Wednesday, January 8, 2020

IWSG: January2020!

2020!!! Wow! Ready or not, it's a new decade. Will we be blogging still in the next decade? Who knows. But for 2020, IWSG group is still the best there is. Started by Alex J. Cavanaugh, this group offers support and assistance to new and veteran writers. Find the entire list here and don't forget to check out the guidelines for next week's Twitter pitch opportunity.

This month's optional question: What started you on your writing journey? Was it a particular book, movie, story, or series? Was it a teacher/coach/spouse/friend/parent? Did you just "know" suddenly you wanted to write?

My 9th grade English teacher had us read The Hobbit. Then she lent me her own copies of Lord of the Rings. I was hooked on fantasy, but I wasn't really thinking about being a writer at all. I'd always loved reading and continued into adulthood and parenthood though there were years I was so busy I barely opened a book for pleasure. Almost thirty years after that dedicated and inspiring teacher turned me onto Tolkien, I created my own fantasy novel. Once I started writing, I knew I would never quit. As a busy mother, teacher, and coach, knowing I would be a writer didn't suddenly come to me. It was a plan. A plan for me to have some time for what I wanted. Usually that time was 10 PM to midnight, but it was mine.

Writing Business
I've been stuck. The space opera romance I've been working on just isn't flowing. I like my characters and know where the story is going, but I can't seem to sit down and write it. I brooded on it for most of the last four months and then decided I needed to set it aside for now. Instead of writing new stuff, I pulled out the manuscript of First Dragon, the first book in my second fantasy series that was previously published by a small press that went out of business. I'm determined to get that book back in print this year as well as the second book which has been through two rounds of editing by the now defunct publisher. Only a few independent publishers will consider a book that has been previously published. I'm making a list and checking it twice.

Entertainment
How good is The Witcher? Really, really good. I've watched it three times. The first one left me confused until near the last two episodes. The story is told along multiple timelines and it took me two viewings to totally figure it out. Then I watched the third time just to enjoy the Witcher's interactions with others. So much humor I missed at first though it is a dark, violent show.  I wasn't over-the-moon thrilled with the fourth season of The Expanse but it was okay. Hoping season 5 is better. The Bone Collector is a new show premiering on Friday. I'm going to check it out. Criminal Minds returns tonight for its last season. It's a creepy how, I'm going to watch anyway.

Happy New Year to you all. Our holidays were fun and stress-free. I'm grateful everyday that our children all get along with each other and us. They love spending time together. As they get older and busier, those times become more precious and appreciated. 

"May you have warmth in your igloo, oil in your lamp, and peace in your heart." Inuit proverb

I'm a long time member of RWA. If you've heard about anything going on with that largest of writers' organization, you'll understand how incredible it all is. Members like me who have only casually paid attention to the leadership don't even know what to think. It's like watching a train wreck in slow motion. That's all I have to say about it.

We've had our first real snow and I'll be taking my daughter sled riding today. And she wants to build a snowman just like Olaf. Yes, we're there already. Frozen has entered her understanding of the world. LOL

Have you watched The Witcher? Were your holidays pleasant? Are you enjoying any snow? Participating in the Twitter pitch?




51 comments:

  1. "A plan for me to have some time for what I wanted." Funny how writing comes about that way. I think writing is about the only thing I do that's just for me. Happy New Year, Susan.

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  2. DLP prefers fresh material but if you have a full series planned...

    We're below freezing but no snow. Have fun making that snowman.

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    1. We made the snowman! We're going to continue tomorrow. We also learned the joy of snowball fights.

      I do have a full series planned...

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  3. Hi Susan - it's great you can pursue your passion and write your own stories. Just enjoy the snow and the sled ride ... I'm now lazy and happier being in slightly warmer climes?! Wonderful you have such a loving family and are happy together ... congratulations - and enjoy the 2020 decade ahead - cheers Hilary

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    1. Thank you, Hilary. My husband yearns for warmer climes too.

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  4. This is the second post I've read in a row where The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, as promoted by a teacher, were the writer's "origin story." I wish I could say the same - there was a "Tolkien Society" at my school, but unfortunately no one much liked the teacher who ran it, so we all actually had a negative impression of Tolkien for a while. I did read them not long after I left school, though.

