Worth a thousand words #IWSG

After some confusion, mishaps, and much cursing, I’ve regained control… of my blog. I claim that on nothing else.

I’ve been pretty quiet anyway over the past few months. Life’s been hectic to put it nicely. I’d like to think perhaps this month I can actually start getting started on some projects I’ve been putting off for a long time, but I need to return my attention to book 5 (and stop poking at 6 for now). Especially if I want to get it out on time.

February IWSG Question: Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it?

For the setting, yes, which of course was integral to the story. I remembered when I was getting ready to start Twice Cursed, I had the rough concept, but no location. Someone in one of my critique groups at the time would occasionally send out an email when he found something of interest. I don’t have the original image (or at least I can’t find it right now), but it sent me into looking at what would become Ghost Forest.

Actually, he sent me a few things that I eventually used. The wizard storm in Conjured Defense was another. Thanks, Ellis L. Knox!

Those two I’ve obviously finished. I’m trying to think of others, but those were the big ones. I’ve used other pictures here and there for small things: the necklaces Ketayl and Kitteren wore in Shattered Illusions, what some articles of clothing/armor would look like, etc.

Plenty small ones used in things I haven’t finished or is simply background story for me to have.

I’d love to hear of some fun inspiration other have used.

About the Insecure Writer’s Support Group

InsecureWritersSupportGroup3

RP Fun #IWSG

IWSG Question of the Month: 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?

Um… I’m going to pass on this one. Mostly because I’m drawing a blank.

However, let’s talk about role-playing and character generation. This conversation mostly comes up when I talk with other gamers at events. Have I played any of my characters at the table? Yes, but probably not who you think.

Retanei, Lockonis, Savanas, (younger) Lindale, Sparky (he was after being written in a book)… I need to check and see who else. There are others who are in books that are not yet published. And for those wondering why all my tavern-type places have the initials WD, it’s a nod to my first D&D group who suffered through me developing the first three on the list.

I find role-playing them helpful, even if it is in a completely different setting (Mystara does not equal Terra), to get a feel for their personalities and skill sets. The dice and whatever else we’re using brings in that chaos factor.

Granted, if it’s the Deck of Many Things, most of my characters have an aversion to it.

Do I find out everything about them this way? Nope. I have one coming up in book 6 who surprised me with a secret she had been keeping.

About the Insecure Writer’s Support Group

InsecureWritersSupportGroup3

Stranger than Fiction #IWSG

IWSG Question of the Month: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever googled in researching a story?

You know, I’ve been asked this before and my mind always goes blank. I know I’ve researched some strange things, but nothing stands out as the “ultimate strange thing.”

Though, while not strange, the most headache inducing was trying to understand financial terms for a story. This one hasn’t been released yet so I can’t really talk about it, but yeah… that hurt.

Maybe the wizard storm? GAH! I’m bad at trying to find something that stands out in among all of the research I have done.

Anyone else got anything interesting that they’ve researched?

About the Insecure Writer’s Support Group

InsecureWritersSupportGroup3

Write where? #IWSG

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

Um… yeah, I have no idea. It would be somewhere that I could view nature, but there’s not one specific thing I’m looking for. I’m also not opposed to cityscapes either.

I would prefer not to be staring at the side of my neighbor’s house though. Sometimes they stare back.

Despite being in the middle of the city, I am pretty fortunate that I’ll catch quail running through my front yard or a deer hanging out across the street. This is among the other common wildlife.

In short, no, there’s no one place I want to write. If I could visit the location that I’m basing a particular story off of, that would be cool. Maybe someday I will. At least the places I’ve used as a basis for locations.

About the Insecure Writer’s Support Group

InsecureWritersSupportGroup3

Incident Report #IWSG

Late in the day, but not completely late for this month. I forgot to get it written early like I normally do and then I forgot that I needed to remember all of my login stuff because I got a new computer.

So, yeah, new computer (last one was dying a slow painful death and I couldn’t work on it) and I’ve booked events for most weekends this month. This coming weekend, August 10-11, I’ll be at Nampa Festival of the Arts. August 24-25, I’ll be at Boise Comic Arts Fest. And if everything works out, I’ll also be at Experience Garden City on August 31.

What I’m most insecure about right now is getting 5 moved along. I’m behind my normal schedule, but I’m pressing hard so I don’t have to move the release date.

IWSG Question of the Day: Has your writing ever taken you by surprise? For example, a positive and belated response to a submission you’d forgotten about or an ending you never saw coming?

Oh, what a question for me. This happens ALL THE TIME. Have a character I plan to kill and I end up liking him/her too much. A character dies who I hadn’t planned to kill. Silver decides to do things he’s not supposed to for a couple of books and I have to hit the reset button. I could go on.

Usually it’s Silver who does things I’m not expecting, but sometimes things just go in a completely opposite direction. The following quote is the most accurate thing I’ve ever seen when it comes to how I write:

About the Insecure Writer’s Support Group

InsecureWritersSupportGroup3

Getting personal #IWSG

IWSG Question of the Day: What personal traits have you written into your character(s)?

I had planned on opening this up with a quote, but damned if I can find it now. I thought I knew who said it, but…

The short version is I write characters that are both aspects of me as I am and those of who I wish I was.

Except for Silver. I don’t think I have anything in common with him.

Joking aside, Ketayl is the closest to me as she’s my oldest character. She’s gone through a couple of decades of changes and growing to become her own character until she found her way into the series I’m working on.

