#IWSG – My Buried Secrets

After a busy month, it’s time for my IWSG monthly blog post. I’ll admit I’m not the usual Insecure though, distracted as I am with all the promotion surrounding the launch of Voyagers: The Third Ghost on May 5th. If you’ve missed that visit my post back on that day:


A huge thank you to the Ninja Captain himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh who created the Insecure Writer’s Support Group as they do such amazing things for writers, from the annual Anthology to friendly advice for all us vacillating writers. Many thanks, Captain Alex, for keeping me inspired to keep scribbling. Even at this difficult time.

Before I forget, I’m staying motivated and attempting to write another short story – an entry for 2020 IWSG Anthology Contest. It’s a challenging theme again – Dark Matter – so my old brain is attempting to re-awaken my SF leanings. More about the contest at:


Anyway, on to the monthly question which stumped me at first. Then the blocks fell away – or rather the chocks were pulled away.

June 3 question – Writers have secrets! What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?

Too many to mention. Or am I too overt? If my fiction is taken in isolation then two at least are secrets – and I’m not an alcoholic, even if I was a journalist.

But there’s my Gaming addiction. That’s a secret, invisible in my fiction, yes. As is my disability no thanks to a non-gaming MonSter. However, a sharp reader only has to visit this website and those secrets are trumpeted facts. I never hide those aspects of my life on here – nor my curious approach to writings.

My writing techniques are weird and somewhat capricious, but not secret.

However, a reader would need to dig much deeper for secrets that might contradict my ‘official’ image.

So, who suspects this retired equestrian journalist, whose debut was set against the horse world, is useless on a horse? Unlike my characters who are talented horse people in Spiral of Hooves – well, the main ones. Okay, I’ve ridden and like horses, but as a kid I kept falling off and as I grew up my ability on a horse hardly progressed. I feel safer on the ground.

Is that why I hate flying? Again, I’ve improved with age – although I took a few long-haul flights across the Atlantic when I was at college in Canada. But even though I know what all the scary noises are – like air brakes – I’m still irrational. Is that believable from someone who wrote a short story in the IWSG Anthology featuring one of the brave Soviet airwomen of World War II? Well, those women are one of my research obsessions – like other Women Heroes of that period.

However, there is a clue in Feathered Fire – the MC is afraid of flying.

Stay sensible, safe, and inspired, please


The awesome co-hosts  for the June 3 posting of the IWSG are Pat Garcia,J.Q. Rose,andNatalie Aguirre!

How can I be repetitive asking you to agree these guys are the best? 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 to say.

How do you choose which path?

English: Crossroads - and three ways out of th...

English: Crossroads – and three ways out of the road opposite I don’t think I’ve ever seen this before on a single track road – a left, right and straight ahead lane to choose from. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


When you reach a crossroads is there a right path?  Will turning right lead to a precipice or inspiration? Is self-publishing a more stressful route than the safe traditional path?  Will choosing to focus on the task ahead be at the expense of other demands?

This last month has thrown all these questions at me, complicated by the pain and exhaustion of MS – the MonSter that shares my life.  So where to start at this crossroads with multiple junctions? News first as that can lead down other lanes.

Hoof Shine

Hoof Shone ~ Photo credit: Flickr

Spiral of Hooves: Last month (in August 2nd post) I mentioned that I was considering submitting Spiral of Hooves to a US publishing group http://www.spectaclepmg.com/.  Well I did and they wrote back saying they were interested in publishing the novel so would send me a contract. Still early days but this could be the break I dreamt of years ago.  For now I am being patient and tackling other work.

Fire Wyrm

Fire Wyrm (Photo credit: garlandcannon)

Wyrm Bait: Returning to the first draft a year after writing this second attempt at a novel, I have found elements to change but also a basic structure and characters that read well. It is tempting to work on every sentence but at this stage I am looking at the bigger picture to see if the overall plot works. One element will demand a major rewrite – Point of View (POV).

When I wrote the first draft, I had a clear idea of the protagonist and chose his POV in third person as the opening voice, which works. I deliberated about the second POV: Should I choose the antagonist?  Should I choose his ‘sidekick’?  Would a female POV be better?  In the end I chose a guy close to the villain – as that seemed easier than getting into a female head.  The option of trying to inhabit the mind of the antagonist, make him believable and not have him lie overtly, was a tall order and not something I was ready to attempt; especially Agatha Christie does it brilliantly in ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd’.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In retrospect the second POV, as it currently stands, lacks credibility, perhaps because I tried to write an Asian POV plus the guy has strong similarities to the protagonist, and reads too much like an observer and victim of events.  So the conversations between him and his partner will be presented as transcripts by someone anonymous.  The new second POV who participates in the same events more actively than the Asian guy, is a female associate but American.  Having written a female POV as the protagonist in Fates Maelstrom – the latest WIP –I feel confident attempting it again.  Also the character is set to return in the sequel.

The Lair of the White Wyrm

The Lair of the White Wyrm (Photo credit: karlequin)

Wyrm Blood: After the first Wyrm Bait draft, I realised the characters and background – an online role-playing game – could support a series.  I intend to write the first draft of Wyrm Blood for NaNoWriMo in November (http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/about) and so I have outlined the plot and added to the cast.  Some months ago a short phrase came to me and I honed it until I had an opening for some story. That will now be Wyrm Blood and one of the characters will be my second POV in Wyrm Bait. Working on the characters also fed into the first of the intended Wyrm series and added new dimensions throughout.

Card from the Japanese game obake karuta, c. e...

Card from the Japanese game obake karuta, c. early 19th century. Each card features a monster from Japanese mythology and a character from the hiragana syllabary. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MonSter: Our crossroads is not on an English or Irish lane that takes us back to the beginning.  Typing this blog has answered some of my questions and brought resolve into my plans.  There is one turning left and that is where the MonSter lives.  MS causes pain, exhaustion, headaches, spasms, gravity checks and as a result restricts my life.  If I choose the path of an agent and a publisher, I can envisage problems coping when exhaustion is an underlying concern.  How do I get to meetings, especially in London, when my mobility is a wheelchair?  What happens when I have to make verbal sense yet speaking or reading aloud is a problem?  I know that other disabled people cope and as the Paralympics draw to a close nearby I see what is possible.

However MS limits my work schedule so I make choices.  If I read all the Blogs I subscribe too, my writing time is cut short.  If I work on a book then I haven’t time to Blog. If I find time to write a Blog then editing is postponed. If the MonSter decides to run amok then I have to sleep or scream until I can re-emerge or escape into Middle Earth. It’s all about priorities and juggling but the MonSter can be managed, but not tamed, as long as I don’t overdo it and pace myself.

So if I don’t post for a few weeks, apologies. But please know that I am still writing or reading something and one day I will be back here.

Until then good writing & reading from The Silver Scribbler.