    We did have a relaxing holiday - my wife and I treated ourselves to a smart TV with Netflix as our present, so we now truly know the meaning of bingewatching. We're up to speed on the hype around Stranger Things - pretty much watched all of seasons 2 and 3 over two nights. Wasn't grabbed by The Witcher though - I think it got off to a rough start, so might need to give it another chance at some point. Here's to a productive 2020!

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    1. The right teacher at the right time can make all the difference. Give The Witcher another try. It takes until about the 4th or 5th episode to figure out the timelines.

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  5. Finally caught up with Emergence...and then there was a new episode. Still behind on The Prodigal Son and we're saving Evil to binge watch another time. I haven't heard of The Bone Collector - I'll look into it!

    Good luck with all of your 2020 goals!

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    1. Oh yes, I've been watching all those shows too. Evil is great. I should have realized you would like that spooky show and The Prodigal Son is almost as creepy and tense.

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  6. The Witcher is awesome! I plan to review it next week.
    I hope you get inspired again with your story.

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    1. I'm looking forward to your review. I'm inspired by the other series I went back to so the muse is working again.

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  7. Hi Susan, yes I'm currently watching The Withcer great stuff I'll finish this weekend. Have a great New Year!

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    1. I was lucky to not have to work over the holiday so I binged The Witcher in two days and then watched it again right after.

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  8. I haven't watched The Witcher yet, but a good friend of mine really enjoyed it, so I added it to my list.

    The whole situation with the RWA is like watching a slow-motion train wreck. I'm not a member, but I'm still trying to keep tabs on the situation.

    My WIP hasn't been flowing much, either, of late. Here's hoping we both get over that hurdle soon!

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    1. The Witcher is great. I'm watching RWA but mostly keeping thoughts to myself. It's impossible to discern the barebones truth.

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  9. I have not watched The Witcher. I'll put it on my watch list.

    We have had warmer weather in MO. I'm sure we'll pay for the unseasonably warm weather.

    T.

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    1. We have a few cold days and then it warms up. I figure our snow will last one more day.

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  10. I'll have to check out the Witcher; I haven't heard of it. It is good that you realized you wanted to write and then made the time for writing (though I'm sure there were some sleep deprived days as a result :) Have fun sledding with your granddaughter! And how fun to build a snowman! No snow here :)

    Happy New Year!


    betty

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    1. We built the snowman and had a snowball battle. Lots of sleep-deprived days for sure.

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  11. I've heard a lot of great things about The Witcher, especially about the male eye candy. ;)

    I loved the movie The Bone Collector.

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    1. I liked the movie too. I'm interested to see what they do with the show. I wasn't even thinking about the eye candy in the Witcher but Henry Cavil is nice to look at. LOL

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  12. Happy New Year!
    Don't give up on getting . your first manuscript back out there in print. It may take some negotiations but keep pushing it.
    In reference to the RWA, I've been a member for about four years and I've had some good things happen to me because I am a member. It was shocking to me too. but I've chosen to stay in.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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    1. I've chosen to stay too, Pat. RWA had done some good things for me also. Improvements can only be made if people stay and fight for them.

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  13. I have the Witcher on my wish list. Now I'll definitely watch it. Thanks for the recommendation.

    The Hobbit kindled my love for fantasy too though I didn't consider writing until I read the Harry Potter books.

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    1. Harry Potter has a special place in my heart because it turned my second son onto reading. We went to many midnight release parties.

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  14. I have watched the Witcher but only once. I did enjoy it and like you didn't realize that they were time hopping until near the end. It was a wild ride. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. I wasn't sure about all the timelines until I watched it the second time. I can't wait until season 2 and wonder if they'll do the time jump thing again.

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  15. Hubby and I watched The Witcher almost as soon as it was released. He's played the games and read the books, so it was a must watch for us. I'm reading the first book, The Last wish, now.

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    1. My son read some of the books. I tried the first one and didn't care for it, but maybe I'll try again.

