Wednesday, December 7, 2022

IWSG - December - Time to Catch-up!

It is time to return. I am finally in a place where I can read and comment on other members, so I am back to being part of the hop.

I hated to step out, but I also hated to hang on by my fingernails as I tried to survive a bit of personal turbulence. I still would have missed out on really supporting others with full participation!

So here is my take on the question for this month:

December 7 question - It's holiday time! Are the holidays a time to catch up or fall behind on writer goals?

I would like to say this is a time to catch up. I am finally finishing up some professional certificate courses I was required to complete for my day job, so my evening/weekend times are about to be more open. On the flip side, I will be traveling to visit family, which means several days of getting nothing done (except devoting 100% of my time to family).

I will certainly get more writing done in the next month than I have in the past four months. So I would say I couldn't fall much further behind!

I look forward to reading many other author responses! Thanks for keeping my spot warm!

RIP My Sweet Jiji
02/2019 - 12/2022
We didn't have long enough!

Now who will stare at me while I write? Silly kitty!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

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

The awesome co-hosts for the December 7 posting of the IWSG are Joylene Nowell Butler, Chemist Ken, Natalie Aguirre, Nancy Gideon, and Cathrina Constantine!

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Personal Time Travel

 The evidence on this website is clear. I have recently been stuck in an unprecedented mode of time travel. Time slipped further and further away. So much so, I think the word "slup" could be invented to describe the feeling more accurately. No time for this, and no time for that, all because time slup.

Passion could not stop it. Drive could not stop it. Desperation certainly could not stop it. My writing coaches, circle of author friends, and this website all became frozen in a past life. Glimpses of them appeared on a whiff of guilt each time I walked by my lonely laptop resting on a desk of increasingly heaped crap.

I would try to get back, but thirty minutes of editing, an hour of planning in my journal, a long silent stare at my inspiration board all amounted to nothing more than a wake for my author persona. My words slipped (slup) further from my fingertips every day. It wasn't depressing, not as depressing as it sounds. I found time with my family, time to do small, insignificant household tasks like wiping down the world's most complicated trashcan. Time at work grew longer and longer, too. What is the point of taking a break in a ten-hour day? If I work all the way through, I can finish even more! I never do seem to catch up.

There truly is nothing sad about my missing persona. It isn't even missing, just under a sleeping curse, waiting in hibernation for the flow of time to be just right.

Is the time right? I cannot say, but I can say this:  I woke up on another planet today. This is something my past self has done many times. I could hear the crashing of waves on sand. It is dark, but not night. This is not the first time I have dreamed of a planet in perpetual dusk, although this one is different. The sand is the color of the night sky. I follow the shoreline until the washing sand gives way to a paved staircase of deep blue bricks. The water laps at the edges of the steps leading to the base of a huge tower. Everything is dark blue. The sand is probably the main ingredient for the bricks and cob used to build the tower. The retreating water leaves the surface glossy and slippery, but I am not using my feet to travel, so I won't fall. As peaceful as this scene sounds, I know I am being hunted. But I am not afraid, merely annoyed. What is it this time?

Then I hear the bathroom door slam, the toilet lid smack into the tank, and the relieved sigh of a small child. I am sucked back into the too-fast flow of time once again.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

IWSG - July - A Life in a Book

It is the last week of my summer classes and I am excited to get them over and done so I can get back to writing! I have a lot of catching up to do before the next (and last) semester begins. 

The awesome co-hosts for the July 6 posting of the IWSG are J Lenni Dorner, Janet Alcorn, PJ Colando, Jenni Enzor, and Diane Burton!

July 6 question - If you could live in any book world, which one would you choose?

I keep scanning my favorites and I am really stumped on this one! Maybe I am afraid to live in my favorite books because I read mostly Science Fiction and the worlds are far from romantic.


This might seem dark, but I almost would want to live in S M Stirling's Change World. I certainly hope I would be in the minority who survived the Change, and would love to live at Dun Juniper! 

Other than that, it would have to be on another planet, but I would hardly want to live on one of Le Guin's planets, or on Arrakis. (Maybe Discworld? I fear the stupidity of the locals, yet it seems soooo familiar to my current world.)