Does she have some of my traits? Yes. Some deeper ones than I’m prepared to discuss here. Those became part of her character before I even knew what they were.

To give a more direct answer, we’re both introverts. I know those who have only met me at events might not realize it as I end up shifting into a different mode for that time period. If you catch me out and about, it’s another story.

Since this is something I know intimately, the trait easily made it into Ketayl. And in one regard, I hope there are people out there who can connect with her because of it and see that it isn’t a limitation, but just one part of who she is.

My own traits often make it into other characters as well. One thing here, another there. And as I stated above, it could be an active trait or maybe one I wish I had. I’d spend way too long trying to figure out who has what.

It makes one wonder who else writes their traits into their characters. Also if readers connect with characters because they connect with the traits portrayed.

About the Insecure Writer’s Support Group

InsecureWritersSupportGroup3



Genre Switching #IWSG

Anyone worried about that title?

IWSG Question of the Day: Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?

At the moment, with so much focus on the series I’m writing, science fantasy is my home. And thinking about other projects I have in progress or in planning… yeah, I seem to like it a lot. I tried my hand at cyberpunk once because it’s always had a special place in my heart to read, but it still ended up with fantasy elements (it was also really bad so it’ll never see the light of day).

It doesn’t mean I don’t read outside of it. I still love my sci-fi and other fantasy sub genres. Though paranormal romance can confuse me depending on how it’s written. I think that has something to do with romance itself being this weird entity that I occasionally poke with a stick.

Every time I open up the Kindle app, I’m greeted with a number of choices spanning many genres. What I gravitate toward first tends to be if they’re local or if I know them over the genre. And let’s not talk about the piles of physical books…

About the Insecure Writer’s Support Group

InsecureWritersSupportGroup3





Make it stop… #IWSG

Oh gosh, anyone who has had the unfortunate chance to listen to me lately it seems like I’m putting out a never ending sequence of fires. Or trying to keep my world from completely exploding. I’m not sure which yet.Conjured Defense eCover

Which means writing has gotten sidelined. However, thankfully I had enough in place that Conjured Defense is still on course for release.

Doesn’t mean I’m not nervous about it leaving the nest and going out into the world. Despite what my beta readers tell me. At least my cover is pretty.

IWSG Question of the Day: What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

I’m not sure I have a particular instance where I learned that. The more I read, the more clearly I was transported to other worlds where I could leave the troubles of life behind. I could be whoever I wanted, go on adventures with amazing people, take on various challenges and villains… The good stuff.

And you would think I would apply this concept to my own writing, but eh, I just make stuff up.

Part of that is likely because in my calls for help, I was ignored. I’d write down my requests so there was no misunderstanding, but I remained unheard.

Yet, I continued reading and writing, escaping to somewhere else.

About the Insecure Writer’s Support Group

InsecureWritersSupportGroup3

Keeping on Track #IWSG

Yeah, I’ve been really bad about keeping on top of certain things lately. Writing blog posts being one of them. Trying to stay on track with getting Conjured Defense ready and it feels like a thousand or so other things.

While itching to get back to book 5 (saved my next attempt at it for Camp NaNoWriMo), I’ve been working on editing older stuff. Granted, family has kept me quite busy along with my volunteer work.

Though I finished a particular project there recently and it felt really good to see it go on to the next stage. Not that there aren’t a ton more projects waiting for me.

2019-03-07 19.20.24As for family, my daughter picked up a couple new things since the beginning of the year. Her soccer club with her school I was expecting again because she enjoyed it so much last year. Then she added Cub Scouts and she’s bound and determined to earn all of the Tiger adventures, which, of course, we’re helping her to achieve (she still has to put in the work though).

She’s a little over halfway there with more in progress. Of course my husband and I got dragged in to help.

Doesn’t exactly lend me much time to devote to writing lately. I had hoped to have finished a particular editing project by now, but alas, that hasn’t happened.

Going to Massachusetts and Connecticut for over a week last month didn’t help either, but it was great to visit. Got some work done in-flight since I couldn’t sleep.

2019-03-18 10.35.02

I know I’m always insecure at this time in the process of getting a book out. I doubt it will ever really change. Got an idea for another series also, but outside of some notes at the moment, it’s not going anywhere. It’s really in the concept stage so I’m definitely not ready to share anything.

And that’s pretty much it right now.

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

The first chapter. I struggle so much with beginning a book it’s not even funny. Once I get going, I’m good for the most part.

About the Insecure Writer’s Support Group

InsecureWritersSupportGroup3



Outside of writing #IWSG

IWSG Question of the Day: Besides writing, what other creative outlets do you have?

Um…well, you see, that’s a slightly complex question with a simple answer: I don’t have one thing¬† I regularly stick to. I enjoy a variety of crafts, though have given up on anything to do with yarn. I wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t really for me.

I want to get back to drawing and perhaps get into some digital work. Then there’s 3D modeling that I haven’t done in forever. I’d say time is against me, but really, I’m scared of failure. And it’s something that holds true in my writing. The fact I get anything out is somewhat impressive.

But getting back… Um, I’ve started doing some publication layouts and while that’s writing-related, I’m not the one generating the content. I really enjoy seeing things come together.

I’m hoping I can get back to a couple of things soon and create some additional items to accompany my writing. Pretty vague response, but I don’t want to give up anything just yet.

About the Insecure Writer’s Support Group

InsecureWritersSupportGroup3