…a treasure trove to enrich your character authenticity.

Some of you may know Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi of Writers Helping Writers. Well, today they are releasing a new book, and I’m part of their street team. I’m handing the blog over to them so they can tell you about their Writer’s Showcase event, new book, and a great freebie to check out. Read on!


Certain details can reveal a lot about a character, such as their goals, desires, and backstory wounds. But did you know there’s another detail that can tie your character’s arc to the plot, provide intense, multi-layered conflict, AND shorten the “get to know the character” curve for readers?

It’s true. Your character’s occupation is a GOLD MINE of storytelling potential.

Think about it: how much time do you spend on the job? Does it fulfill you or frustrate you? Can you separate work from home? Is it causing you challenges, creating obstacles…or bringing you joy and helping you live your truth?

Just like us, most characters will have a job, and the work they do will impact their life. The ups and downs can serve us well in the story.

Maybe you haven’t thought much about jobs in the past and how they act as a window into your character’s personality, interests, and skills. It’s okay, you aren’t alone. The good news is that The Occupation Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Jobs, Vocations, and Careers is going to do all the heavy lifting for you. (Here’s one of the job profiles we cover in this book: FIREFIGHTER.)

GIVEAWAY ALERT: THE WRITER’S SHOWCASE

To celebrate the release of a new book, Writers Helping Writers has a giveaway happening July 20th & July 23rd. You can win some great prizes, including gift certificates that can be spent on writing services within our Writer’s Showcase. Stop by to enter!

Resource Alert: A List of Additional Jobs Profiles For Your Characters

Some of the amazing writers in our community have put together additional career profiles for you, based on jobs they have done in the past. What a great way to get accurate information so you can better describe the roles and responsibilities that go with a specific job, right? To access this list, GO HERE.

(Jennifer Lane here: Check out the job profile I added for SPORTS COACH. The heroine and hero in my work-in-progress both work as coaches for rival universities.)

Happy writing to all!

 

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#IWSG Publishing Changes and KITTIES!

Thank you to Alex Cavanaugh for convening the monthly IWSG, where we share our neuroses to help us feel less alone.

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The awesome co-hosts for the July 1 posting of the IWSG are Jenni Enzor, Beth Camp, Liesbet, Tyrean Martinson, and Sandra Cox!

July 1 question: There have been many industry changes in the last decade, so what are some changes you would like to see happen in the next decade?

I rarely follow publishing trends but I did find some predictions in this article. Self-publishing is already flooded, and all the writers pumping out words during quarantine will drown the market. I can’t wait to read the brilliant creations!

The demand for screenplays will likely increase given all of the streaming services. I hope to learn more about writing screenplays.

For those of you with a work in progress during COVID-19, are you altering your story to include the pandemic? I’m not. I believe many readers want an escape from this dreary reality.

Speaking of WIPs, mine is plodding along, up to 62K words out of about 80K. How’s your WIP?

My biggest excitement this month is KITTIES! I adopt two kittens tomorrow, a brother and sister. It’s been five years since my cat, Izzie, crossed over the rainbow bridge, and I’m finally ready.

I fell in love with tuxedo cats when author Jayne Rylon posted photos of her foster kittens on Facebook. Did you know tuxedo cats are smarter than other color patterns? So, I’m adopting a male tuxedo cat and his sister.

 

I’m thinking of the names Tux and Tessa. Got any fun bro/sis cat names to suggest? Whatever their names, I’m sure they’ll be excellent writing companions.

 

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#IWSG Writer Secrets

Happy June to all writers! Join us at host Alex Cavanaught’s blog to share our neurotic fears.

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Thank you to June’s cohosts: Pat Garcia, J.Q. Rose, and Natalie Aguirre!

This month’s question: Writers have secrets! What is one of yours–something readers would never know about you?

Well it won’t be a secret for long if I share it with you, will it?

Okay, okay, I’ll answer the question. The secret I’ll share relates to this line:

My life is like a romantic comedy, only there’s no romance and it’s just me laughing at my own jokes.

My secret: I suck at romance! (Interesting that I write romance novels, eh?) I’m perpetually single. I have rich, fulfilling friendships, but when it comes to romance, I seem to be commitment phobic. Strange dating encounters have included my puzzling attraction to gay men, as well as the time eharmony set me up with a pig farmer (not that there’s anything wrong with that–I mean, non-stop access to BACON, baby.)

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Maybe I turn to fiction to find what’s lacking in my real life? Maybe my annoying habit of laughing at my own jokes drives away potential suitors?

Can’t wait to hear YOUR secrets!

Also, I finally got around to reading On Writing by Stephen King (recommended by several of you), and here’s my 4-star review.

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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 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 Bodies in the Boatyard by @Ellen__Jacobson 5 Star Review #cozymystery

Happy Holidays, writers! Time for the Insecure Writers Support Group, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh.


Thank you to this month’s co-hosts:

J.H. Moncrieff, Tonja Drecker , Patsy Collins, and Chrys Fey

Fall is my busiest time at work so I’ve focused more on my day job than on writing lately. But, I did submit a short story for consideration in an anthology, and I applied for a writing festival.


I’d like to share my review for fellow IWSG author’s latest release, Bodies in the Boatyard. Congratulations to Ellen Jacobson for her engaging cozy mystery series!



Bodies in the Boatyard (A Mollie McGhie Cozy Sailing Mystery #2)Bodies in the Boatyard by Ellen Jacobson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Panda Bear on the Case

I continue to enjoy the integration of murder mystery, sailing science, chocolate cravings, and frisky felines in the Mollie McGhie series, which takes place in a small Florida boating community.

In book two, Mollie’s husband, Scooter, has moved on from calling her Sweet Potato to Panda Bear, and Mollie appreciates not being referred to as a root vegetable anymore. Their dilapidated boat has sprung a leak, so she gets hauled to the boatyard for repairs.

Conflict among Mollie’s Coconut Cove neighbors, along with an illegal poaching ring, lead to dead bodies piling up. Who finds these bodies? Mollie, of course–much to the consternation of the police chief. If Mollie weren’t so cute and good-hearted, she might get in trouble for her meddling! She is also lucky to have a feline mini-sleuth at her side, the adorable Mrs. Moto, to help her solve crimes.

I like clever boat names like The Codfather, and Mollie’s incessant sweet tooth that never stops scheming for sugar. There are also some fun jabs at extreme environmentalists who seem to value the environment more than human life.

I look forward to book three in the series!

View all my reviews
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Winter is Coming #Giveaway #giftcard #psychthriller


Thank you to The Kids Did It and The Mommy Island for co-hosting the Winter is Coming Giveaway!

We had a 60-degree sunny day in Ohio on December 2 and then said goodbye to the sun forever. (I’m just a tad dramatic) Why? Because winter is coming! I don’t love the shorter days but I do love the holidays.

What do you hate/love about the winter?

To entertain you in the winter months, I’m giving away a $15 gift card and an ebook of my latest release, psychological thriller Twin Sacrifice.

Enter on the Rafflecopter.

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Bop on over to these blogs to check out their cool giveaways!


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