Afraid of What? Not #IWSG?

I’m afraid. Afraid of what?

Afraid of the monthly Insecure Writer’s Support Group post?

Afraid of worsening health issues? Afraid of what that means?

As I write the fifth draft on April 5th, I’m afraid of what my blood test for CLL (leukemia) on April 13th shows.

Am I afraid it’s worse?

Afraid of being more of a burden? Afraid my wife is suffering as well?

Afraid of being moved to a nursing home? Afraid of the alternative in a crowded trailer park?

Afraid of losing my dog? Afraid she’s not qualified to be a companion dog?

Afraid of the suffering as I live?

Afraid of death?

Maybe this recent post from Writers Helping Writers is a comfort… or a red herring:

Afraid of a legacy lost?

Afraid of minimal writing? Afraid of failing the April WEP/IWSG Challenge?

https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/p/challenges-2022.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Hard_Rain%27s_a-Gonna_Fall

Afraid for Ukraine? Yes, and I feel unable to help… beyond donating to…

Medecins Sans Frontieres: https://www.msf.org/

 Burned buildings marked with bullets holes and shrapnel fragments show the evidence of a brutal battle that occurred in Borodyanka. Photograph: Matthew Hatcher/SOPA Images/REX/Shutterstock

What would my fictional Ukrainians do – Kalyna  and Vasy Chayka, the heroines of Feathered Fire?

https://iwsganthologies.blogspot.com/p/voyagers-author-page.html

They fought the Nazis and fled from Stalin’s persecution.

So, their Canadian-Ukrainian granddaughters will fight Putin’s terror.

Rainbow Firebreak is in the pipeline.

I was afraid to tell the Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh ‘ffarwel’. But not yet.

Finally, don’t forget to visit more active writers via the IWSG site:

Insecure Writer’s Support Group

As the question is optional, I’m not tempted to answer… beyond saying, “none so I listen to others”.


April 6 question – Have any of your books been made into audio books? If so, what is the main challenge in producing an audiobook?

The awesome co-hosts for the April 6 posting of the IWSG are Joylene Nowell Butler, Jemima Pett, Patricia Josephine, Louise – Fundy Blue, and Kim Lajevardi!

How can I be repetitive asking you to agree these guys are the best? Well, they are – especially as they all have concerns, fears, and insecurities. But they struggle on, so ticker-tape applause for all of them – plus toasts with the best brew available.

Purpose of IWSG: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions 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.

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions 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.

For more on the IWSG monthly post and links to other participants visit:

https://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html

#IWSG – No Show

My apologies for this ‘no show’ pass on the monthly Insecure Writer’s Support Group post.

As you may know, I’ve struggled for weeks with worsening health issues, which have drained me. So, minimal writing results. I did manage the February WEP/IWSG Challenge – https://rolandclarke.com/2022/02/17/wep-iwsg-february-challenge-all-you-need-is-love/  – but everything else is ‘sero’.

I must reassure the Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh that this announcement is not ‘ffarwel’.

Finally, don’t forget to visit more active writers via the IWSG site:

Insecure Writer’s Support Group

#IWSG – Influencers

I was worried that I’d miss the monthly Insecure Writer’s Support Group post as I’ve struggled for weeks with worsening health issues from wheelchair sores to hand cramps and finger failings – not conducive to writing. Mouse clicking is often the most I can do when I access the PC.

If you’re reading this I’ve pushed with pained doggedness onto the monthly question, so please prepare for more weirdness

But first I must thank the Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh for all he does – and thanks for creating the Insecure Writer’s Support Group without whom my writing would be non-existent…and every post might be ‘farewell’.

And thanks to all those whose encouraging comments ensure I scribble onwards. Apologies for failing to reply to every comment. I try at least to press ‘like’ when I’ve read them. I do attempt an all-inclusive answer sometimes.

Finally, don’t forget to visit more active writers via the IWSG site, and to read better answers to this month’s intriguing question.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Although the question is optional, I’m again tempted to answer.


February 2 question – Is there someone who supported or influenced you that perhaps isn’t around anymore? Anyone you miss?

A: Roger Woddis and Rhona Martin

“Terror, no need to add,

Depends on who’s wearing the hood.”

