Tag Archives: IWSG

IWSG: April 2020

It’s time again for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Posts go up the first Wednesday of each month. Read more posts and/or join in here.

What’s not to be insecure about these days? As far as writing goes, I’m insecure because (a) I’m not getting any done, and (b) none of my books are getting sales or page reads either. I think, as the economy tanks, people aren’t buying books. I did run a freebie last week that got many, many downloads. So… that’s something?

Question of the Month: How are things in your world?

We’re very fortunate. My husband is able to work from home with not much trouble. I’m staying on top of all three kids’ school work as best I can, plus I’m introducing them to French and making sure they get outside each afternoon. Just in the backyard, but still: fresh air. I’d like to be able to write more, but it’s tough to focus. Even reading has been a challenge. (But if you want to see what I’ve been reading, please check out my YouTube channel, where I do post review videos!) I’ve done Zoom with writer friends once a week, just to chat and see faces other than the ones I live with. We’re getting most things delivered to limit exposure and going out. They’re almost certainly about to announce that kids will not return to school campuses this school year, but that distance learning will continue… My kids are super sad about that, especially my 8th grader, who was looking forward to all the “graduation” stuff: 8th grade dance, field trip, promotion ceremony. They didn’t even get the class picture. My heart is breaking for him, even though I know this is the safe and better choice. So I’m counting my blessings but there are still struggles, especially of the mental and emotional kind. I have the right temperament for staying home indefinitely, but my husband and kids are getting restless. We do lots of board games, karaoke, etc. Looking at another month of this at least (our shelter in place goes through May 3 right now), so…

IWSG: March 2020

It’s time again for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Posts go up the first Wednesday of each month. Read more posts and/or join in here.

What am I insecure about these days? My lack of time to write, and my disinclination to do so when I do have a little bit of time. There have been health things going on, and a lot of travel, and a lot of stuff revolving around the kids… A lot of it is good, but it ALL eats up minutes and hours and days.

Question of the Month: Other than the obvious holiday traditions, have you ever included any personal or family customs in your stories?

Probably? I know I’ve been influenced by Southern Louisiana culture in a couple of pieces I’ve written (The K-Pro, no longer in print, and an unfinished novella titled “Voodoo Lessons.”) These were more personal adaptations of broader traditions, myths, and superstitions. The K-Pro, for example, actually blended Greek myth with a touch of gris gris, and was loosely based on my experiences on film sets. Maybe I’ll re-release it some day.

IWSG: January 2020

It’s time again for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Posts go up the first Wednesday of each month. Read more posts and/or join in here.

I’m excited for a new, hopefully more productive year. Last year I wrote and published one story (“Origami of the Heart,” available to read for free on the sidebar). Yesterday I re-launched my novel The Fall and Rise of Peter Stoller. So I guess I’m already ahead of what I accomplished last year, but here’s hoping my current WIP goes somewhere.

Question of the Month: What started you on your writing journey?

You know, I really wanted to write for television and/or film. Those were the stories that captured me. I loved (alert: about to show my age) Moonlighting and MacGyver and pretty much anything Stephen Spielberg did. So that was my ultimate goal and the reason I went to film school. It’s the reason (I believe) my dialogue writing is some of my best. And, like many writers, I started out writing fan fiction because of my love for these shows and characters, but also out of a desire to be part of that industry. Alas, despite much great feedback and many strong results in various screenwriting competitions, I’ve never managed to break in. (I did work in the industry for a while, though.) I ended up getting my Master’s in Writing, Literature and Publishing, and I pivoted to focus there. I’ve always loved to read and write anyway, and the lovely thing about writing a book or story is that there are far fewer hoops to jump through to get to a finished product. Now, with self-publishing, the only one who needs to say “yes” is me!

IWSG: December 2019

It’s time again for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Posts go up the first Wednesday of each month. Read more posts and/or join in here.

I was thinking about this the other day, and then a friend emailed and I thought about it some more. The fact is, I write very unfashionable gay fiction. (Not all my books feature gay characters, but many do. Here’s a handy guide.) That is, I don’t write steamy m/m sexy stuff. And I don’t write angsty oh-my-god-i’m-gay stuff where someone is just realizing or has to come out or has their first ever gay experience or whatever. I write gay relationships that are… normal? Average? I write them like I write heterosexual relationships, and that’s for a reason. I have a lot of gay friends, and their sex lives are not entertainment. They have a lot of the same relationship issues as any straight person I know. Being gay isn’t that big a deal for most of them now that they’re out. So… Yeah. I made a semi-conscious decision to depict these characters and relationships not as some exotic, erotic “other” but as ::shrug::

Anyway. It seems like people want to read about gay lovers as something exotic and erotic and melodramatic. So I’m way off trend. But whatever. I’ll do my own thing. (Assuming I ever write again at all. Still not feeling it.)

Still trying to place this one short story… The only thing I wrote all year, and who knows if it will ever see the light of day? Am I feeling insecure? I don’t think so. Lately I feel very zen about my lack of ability to write.

IWSG: November 2019

It’s time again for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Posts go up the first Wednesday of each month. Read more posts and/or join in here.