I have it!!! I shall live in one of two books (which also happen to be my top 2 favorite movies, too):
Stardust or Howl's Moving Castle

Either world will do wonderfully!

I hope I get to spend this new life with Tristan or Howl! Don't tell my husband.

Happy July, everyone! Miss you all, and hope to be back soon!

Sunday, June 5, 2022

IWSG - June

Fashionably late to the party again. (But determined not to give up.)

I have some more content planned for this month, so I should be able to keep up...if anyone is still out there.

June 1 question - When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end? If you have not started the writing yet, why do you think that is and what do you think could help you find your groove and start?

This is a great question! I never really had trouble with the "writing" part of the story, but I am definitely stuck on the "editing" part! (Which is a part of The going is extremely tough right now. 

Today I came across a card from an old-fashioned printing press that said:  "If you do not have time to do it right, how will you ever have time to do it over." This was always my attitude while writing. I wanted it to be perfect the first time. Of course, a first draft is never perfect, but I certainly didn't want to be stuck where I am today, making big edits. Now I know how to do a better job in the pre-drafting phase, and I hope that means my time will be spent "doing it right." No hurry!

So, right now, staying in the groove is really more like visiting the groove when I can. I know what I want to accomplish, I know what I need to accomplish it, and I just keep stopping by and making small things happen. (That's all I can do right now, and that's good enough for me.) I have enough stress in my life without my love of storytelling being one of them.

I hope everyone is having a good start to their summer/winter season!

The awesome co-hosts for the June 1 posting of the IWSG are SE White, Cathrina Constantine, Natalie Aguire, Joylene Nowell Butler, and Jacqui Murray!

Sunday, May 15, 2022

IWSG May - Let's Pretend

 Let's pretend like I did not miss the last two months of blogging. Let's also pretend like I did not miss the entire month of April and the A to Z challenge which was so successful last year, and that I did not put it on my goals for 2022.

Now I will pretend like I have a good answer for the May question for the Insecure Writers Support Group.

Awesome co-hosts for today last week:  

Kim Elliott, Melissa Maygrove, Chemist Ken, Lee Lowery, and Nancy Gideon!

May 4 15 question - It's the best of times; it's the worst of times. What are your writer highs (the good times)? And what are your writer lows (the crappy times)?

My writer life is completely enslaved by my other lives. When my overall life is high, then the writing is high, too. I feel great when I can stick to my routine, when I can stay in contact with my writing buddies and writing coaches. I make plenty of progress when everyone else in my house is content and nothing else needs my attention.

Writing lows strike when there is any sort of imbalance. For example the mess on my desk right now. I really want to stop and fix it. I also want to do some exercise, fold some laundry, weed my garden, play games with my kids...

So it would seem, I could come up with a thousand excuses not to spend time writing. So are the crappy times really because of life distractions, or because I am not motivated to make time for writing? Seems like a cyclical argument!

Do you have to keep a strict routine to do the things you want to do? When do you let yourself slide?

Thanks for pretending...

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Book Review: Artificial Condition by Martha Wells

Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries, #2)Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Need a quick SciFi fix? This is it. I enjoyed #2 as much as I did #1 and I really want to buy the whole series to sit on my shelf so I can touch it affectionately when I'm feeling down.

But seriously, these quick reads are perfect little episodes with just the right amount of fun. Where else can you find a deadly murderbot who sighs at the idiotic and suicidal decisions of humans?

Martha Wells builds a convincing and effective world through the eyes of a "rogue murderbot," otherwise known as a security model that has hacked its governor module and uses its spare time to watch too much TV while trying to figure out humans. The first-person perspective is perfect and I have no trouble relating to this bot. I imagine most SciFi fans have similar opinions of most humans. Wells' writing style is easy to read and very clean. I cannot think of a single thing I would complain about in this book.

View all my reviews

I read this book as part of my SpaceTime Reading Challenge. To view my progress or sign up, visit the post.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

March IWSG - Scenes and Rings

It's March.

I spent February working constant overtime. It was brutal. Some days I had up to 15 employees call out. Two new employees quit after only a week. Childcare is not for the weak. 

