Thursday, June 6, 2019

#IWSG Top 3 Reasons Mystery Is My Favorite Genre

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world and lend support to our comrades! We post every first Wednesday of the month. Join us by clicking the link above.

The co-hosts for the June 5 posting of the IWSG are Diane Burton, Kim Lajevardi, Sylvia Ney, Sarah Foster,Jennifer Hawes, and Madeline Mora-Summonte! 

June 5 question:
Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?

I ghost write for artists and execs, I freelance when it comes to journalism and basic copy, but my all time high is reading and writing noir mystery novels.

1. Tying up loose ends.
When in life do you get to just wrap up all your problems? Yes, it takes a ton of plot preparation. Yes, you can't be assured it'll turn out the way you thought it would, but you have to go down to Hell to come back up and re-emerge from places where most wont take two steps out the door.

2. Noir mystery is great for satire and political commentary. It's easier to state your position when you sneak it into an unsolved mystery. There's a reason there's more fact in fiction.

3. My heroines serve as great female remodels. 
This helps me sleep at night. I keep them flawed, but in the end they always maintain an unshakable moral compass and a deep inner strength.

What are your favorite genres? Please leave a comment below. I will always return comments unless a house falls on me or I'm abducted by aliens.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

#IWSG My # 1 Experience Learning Language Has Power.

Alex J. Cavanuagh has created this blog hop to encourage writers to open up and share our perceived slights and concerns with others. 

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG. To sign up click HERE
The awesome co-hosts for the May 1 posting of the IWSG are Lee Lowery, Juneta Key, Yvonne Ventresca, and T. Powell Coltrin!

This month's question - What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

I wanted to be a writer ever since I knew what writing was. The first time I harnessed its influence I was seven. I'm still looking for that same glimpse of power. 

My audience, my family of a considerable size, gathered around after Easter Sunday brunch. I had written (mapped out in story boards) a two act play about finding a baby on the beach. In front of the full audience in my grandma's house we walked onto the living room stage, I holding a baby doll wrapped in a towel, and my cousin following me around. 

Premise - We had found a baby on the beach and were looking for its mother.

Conclusion - We unceremoniously dropped the baby to the ground announcing, "We don't have to search anymore, because the baby is dead."

I was a bit confused about the resurrection, but felt drunk with power at the look of shock on everyone's faces. As a teenager the memory caused me deep embarrassment. Now, I can laugh. 

I'm astounded at the power of autocorrect. Whoever invented autocorrect can rote in ducking help!

When did you first learn language has power?

I love comments! I always return comments unless I've been abducted by aliens or a house drops on me. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

#IWSG 1 Wish - Writing About Uncomfortable Truths

Welcome to Alex J. Cavanaugh's monthly support group post. Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

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

April 3 question: If you could use a wish to help you write just ONE scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be? (examples: fight scene / first kiss scene / death scene / chase scene / first chapter / middle chapter / end chapter, etc.)

The awesome co-hosts for the April 3 posting of the IWSG are
J.H. Moncrieff, Natalie Aguirre, Patsy Collins, and Chemist Ken! 


I arrived in Japan to work for my friend Yukon on a ghost writing project. Dream job. I'll tell you even more about it when I get back stateside so I don't jinx myself. Paranoia, but that's why we're all here right?

I've been busy and allowing myself to have fun even though my writerly self doubt gets in the way. -Gasp- Deadlines.

For this month's question, my wish to help me write one scene in my shorts and novels would be getting out of my own neurotic way when it comes to my character's love consummating scene.

At the risk of sounding crude, I despise metaphor when it comes to sex and death. And that's what the human condition really comes down to, right? The use of metaphor is typically shame based. To be taken seriously and have the work pack a punch it's better to be blunt. This. Is. Hard. There's not enough wine in California to make me more comfortable when squirming with hard truths within my work.

What would your wish be? I always reply back and trade comments unless I'm abducted by aliens or a house falls on me.

Friday, March 8, 2019

#IWSG How I Avoid Feeling Down As A Writer

It's that time. Actually, past that time for our Insecure Writer's Support Group blog hop. Join Alex J. Cavanaugh and all our friends on his blog where we post the first Wednesday of the month. CLICK TO JOIN HERE!

The awesome co-hosts for the March 6 posting of the IWSG are Beverly Stowe McClure, Erika Beebe, and Lisa Buie-Collard

Although the question of the day was more about voice than process, I think it's more fitting for me to discuss why we shame ourselves. I'm two days late for my post. Whenever I miss a deadline, no matter how big or small I feel guilty for it. This group is important to me.

I've been crazy busy, and crazy stressed. I've dealt with my ex-husband, ex-boyfriend, out of pocket family members, San Francisco BS and the lot. Here's the thing. I should be thankful and have gratitude for what I have. I know this deep deep deep down inside at all times, but it's easy to lose sight of it at surface level. 

I got offered a ghost writing job in Chiba, Japan. I'm stoked about it. All expenses will be paid, but I'm on the end of so much drama over money and time and such (insert whiney voice here). Who's going to look after my dog? Why can't others around me just be more sane? 

Here's what brought me back down to earth. I have a friend named Donald. He slept in the Wells Fargo entrance on Lombard and hung out reading at the bus stop on Chestnut for years. He was always reading scripture, he never asked me for a dime, and seeing my dog was one of the highlights of his day. He's since moved on and I miss him. 