Extract from ‘Ethics for everyman’ – a poem by roger woddis

The late Roger Woddis, my first creative writer tutor. Although he was a notable left-wing poet and magazine contributor, he also ran creative writing classes in London. He encouraged me to write regularly and tempered my purple prose. I was a besotted Tolkien fan and tried/failed to emulate his fantasy style. I admit that a few recent scribblings have been ‘over-egged’, but I try to restrain my inner bard. Maybe I’m learning… still.

Here is more info on Roger Woddis:

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

https://en-academic.com/dic.nsf/enwiki/3950255

The late Rhona Martin was the leader of the Novel Group within Tunbridge Wells & District Writing Circle back in the UK. Over a few years, when I was writing the early drafts of Spiral of Hooves, my only published novel, I read extracts to the group. Rhona’s comments were insightful and invaluable, and she helped me turn the novel from a rambling multi-part epic into a tightly woven tale, albeit still complex.

Rhona was a published historical fiction writer, and the winner of the First Georgette Heyer Historical Novel Prize with Gallows Wedding. So, she also fanned my interest in the genre.

https://bookshop.org/contributors/rhona-martin

https://discoveringdiamonds.blogspot.com/2017/01/gallows-wedding-by-rhona-martin.html

https://www.thriftbooks.com/a/rhona-martin/262472/

“I think myself I ought to be shot for writing such nonsense…. But it’s unquestionably good escapist literature and I think I should rather like it if I were sitting in an air-raid shelter or recovering from flu. “

Georgette Heyer after she had completed Friday’s Child, her first “instant bestseller”, written in 1944.

The awesome co-hosts for the February 2 posting of the IWSG are Joylene Nowell Butler, Jacqui Murray, Sandra Cox, and Lee Lowery!

How can I be repetitive asking you to agree these guys are the best? Well, they are – especially as they all have concerns, fears, and insecurities. But they struggle on, so ticker-tape applause for all of them – plus toasts with the best brew available.

Purpose of IWSG: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions 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.

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions 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.

For more on the IWSG monthly post and links to other participants visit:

https://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html

#IWSG – Regrets

Time for the monthly Insecure Writer’s Support Group post and my latest news on the writing front.

First Fevered Fuse, which came back from my London-based editor friend early December with some invaluable suggestions on improvements. Hopefully, her input is not wasted as I struggle to absorb her thoughts and finish my first Snowdon Shadowspolice procedural. My declining health is eating into my productive time.

Will I notch up a major regret by not reaching the submission stage?

Which brings me in pained doggedness onto the monthly question, so please prepare for more weirdness (Also, be warned – some of this post is copy & paste so apologies.

But first I must thank the Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh for all he does – and thanks for creating the Insecure Writer’s Support Group without whom my writing would be non-existent…and every post might be ‘farewell’.

And thanks to all those whose encouraging comments ensure I scribble onwards. Apologies for failing to reply to every comment. I try at least to press ‘like’ when I’ve read them. I do attempt an all-inclusive answer sometimes.

Finally, don’t forget to visit more active writers via the IWSG site, and to read better answers to this month’s intriguing question.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Although the question is optional, I’m again tempted to answer.


January 5 question – What’s the one thing about your writing career you regret the most? Were you able to overcome it?

“Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, “It might have been.”

 Kurt Vonnegut

A: Not persisting with an invaluable copy/developmental/substantive edit of my second draft novel.

Okay, I’ll explain – in a rambling way as that was the cryptic answer – as usual.

Back in 2012/2013, I completed the third draft of Wyrm Bait, the first novel in the Gossamer Flames cyber-mystery series set against the world of online gaming. Some friends helped me get the manuscript edited substantively by a well-respected editing firm in the UK. Their feedback was extensive and should have led to a much improved fourth draft, albeit with a recommended new POV for part of the novel.

However, I baulked at what felt like a massive task, and put the project in cold storage. But  I did draft a sequel and various saga style shorts linked to the gaming world, as well as visiting the ‘world building’ for my 2014 Blogging from A to Z posts. Yet so far I haven’t made proper use of that substantive edit.

A major regret.

Now there’s Snowdon Shadows my police procedural series, and my fear that the edit of Fevered Fuse will lead to a second major regret – if I can’t rise above my current depression and pain,

Yet I keep wanting a second novel acceptance. Am I letting my readers down if I fail to commit to more hard graft?

 Put your head down and work hard. Never wait for things to happen, make them happen for yourself through hard graft and not giving up.

 —

Gordon Ramsay

**

The awesome co-hosts for the January 5 posting of the IWSG are Erika Beebe, Olga Godim, Sandra Cox, Sarah Foster, and Chemist Ken!