And my personal in-progress list seems to enjoy growing. Nothing gets marked off, but I still keep adding things. I just can't help it. I want to do it all! Besides, this list is for me! So I am doing a six-week workout challenge, slowly making my way through yoga teacher certification, taking an online course, starting a new garden from scratch, and trying to do plenty of writing and reading.

While my blog content is lacking, I assure you there is plenty going on behind the scenes. Speaking of scenes, this month's question is about conflicting feelings regarding scenes. I am still in the editing phase for my novel, and I can't say there is a particular scene I have felt conflicted about for a specific reason. Mostly, I just keep questioning each scene and trying to make sure the plot keeps moving forward.

I'm fueling my inspiration with as much reading as I can! I signed up for the Space/Time Reading Challenge. If you haven't been by to sign up, you should! While you are there, read a little bit about the creator Jemima Pett. She has a recent book release that would be a great fit for the challenge. Let me tell you about it!!

Book: Zanzibar’s Rings (Book 3 in the Viridian System series)
Author: Jemima Pett

Blurb: A galactic crisis: the entire comms system destroyed. No waypoints, no navigation aids, no database access... and how will spaceships in flight get home--or to any destination? Dolores is stuck in warp with a very dangerous passenger, Pete gets his shuttle back home on manual. But why does anything in close contact with pure orichalcum fix itself? Just flying through Zanzibar's Rings solves the problem--as the Federation's Fighters find, as they descend on the Viridian System to take possession of the planets.

This third book in the series wraps up the adventure that started with The Perihelix and continued with Curved Space to Corsair. It is a self-contained story with references to previous events, but no prior knowledge is required.

Zanzibar’s Rings published 22nd Feb 2022: Amazon, iTunes, B&N and Kobobooks.

Social media links:
Visit Jemima’s website at or connect with her at BookBub, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram and Pinterest.

Thanks for being an inspiration, Jemima!

And for more inspiring authors, see our co-hosts this month!

The awesome co-hosts for the March 2 posting of the IWSG are Janet Alcorn, Pat Garcia, Natalie Aguirre, and Shannon Lawrence!

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Book Review: CassaFire by Alex J. Cavanaugh

CassafireCassafire by Alex J. Cavanaugh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was eager to read the continuation of Byron’s journey from CassaStar, and I was not disappointed. CassaFire by Alex J. Cavanaugh was an enjoyable and quick read.

Byron kept his promise at the end of the first book and signed on to an exploration team. He serves as a pilot for scientists as they study alien technology on a planet that only recently discovered they were not alone, but has not yet mastered space travel of their own. Byron’s unique abilities in telepathy make him more than just a useful chauffeur.

For me, Byron is the attraction. I think his character is interesting and unique and his struggle with relationships makes him very relatable. There is even a bit of romance, which I was not expecting. I think it was well executed and crucial to the plot.

I would recommend this book/series to SciFi lovers who want to explore space and hear the tales of exploration and everyday life. The rest of the series is definitely on my TBR list. Cavanaugh is an addictive storyteller.

View all my reviews

I read this book as part of my SpaceTime Reading Challenge. To view my progress or sign up, visit the post.

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

February IWSG - Who's Missing?

February 2 question - Is there someone who supported or influenced you who perhaps isn't around anymore? Anyone you miss?

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

This is an easy question...EVERYONE.

Just months before starting my membership in the Insecure Writers Support Group I moved a thousand miles away from everyone I ever knew. All the people who molded me into the shape I am today are greatly missed. The grandparents who always saw the possibilities inside me, the parents who made sure those possibilities had a chance to blossom, the aunts, uncles, and cousins who influenced my thoughts and ideas, the friends who allowed me to be myself; all of them are far away.

The hardest part of leaving so many behind is knowing that my children will not have those same amazing influences in their lives. The best part about knowing this is I appreciate every memory and embrace each one so it can shine through my being. My kids will know those influences through me, and my readers will catch glimpses of them, too.

Thanks for visiting me today. While the void is not completely filled by it, hearing from you does mean a lot to me. Thanks for your support and influence!

