#IWSG – TO BOLDLY GO

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Attempting to ignore my ill-health, it’s time for my monthly post for Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day.

January 4th Question: What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?

As there are a few rules that I wish I’d never heard, it seems easiest to start with the first one I broke.

At school in the 1960s and 1970s, my teachers tried hard to teach me, and other students, not to split our infinitives, ever. I never felt that these teachers gave me a reasonable explanation, so when the split infinitive worked, I insisted that I had the right, in the words of Star Trek “to boldly go where no man has gone before.” This usage seemed appropriate as many of my earliest short story attempts were SF.

I felt justified in breaking this cardinal rule when I later heard that the first English Grammar used Latin Grammars as its basis – the Latin infinitive is one word so can’t be split. To my mind, that explained why my teachers, most of them trained in Latin, stuck to the rule.

I have since discovered that although many authorities quote the Latin argument, others point to different 19th-century grammarians for the rule’s origin. Check out these links if you want to know more about split infinitives:

http://www.grammar.com/split-infinitives-2/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Split_infinitive

http://grammarist.com/grammar/split-infinitives/

 

As for me, I learned as a teenager that there were writing rules that needed questioning, and fifty years later nothing has changed, and I welcome excuses to break rules.

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The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day. We post our thoughts on our own blogs. We talk about our doubts and the fears we have conquered. We discuss our struggles and triumphs. We offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.

Please visit others in the group and connect with my fellow writers.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

And be sure to check out our Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/IWSG13/

Our revved up IWSG Day question may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

The awesome co-hosts for this January 4th posting of the IWSG are Eva @ Lillicasplace,
Crystal Collier, Sheena-kay Graham, Chemist Ken, LG Keltner, and Heather Gardner.

#IWSG – Favorite Aspect of Being a Writer

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

 

I’m still struggling with my health so normal posts are postponed until…whenever.

For now, it’s time for my monthly post for Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day:

November 2 Question: What is your favorite aspect of being a writer?

If I had more than one novel published my answer might be different. I would have books to promote and readers to link with. However, I’m still at the early stages so I need to focus on those stages of writing.

For now, my favorite aspect must be able to take the germ of an idea and create an outline where that initial inspiration comes alive. Yes, the actual first draft is meant to bring that alive, but I find that my characters and their actions emerge on stage in the outlining stage.

Or is that because as I work on this post, I’m outlining an idea for NaNoWriMo? Maybe when I get into the draft, that will be my favorite aspect of being a writer. Or have I misunderstood the question? Am I meant to say being my able to work wherever?

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The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day. We post our thoughts on our own blogs. We talk about our doubts and the fears we have conquered. We discuss our struggles and triumphs. We offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.

Please visit others in the group and connect with my fellow writers.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

And be sure to check out our Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/IWSG13/

Our revved up IWSG Day question may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

The awesome co-hosts for this November 2 posting of the IWSG are Joylene Nowell Butler, Jen Chandler, Mary Aalgaard, Lisa Buie Collard, Tamara Narayan, Tyrean Martinson, and Christine Rains!

 

#IWSG – When do you know your story is ready?

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

Apologies for the long silence, but the long journey from North Wales to Idaho was amazing and exhausting = another post when I recover. For now, I will say that my health is still low and I have been sleeping in my wheelchair – not recommended – as I can’t stretch out on a normal bed. Scary medical details next time and cool pictures arriving in New York by sea.

Golden sunrise clouds and rising sun above sea , Atlantic Ocean

Anyway, I’ve finally got online to post for Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day:

October 5 Question: When do you know your story is ready?

My stories tend to be plotted in detail so I know most of the twists and endings. Revisions address holes and errors, especially when I remember to use critique partners, writing groups, or editors. I tend to be guided by their comments as to when the story is ready or finished.

However, in the last resort I know I’m finished when I start crossing my ‘I’s and dotting my ‘t’s.

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The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day. We post our thoughts on our own blogs. We talk about our doubts and the fears we have conquered. We discuss our struggles and triumphs. We offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.

Please visit others in the group and connect with my fellow writers.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

And be sure to check out our Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/IWSG13/

Our revved up IWSG Day question may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

The awesome co-hosts for the October 5 posting of the IWSG are Beverly Stowe McClure, Megan Morgan, Viola Fury, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Angela Wooldridge, and Susan Gourley!

 

 #IWSG – Finding Time to Write

 

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day, and for the last few months the group have revved up IWSG Day to make it more fun and interactive!

Every month, they’ll announce a question that members can answer in the IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt us to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story.

So on to the September 7th QUESTION:

 

How do you find the time to write in your busy day?

A very appropriate question during this hectic period when we leave for the US in 12 days. In fact, at this point the answer has to be that “I don’t cope and struggle to find any time”. All the free time is going on sorting things out for the mammoth move from Harlech, North Wales to Boise, Idaho. Our desktops get packed away on September 15th into a shipping container, along with most of our possessions. Expected transit time is 6-8 weeks including customs clearance, so we won’t see those goods until sometime in November.

We leave September 20th on the Queen Mary 2, which sails into New York on September 27th. From there it will be a 2,500-mile cross-country road trip to our new home in Boise. Plus side is that my wife’s kids are all in Boise, ten minutes from our house. And the change from wet Wales to the high desert of the Treasure Valley will be a real health boost.