How can I be repetitive asking you to agree these guys are the best? Well, they are – especially as they all have concerns, fears, and insecurities. But they struggle on, so ticker-tape applause for all of them – plus toasts with the best brew available.

Purpose of IWSG: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions 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.

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions 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.

For more on the IWSG monthly post and links to other participants visit:

https://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html

#IWSG – Blurb Blitz

Time for the monthly Insecure Writer’s Support Group post and my latest news on the writing front.

First Fevered Fuse, which is now with the London-based editor friend who nursed Spiral of Hoovesto publication. Hopefully, her copy/developmental/substantive edit will give me the final inspiration to finish my first Snowdon Shadowspolice procedural. Then I will submit the manuscript – or synopsis etc – to a publisher, possibly a small UK press, Crooked Cat / Darkstroke Books.

If anyone else has submission suggestions, let me know, please.

As for other ongoing writing, I’ve passed on doing a NaNoWriMo this year, but did do another WEP/IWSG Challenge – https://rolandclarke.com/2021/10/21/wep-iwsg-october-challenge-the-scream/  – and will be working on the final one for 2021. December’s Challenge theme is ‘Narcissus ‘and my mind is already pursuing that one down a burrow. Clue:  a daffodil – the Welsh national flower – is a narcissus, so tune in next month for another Sparkle Anwyl tale.

A detective confronts a deadly foe in the mist to save her wife from Death

Not Fevered Fuse, but a frightening aftermath – or a trigger. Time for the Blurb Blitz, my attempt at answering the monthly question, so please prepare for more weirdness.

First, I must thank the Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh for all he does – and thanks for creating the Insecure Writer’s Support Group without whom my writing would be non-existent…and every post might be ‘farewell’.

Second, my thanks to all those whose encouraging comments ensure I scribble onwards. Apologies for failing to reply to every comment. I try at least to press ‘like’ when I’ve read them. I do attempt an all-inclusive answer sometimes.

Finally, don’t forget to visit more active writers via the IWSG site, and to read better answers to this month’s intriguing question.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Although the question is optional, I’m again tempted to answer.

November 3 question – What’s harder to do, coming up with your book title or writing the blurb?

A: Blurbs are energy sinks whereas titles are lightbulb moments.

All Nine often used to come to me, I mean the Muses:

But I ignored them…

Okay, I’ll explain – in a rambling way as that was the cryptic answer – as usual.

So far, my book titles have emerged organically, either in the early stages of inspiration or as I wrote the first draft. For instance, Spiral of Hooves was called that from early drafts – at least ‘hooves’ was always there… and the ‘spiral’ followed along with the breeding – DNA – plotline. The proposed equestrian thriller sequels, Tortuous Terrain and Suicide Seat, were straightforward – endurance riding = terrain, and ‘suicide seat’ is a carriage driving expression.

As for the Snowdon Shadows police procedural series, that follows a pattern too. The initial entry – now Book 2 – was Fates Maelstrom, whose title arose from the original protagonist’s troubled/turbulent situation. Sparkle Anwyl was not the main POV in the first draft, but the title still fits as she moves centre-stage, investigating the crime.

Her story begins with Fevered Fuse, originally a set of shorts entitled Fevered Few – ‘Fevered’ as in her amnesia. ‘Few’ to ‘Fuse’ was an easy switch when the shorts/incidents/cases became triggers for Sparkle in solving the central crime.

Books 2 and 3 – drafted – arose in the same organic/rabbit hole way. Ruined Retreat (Book 3) was inspired by a neighbour in our Welsh residential park suggesting a crime spree killing residents. We had all retired/retreated to Snowdonia, where there are numerous ruins/castles, so…

Seeking a Knife (Book 2) arose from an A-to-Z Challenge in which I chose to write on the War of 1812. Anyway, the rabbit warren led to a title which fits the historical/contemporary plot.  Don’t ask why, yet, but it does. All I can say is:

All Nine often used to come to me, I mean the Muses:

But I ignored them: my girl was in my arms.

Now I’ve left my sweetheart: and they’ve left me,

And I roll my eyes, seeking a knife or rope.

But Heaven is full of gods: You came to aid me:

Greetings, Boredom, mother of the Muse.