What am I insecure about these days? Everything. I haven’t done much writing this year, and it’s the first year since 2015 that I haven’t published anything either. My sales and page reads have plummeted. I just can’t seem to get up any kind of motivation or interest. I’m plenty busy with other things in my life, and I just don’t know if or when I’ll get back to writing.

Question of the Month: What is the weirdest thing you’ve Googled when researching a novel?

I really don’t know. Probably something to do with death or bodily injury? Also a lot of little historical details, like about gloves in Regency England. I have so many bookmarks for those things!

IWSG: September 2019

It’s time again for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Posts go up the first Wednesday of each month. Read more posts and/or join in here.

Q: If you could pick one place in the world to sit and write your next story, where would it be and why?

A: I really want to go to Japan and am making plans to visit next year. I think I’d love staying there for a few weeks to write. The utter difference in culture would, I think, make an interesting impact on my work. I’d enjoy absorbing the atmosphere and letting it permeate my writing.

IWSG: August 2019

It’s time again for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Posts go up the first Wednesday of each month. Read more posts and/or join in here.

Q: Has your writing ever taken you by surprise?

A: I’m mostly surprised by my characters when they do something I didn’t plan on (but that, in hindsight, makes perfect sense). But I’ve also been surprised more than once by agents responding 1+ years after I queried, asking whether I’m repped yet. Usually in these cases they’d either like to (a) see the rest of the manuscript, or if they had a full they (b) are suggesting an R&R (revise & resubmit). Unfortunately, none of these have ever resulted in representation, so… But it’s nice when an agent shows interest or is encouraging.

IWSG: July 2019

It’s time again for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Posts go up the first Wednesday of each month. Read more posts and/or join in here.

Honestly, I wasn’t convinced I would continue to participate in this because I’ve pretty much shut down my writing network. I deleted my author page on Facebook, abandoned my Instagram, and have removed my Twitter app from my phone. I left every writing group on Facebook, too, unfriended a ton of people, and muted several more. I’ve had a real struggle with the lack of support from friends, family, and the community at large, and I’m pretty close to giving up completely.

That said, I do have two good writing friends helping through my crisis. So I’ll post this month, for now, and continue taking things a day at a time.

Question of the Month: What personal traits have you written into your characters?

A: I’m sure several bits of myself show up in my characters, but you’d have to ask those who know me (and have read my work) to point them out. I never intentionally put parts of me into my characters. But I can say I’ve shared experiences with some of them. For example, I based some of The K-Pro on my time spent on film sets. There is likewise a story in The World Ends at Five that is extrapolated from an author signing I attended. In fact, I remember thinking that story up as I walked to work one day. Anyway, I’m sure my characters do have telltale signs of my DNA, but to parse that would take no little time.

IWSG: May 2019

It’s time again for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Posts go up the first Wednesday of each month. Read more posts and/or join in here.

Hmm. I don’t recall seeing the monthly email, so I don’t know this month’s question. That alone makes me feel insecure…

We’ve moved into our new house but we’re still unpacking. Plus, there are a number of moderate renovation projects I’ve been helming: fixing the sprinkler system, getting the new kitchen hood, fixing the solar heating on the pool, and eventually also replastering and retiling the pool as well. Between this stack of tasks and managing the kids’ schedules, writing hasn’t been high on my list. And I can’t say I miss it much. I like to think I’m a good writer, but since I can’t seem to succeed at it no matter what I do, I’m now starting to believe maybe I’m not very good after all. Which is a bit of a blow. When you spend your life priding yourself on a skill or talent and (much later in life) discover maybe you don’t have that skill/talent…

I did recently begin tinkering with an old piece. I don’t know where it’s going, if anywhere, whether it will ever amount to anything or be publishable at all. Maybe I’m wasting my time. Maybe all the years I’ve spent writing were a waste of time and energy that I should have been putting elsewhere.

So I’m trying to figure some stuff out. About myself, my writing, my “career” (if it can be called as such). Faebourne is up for a RONE award, and voting begins next week, but given that I’ve never been able to mobilize enough people to support me, I don’t have much hope in that quarter either. Feels like a nail in my coffin.

IWSG: April 2019

It’s time again for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Posts go up the first Wednesday of each month. Read more posts and/or join in here.

As I type this, we’re facing a weekend of moving house. That pretty much has all my energy and attention at the moment. But I did start working on a really old piece of writing that I dug up, and I’m enjoying that. I don’t intend to publishing (I don’t think); for the first time in a long time I’m just writing for me, for the pleasure of it.

I recently made a decision to quit pursuing an agent or publishers. And I may not self-publish anymore either, simply because the trials are too great: fighting piracy, trying to market, and all for so very little return. I know many self-published authors are supposedly raking it in (those are the stories one hears about, though I doubt they’re the norm), so I don’t know if I’m just bad at writing or don’t write what people want to read. Either way, I’ve mostly ceased to enjoy it. But this older piece… I’m having fun playing with it. So I’ll keep doing that for as long as it amuses me.

Question of the Month: If you could use a wish to help you write just one scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be?

I don’t know. I guess I won’t know until I reach that point. Once I got stuck, that’s when I’d want to put that wish to use.