Laugh for the day:  Grammarly wanted to correct "so many behind" to "so many behinds." Yes, there are a lot of behinds in my family, and they would all get a kick out of that.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Book Review: Trust by Jean Davis

Trust (The Narvan Book 1)Trust by Jean Davis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fast-paced, good read. Jean Davis’s 'Trust' is my favorite type of SciFi: foreign worlds, multiple races, and intriguing abilities and technology. I picked this book because I enjoyed another book by Davis (The Last God). I would recommend both books to anyone who enjoys traveling to other worlds and tales about the complications of love and war.

Vayen is a survivor and always has been. No matter what women, partners, or secret government agencies throw at him, he finds a way to rise above. (Not that he doesn’t hit rock bottom on more than one occasion.

It was difficult to put this book down. I will definitely be following the rest of the series.

The title is an interesting connection to the story. I find myself wondering why 'Trust?' I think it does push me to reflect on the characters’ arcs. In that capacity, the title is perfect.

I noticed a couple of editing errors, but none were distracting or annoying. The first-person perspective is perfect for the story and the reader feels everything as the characters do. The world-building is weighted mostly towards systems and technology and not as much environment or scenery, but there were enough details to give me a picture of how each world was different, particularly the architecture. (Same with ships.) I have a feeling more of this will be visualized in later books in the series as the author further explores the Narvan.

I am mostly satisfied with the ending, I think the story wraps up well, if not a little too quickly. But that matches the overall pace.

I do read for pleasure but also to study the craft of storytelling. I think Davis is an excellent science fiction storyteller and a good inspiration for other writers.

Final Note: I love her cover art!

View all my reviews

I read this book as part of my SpaceTime Reading Challenge. To view my progress or sign up, visit the post.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Read Space/Time Travel - CHALLENGE ACCEPTED

Here I am, minding my own business, doing my first discussion board post for an online course I'm taking, reading through some of my favorite blogs, and out of nowhere I discover there are reading challenges for specific types of books!

Even better, I find that writers I know and love are participating. And an author I know and love is the creator! AND it involves space *and* time travel books!

And I was thinking the only luck that I would see in 2022 would be that 41st bagel bite that came in the box of 40 I just bought for my kids. (Thanks, mom, for teaching my kids what bagel bites are.)

This is fantastic news!!!

I'm IN! Challenge accepted. Let's do this. I'm only ten days late. I have been reading a book already this year, but I do not think it counts. It is an anthology, but technically the stories I've read so far are not space or time-related. (But very science fiction.) I shall have to find another.

If reading about space and time travel is also your cup of tea, go sign up! You don't need to have a blog, but you will need a place to post your reviews. Perhaps on Goodreads? (If you don't have Goodreads, make that another challenge for you this year. It is a great place for readers!)

Use the image below to find out about the challenge and sign up!

Updates on my progress:



Friday, January 7, 2022

Oops, IWSG a little too late...

Now I'm in trouble, not just a day late and a dollar short, but two!

Happiest New Year to everyone. I hope you have a moment to take a deep breath and feel the biting chill of winter (or the golden heat of summer depending on your hemisphere). I hope you feel the world spinning and admire the changes of our beautiful planet as it turns through its cycle of life.

I hope you enjoy your favorite tea and hear birds or water or wind. And I hope you find that tiny fire inside you that keeps you in motion, that burns with the desire to create.

Apologies for my delayed participation and my continued absence from writing.

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

My only regret to date is that I often confuse my critical mind with my insecure, imposter-fearing mind. The two are so entangled that an attempt to make improvements quickly turns into self-doubt and even fear. I hope I am overcoming it by persevering.

I got to go home for the new year and see my family for the first time in over a year (or more). It felt good to be on familiar ground and to talk to familiar faces. My heart swelled to hear that someone was following my blog, reading my work, or even looking forward to some of my other stories being published. It was a renewal of passion for me. One cousin joked that he expected me to be a rocket scientist by now. What on Earth was I doing working at a childcare center? I laughed. I'd like to see a rocket scientist try to do my job! Perhaps I just developed another story... CHILDCARE IN SPACE! But honestly, I have too much interest in people and Earth. The closest I will ever get to a rocket is writing about one.

Thank you for stopping by, and thank you for your continued support. Your reading gives me a reason to continue writing. 

All the best!

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

As always, follow the link by clicking the badge below to view more writers' blogs.
Congratulations to all the Anthology Winners this year. I can't wait to read it!