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  16. Believe me, I never enjoy the snow :P. I hope your granddaughter has fun with it, though. I did love sledding...

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    1. We built a snowman too and had a snowball battle. She loves the snow and reminds me that I once did too.

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  17. Our holidays were pleasant, and i hope you find a publisher so you can get your works back out there.

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    1. I'm trying and trying. Glad your holidays were pleasant.

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  18. Hopefully your books will find a home soon.
    Looking forward to Criminal Minds but I'm sad it's ending. That's been one of my favorite shows since it started.

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    1. I've always liked it and I think the last few years have been the best.

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  19. The witcher is great indeed. The first episode was meh, but after that got good. Took me until the 4th episode to realize they were time jumping.

    Hopefully the inspiration comes back soon for your story.

    The kiddo can have the snow and Olaf too haha

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    1. Episode 4 is when I started to figure it all out too. That first episode wasn't the best.

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  20. I haven't watched The Witcher, but one of my students is a huge fan of the books. Have you read them?

    I don't write romance, so I just got caught up with what's going on with the RWA last night. Pretty mind-blowing, and sad. Looks like it'll get worse before it gets better.

    Thanks for visiting my blog today, and for the kind words. I wish you all the best in 2020. Happy New Year!

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  21. I used to be RWA and OMG I can't believe what's going on.
    I hate it when I get stuck when I'm writing. I work for a month on one book then flip to another. I try to keep 3 going. Even so at the end of the month my muse is gasping.

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  22. I just finished watching the Witcher and was iffy until the last episode. Now I'm bummed it'll be another year til there's any more. And I did see what was going on with RWA. Really too bad.

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  23. I love that books inspire others to write. All the more reason for writers to do what they do! Sorry you're stuck at the moment, but give it a bit and I'm sure you'll be back on track.

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  24. Never seen those programmes. I'm sorry you are stuck on your newest book. I was looking forward to reading it. Sounds fun, sledding, snowmen and snowball fights. We have a fair amount of snow here too. It keeps coming and going. Happy New Year to you and your family.

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  25. We've had snow on the ground since November - had another 8 inches or so over the last week. Have fun with Olaf!!
    My folks bought me a gorgeous boxed edition of the Hobbit for my 10th birthday - still one of my favourite possessions!

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  26. I had to stop watching Criminal Minds. I couldn't let go of the story once I shut the TV off. I will check out The Witcher. I'm also having difficulties with my WIP. I've been working on it for years. I'm actually embarrassed it's taking this long to finish.

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  27. I set wips aside all the time. I think I have about six I work on when the mood hits. Go with the story that is chatting in your ear and let the others idle a bit.

    My kids get along great too. That is such a blessing. They were all home over the holidays and you're right- that is a very special time.

    I'm watching the Witcher- first time through and you're right, it's pretty complex. I'll have to watch it again.

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  28. Hang in there, Susan. Like Elizabeth says, let the WIP rest for a while. Good for your 7th grade teacher to spark your reading genre and writing beginning. My husband loves the Tolkien books. Sorry I haven't see the Witcher. All best to you in 2020.

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  29. Hi, Susan! Mother, teacher, coach, AND writer between 10-12 at night ~ That's an achievement. Kudos to you for making it happen. I've read much of what Tolkien has written, and some of his books several times. I can't really say how many times I've read LoTR and The Hobbit. It's great to hear that The Hobbit started you on your writing journey. Good luck with your writing in the coming year!

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  30. Good luck with your SFR. I'm in the same position--know where it's going but stuck and don't want to open the file. I feel the same about RWA. Uncertain if it can be fixed. Hope your daughter enjoyed the snow. Olaf is my 2 yo grandsons' fav character.

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  31. Hi Susan,

    Happy new year to you, too. Happy to hear you had a lovely holiday with your family.

    Sorry to hear about your problems with your current WIP. Hopefully with time, the words will flow.

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  32. I hope you can return to the WIP soon, and with new energy toward it. Sometimes a break is exactly what's needed. What did you think of The Bone Collector? I haven't heard much of anything about it yet, and haven't watched it yet myself.

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