Epigram 27 * Venetian Epigrams (1790)
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832)

Other titles are similar in creation. But blurbs…well, that’s where I prevaricate, rewrite, reject, revise, and rip my hair out. Like first lines, openings, and synopses, I can never be satisfied with my attempts.

Well, not until I must set them in whatever material an agent/publisher/reader wants – as in my IWSG Anthology short Feathered Fire.

**

The awesome co-hosts for this November 3 posting of the IWSG are Kim Lajevardi, Victoria Marie Lees, Joylene Nowell Butler, Erika Beebe, and Lee Lowery!

How can I be repetitive asking you to agree these guys are the best? Well, they are – especially as they all have concerns, fears, and insecurities. But they struggle on, so ticker-tape applause for all of them – plus toasts with the best brew available.

Purpose of IWSG: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions 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.

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions 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.

For more on the IWSG monthly post and links to other participants visit:

https://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html

#IWSG – Walk the Line

Time for the monthly Insecure Writer’s Support Group post and finally better news on the writing front.

Although my search for a co-author ran into problems – primarily financial – I reassessed how best to edit Fevered Fuse, and stay sane.  Last year, I’d been using Fictionary to edit the manuscript, as it helped me deal with even the fine detail – down to the weather and the scene opening/closing types. The programme/software is exceptional, and I recommend Fictionary, especially as sorting out my convoluted/twisted plotline was simplified using it. However, due to my health, I felt I was trudging through mud with no end in sight. So, I collapsed.

I realised the best approach was working through the invaluable beta readers’ comments – thanks Dawn Ostlund, Rebecca Douglas, and Toi Thomas for fantastic feedback.  I’d already used their guidance to improve the plotline, and I’m now focusing on other elements – a few scenes/issues each day. Slow and steady, I’m walking the line towards completion.

The next step is the professional editing, which I’m getting quotes for – a) substantive/developmental; b). Copy edit. First, from the London-based editor friend who nursed Spiral of Hooves to publication, and second, from a Welsh-born editor-author friend working with a small UK press, Crooked Cat / Darkstroke Books. If anyone else wants to throw their editing cap/quote in the ring, let me know.

Anyway, on to the monthly question, which I’ll attempt answering, so please prepare for more weird thoughts.

Okay, here goes.

Well, first I must thank the Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh for all he does – and thanks for creating the Insecure Writer’s Support Group without whom my writing would be non-existent…and March’s post might have been ‘farewell’.

Second, my thanks to all those whose encouraging comments ensure I scribble onwards. Apologies for failing to reply to every comment recently. I try at least to press ‘like’ when I’ve read them. Maybe I’ll attempt an all-inclusive answer sometime.

Anyway, don’t forget to visit more active writers via the IWSG site, and to read better answers to this month’s challenging question.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Although the question is optional, I’m again tempted to answer.

October 6 question – In your writing, where do you draw the line, with either topics or language?

A: When I feel my readers will stop turning the page.

For you, I know I’d even try to turn the tide

Because you’re mine, I walk the line

Okay, that was the cryptic answer.

First, I avoid ‘horror’ although that’s because it’s not my genre -although I’ve written one or two ghostly tales.

However, within my own genres, I try to avoid writing too bloody or graphic crime scenes, although the suggestions might be there – as in cruelty to animals:

https://rolandclarke.com/2021/06/16/wep-iwsg-june-challenge-great-wave/#:~:text=Plastic%20water%20bottles%20float.%20I%20shiver.%20Bottles%20with%20captive%20birds.

Same goes for erotic scenes – I write suggestive encounters, but not as overt as in some romance novels I’ve recently listened to. Although there are readers who still balk at my ‘sex scenes’. One critic, a Mormon, took exception to the restrained encounters in Spiral of Hooves…and to my foul language.

Seems even though I heard the F-curse often used by horsey people, it is unacceptable. Guess someone hadn’t heard Royalty swear like a trooper.

So, that’s why DC Sparkle Anwyl chooses to say:

Ffyc

**

The awesome co-hosts for the October 6 posting of the IWSG are Jemima Pett, J Lenni Dorner, Cathrina Constantine, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, and Mary Aalgaard!

How can I be repetitive asking you to agree these guys are the best? Well, they are – especially as they all have concerns, fears, and insecurities. But they struggle on, so ticker-tape applause for all of them – plus toasts with the best brew available.

Purpose of IWSG: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions 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.

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions 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.

For more on the IWSG monthly post and links to other participants visit:

https://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html