At the moment, my aching body is suffering with the multiple sclerosis MonSter or MaelStrom, and I struggle to sleep each night or relax during the day. So writing has become a forgotten art.

Maybe when the normal busy days return, then I can attempt to squeeze a few hours in every evening as I used to do. No specific word target, just a few hours to let my creative brain loose on the keyboard. And if I sleep well, then I can wake inspired and scribble some thoughts in a notebook.

Or am I just fantasising that such days will ever return?

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The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day. We post our thoughts on our own blogs. We talk about our doubts and the fears we have conquered. We discuss our struggles and triumphs. We offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.

Please visit others in the group and connect with my fellow writers.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

And be sure to check out our Facebook group –https://www.facebook.com/groups/IWSG13/

Our revved up IWSG Day question may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

The awesome co-hosts for this September 7th posting of the IWSG are C. Lee McKenzie,Rachel Pattison, Elizabeth Seckman, Stephanie Faris, Lori L MacLaughlin, and Elsie Amata!

 

 

#IWSG – First Piece of Writing

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day, and from last month the group have revved up IWSG Day to make it more fun and interactive!

Every month, they’ll announce a question that members can answer in the IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt us to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. So on to the AUGUST 3rd QUESTION: 

What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?

My immediate reaction is: do false starts to my stuttering career count?

I suspect the well-intentioned but probably delusional first scribblings don’t – like the stories about animals that I dreamt up as a child. Nor does my prize-winning essay about ‘A Day in the Life of a Helicopter Pilot’ that won me 3 days with the Royal Navy, aged about eleven.

As for all the manuscripts taking up space on my hard drive, they are post-debut/ “Spiral of Hooves” so don’t qualify.

So I have to time travel back to the early 1970s when I was at school near Montreal, and created BILINSSEF, a bilingual society that showed classic science fiction films and encouraged aspiring SF and fantasy writers. I even published a magazine called MIND SPHERE, although I fear that my shorts were the bad ones.

I have the notes and outlines for some of those stories, but not sadly any of the magazines. Nor have I got my first ever draft novel, which was a fantasy about a unicorn and a god. The god had given himself amnesia believing that the real divine being would rescue a time-fractured world. Cue the unicorn.

Sadly – or maybe fortunately – the manuscript was probably trashed when I left Canada, although a few of the ideas have filtered through to works in progress…including the unicorn, even if his nature has changed.

Moral: sometimes age improves ideas as well as wine. And some wine doesn’t age at all well.

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Oak Wine Barrels – Copyright: Sanjay Acharya

 

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The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day. We post our thoughts on our own blogs. We talk about our doubts and the fears we have conquered. We discuss our struggles and triumphs. We offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.

Please visit others in the group and connect with my fellow writers.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

And be sure to check out our Facebook group –https://www.facebook.com/groups/IWSG13/

Our revved up IWSG Day question may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

The awesome co-hosts for this August 3 posting of the IWSG are Tamara Narayan, Tonja Drecker, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Lauren @ Pensuasion, Stephen Tremp, and Julie Flanders! 

#IWSG – Best Thing Ever Said…

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day, and from today onwards the group are revving up IWSG Day to make it more fun and interactive!

Every month, they’ll announce a question that members can answer in the IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt us to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. So on to the JULY 6th QUESTION:

What’s the best thing someone has ever said about your writing?

My immediate thought was of some of the motivational words that my IWSG critique partners had written about my writing – helpful in getting me progressing stalled projects. That should have applied to the encouraging comments from the first professional editor to appraise one of my draft novels. However, I still need to apply those constructive but daunting suggestions.

So I’ve decided that one of the good reviews that I received for “Spiral of Hooves” comes in at number one. I would have chosen one of the Five star reviews on Amazon, but they got removed when the book ceased being available – and I’ve mislaid the file where I saved them.

No matter, Goodreads has seven still accessible, from the weird one star one that said, “It’s missing an understanding of the horse world that makes someone who is immersed in it want to read the book”, to the four star ones that felt that I demonstrated my knowledge. Yes, I was a professional equestrian journalist – or was that in another life?

Anyway here’s one of the best extracts:

“Spiral of Hooves is a great book for horse lovers who also love thriller or crime novels. The plot has several twists and turns, the characters are rich, and the author’s in depth knowledge of the world of eventing brings the story to life.

Arguably one of the best things about this book is the writing of the riding scenes. They are authentic, realistic, and incredibly well written. The reader is brought with over every jump and through every turn.”

What more can I say? Was I right to feel chuffed and inspired? Dare I attempt a better sequel?

Spiral of Hooves

Cover credit: Danielle Sands

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The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day. We post our thoughts on our own blogs. We talk about our doubts and the fears we have conquered. We discuss our struggles and triumphs. We offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.

Please visit others in the group and connect with my fellow writers.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

And be sure to check out our Facebook group –https://www.facebook.com/groups/IWSG13/

Our revved up IWSG Day question may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

The awesome co-hosts for this July 6 posting of the IWSG are Yolanda Renee, Tyrean Martinson, Madeline Mora-Summonte , LK Hill, Rachna Chhabria, and JA Scott!