When I'm feeling down I remember for six years how we would interact. I'd sit next to him at the bus stop with my dog and ask what he was reading. It was mostly scripture. We'd ask each other how the other was doing. I could be at my most depressed and he could lift me out of it with his, "Sister, God is good." Here he is homeless with a big smile on his face and pets for my dog. I would instantly get over myself and move on.

I feel as writers we have to be in tune with the human condition on many levels. This can get overwhelming and shut us down. Remembering Donald's smile and generous manner when the man literally had nothing helps me rise out of my funk every time.

What helps you? Please answer in the comment section below. I will always return a comment unless I'm abducted by aliens or a house falls on me. Thank you for reading my late post!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

#IWSG #AmWriting Why We Need Alternative Outlets To Maintain Our Voice

It’s time for Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer’s Support Group! This is a safe place to release our fears. Oxymoron on the Internet, right?


No, seriously. This is a place for writers to encourage and protect each other. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month and encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. We offer commiseration and advice, especially in times of need.  

The fabulous and talented co-hosts today for February 6 posting of the IWSG are Raimey Gallant, Natalie Aguirre, CV Grehan, and Michelle Wallace!
 Click on their links to check them out.

Kurt Cobain was a painter and a sculptor. Leonardo da Vinci did freakin everything. Jean-Jacques Russo was known for his operas before he became a famous philosopher. I feel close to certain our alternate "creative selves" are ultimately what make us stand out as writers.

My alternative creative outlets:

I've worked at three independent bookstores.
I love to ski.
Stalk my favorite authors.
Faulkner House, New Orleans
Visit every literary hotspot hoping against hope to absorb talent.

Pretend my dog is a small child.

Obsess over, and play guitars.

Did you know Stephen King is in a band? That Chuck Palahniuk kick started the Cacophony Society, and even used it as the prototype for Project Mayhem in Fight Club?

The Cacophony Society turned into Burning Man and Santa Con. Chuck has profusely apologized for both ever since. 

What are your alternative creative outlets? Please answer in the comments below. I always return comments unless a house drops on me, or I'm abducted by aliens. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

#IWSG 5 Of My Least Favorite Questions About Writing

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

It's the first Insecure Writer's Support Group post of 2019! This is science fiction writer, Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog hop. Here we share insecurities and give advise on writerly questions and pathologies. This helps propel my productivity throughout the month. 

Join HERE!

January 2 question - What are your least favorite questions people ask you about your writing?

The awesome co-hosts for the January 2 posting of the IWSG are Patricia Lynne, Lisa Buie-Collard, Kim Lajevardi, and Fundy Blue!

Question 1. What's your process?

Answer 1. What's my process? For which novel? Which genre? Which venue? I usually just tell the inquiring party to visit to my blog, or join the writing workshop I teach here in San Francisco. Just like we're all physiologically different, so are our minds and the way we work. It's the first loaded question to trip me up during Q&A after a reading. 

Question 2. Are you still writing?

Answer 2. If I have a pulse, I'm still writing. 

Question 3. How much money do you make?

Answer 3. How do so many people fail to realize how rude this question is? I'm asked this online, at parties and especially during the holidays.

Question 4. I have this New York Times bestseller of an idea, but my real job doesn't give me time to write. Maybe you could write it and we could split the royalties? I'll share it with you if you promise not to steal it.

Answer 4. This might sound harsh, but your "genius idea" is safe. Trust me. Writer's have ideas coming out of our ears, spinning in our brains and whirling around so fast we can barely get them out of our fingertips. If we had twenty fingers instead of ten it would solve so many problems.

Question 5. I'm considering being a writer and I'm thinking of doing a series. I haven't tried it before, but would love to quit my job. Any advise?

Answer 5. Telling me you decided to maybe try working as a writer is like me telling a concert pianist I want to play along side them when the muse hits me. It doesn't work that way. You don't ask to play violin for the orchestra when you only picked it up yesterday. 

Those are my top five. That was surprisingly cathartic. What are your least favorite questions you've been asked about your writing?

I'll always return comments unless a house falls on me or I'm abducted by aliens. 

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

#IWSG 5 Objects I Always Have On Hand Writing

It's the first Wednesday of the month. Time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Read about our fears, commiserate and offer advice to other writing comrades. If you'd like to join us, click HERE and sign up. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

The awesome co-hosts for the December 5 posting are:

This month's optional question is: What are five objects we'd find in your writing space?

I think a better question is what do I not have in my work nest? Hint: It morphs into a "work mess".

Yes, the bar stools have my workout gear drying on them. It's December in San Francisco.
Hunter S. Thompson wrote in diners digging in to a Kentucky style breakfast and ordering 4 Bloody Marys at a time. Anthony Bourdain wrote every morning the moment he woke up to espresso, a pen and a pad while he was just coming into consciousness. 

I write with my Taylor guitar next to me, notes from my publisher on hand (always a source of encouragement), my iPhone, notebook(s) and computer. I write long hand first, then I type. My main trick is turning off the Internet so I'm not interrupted when creating the Word Doc. 

And this little guy is always around -

The joy of writing long hand. The notebook pile continues to build.
What five things do you have in your writing space? I heart comments. I will always return a comment on other's blogs unless I'm trapped in a avalanche or abducted by aliens.

Happy Holidays everyone!