Wednesday, May 5, 2021

IWSG: May 2021


Welcome to the May version of IWSG. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and his team of administrators, we can share our victories, woes, and experiences the first Wednesday of every month. Find the entire list of participants here

The May 5th question, if you'd like to answer it, is:  
Has any of your readers ever responded to your writing in a way that you didn't expect? If so, did it surprise you?

This has happened a few times. One reviewer admired a deep theme that hadn't really been the theme as I wrote it, but it was a legitimate interpretation. I really enjoyed that.

Yesterday, IWSG's latest anthology was released. Dark Matter: Artificial appears to be another winner. I purchase all the anthologies in print and have them on my keeper-shelf. Congrats to all the authors.

Many of you know that I'm the current president of Pennwriters, a state-wide multi-genre writers organization. Our yearly conference was once again stepped on by the pandemic. This year, we took the chance and went virtual. Just seven days from now, we'll be running the biggest online event I've been involved with. It's been a lot of work for many people. The list of workshops is incredible. We have three agents and four small presses taking pitches. There is still time to sign up here if you want something inspirational to do from May 14th to 16th.

And because I have nothing else to do, we're putting our large 6 bedroom home on the market. We weren't quite ready, but the down-sized home we wanted came on the market. I'm not a collector but there is still a lot of things to sort, pack, or pitch. And when you have 6 children and a big house, they leave a lot of things behind. If you live in PA and want a really big, country house, put a bid in.😊

My 4-year-old granddaughter keeps me busy and wears me out most days. A few months ago, she started singing along with the radio in the car. I realized that somewhere over the past few years, I stopped singing in the car. My mind is always busy with other stuff. That beautiful little girl brought that small joy back to me. Sometimes we're loud and sometimes soft, but we're always having fun.

I enjoyed The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Shadow and Bone was okay. Debris on TV has been interesting. Mostly, I'm too busy to even care what's on the screen.

I am looking forward to having some time to write when the conference is over and we manage to move into a smaller home. 

"You fail only if you stop writing." Ray Bradbury

Have you attended online writing events? Ever had your work misinterpreted, good or bad? Do you sing in the car? 


  1. Hi,
    It's great that you have started singing in the car again. I love it. Happy to hear your dream house is on sale to buy and that you will start downsizing. I have been downsizing since April of 2019 and am still in the process because I take time to write. Good luck with the writers conference.
    Have a happy May.
    Shalom aleichem,

  2. Wonderful post Susan, the only online things I do is the A to Z Challenge, as for my singing that leaves much to be desired but then I haven't got a car.
    Take care.

  3. I haven't been singing much lately, but singing in the car has been a past pleasure. Hope I'll get inspired to do so again soon. Best wishes in your move! Good market to sell...

  4. Shadow and Bone is all right. Lot of typical fantasy tropes.
    Good luck with that conference! And selling the house.

  5. Hi Susan – so pleased about the release of Dark Matter: Artificial and yes congratulations to the authors. Good luck with your Pennwriters conference, despite being on line …
    Gosh you’ve got lots on your plate … being a judge, the conference, and packing, sorting, pitching out, and with your move nearby … but then you have your granddaughter to sing you to happy times. All the best and stay safe - Hilary

  6. We went through a lot of similar house stuff - selling, packing, moving, etc - during the pandemic. We're still not where I'd like us to be in terms of being totally unpacked, decluttered and settled, but I remind myself it's a process and we're getting there. :)

    Good luck with the house and the writing conference!

  7. I hope the conference goes well without too many hiccups. Bummer, I should've gotten in as one of the small presses taking pitches.

  8. Sometimes readers interpret our stories in a different way, imbibing some inspiration from it, it really makes our day, right?

  9. I love to sing in the car, but only if I'm alone. And I know the words. Haha! :D

  10. The event sounds exciting, Susan. It's wonderful the difference you're making in our writing community. Bravo.

  11. I run a writers group in the area that's been holding virtual meetings for over a year now, but I've never done anything anywhere near the magnitude you have going on with the Pennwriters conference. It sounds fantastic—I hope it all goes smoothly.

    And best of luck with the downsizing. I know how much I had to go through and get rid of when we moved, and we don't even have kids.

    I enjoyed Falcon & the Winter Soldier as well. Looking forward to Loki next month. :)

    And I constantly sing in the car. Loudly. With the windows down.

  12. It's interesting when others see a theme you might not have intentionally planned out. Congrats to everyone in the anthology!

  13. When the place you want comes on the market, it's all hands on deck! Congrats and good luck with the move.

    That's pretty cool about the interpretation that you weren't expecting.

  14. I love that a reader interpreted something in their own way. It just shows the story has a life of its own away from the author. Good luck with the move. Always a big undertaking but good to get a fresh start.

  15. Wow. You are super busy! Glad you're getting some car karaoke in with your granddaughter.

  16. When readers can find themes you hadn't thought about, you're doing something right!

  17. I've attended several on-line writer's events this year. I miss not being able to go to the conferences.

    So funny about the "deep theme" that you didn't intend. It's those sorts of experiences that make reading so very unique.

    I sing in the car all the time. I plug in my little Nano (yeah, just dated myself) and jam away.

  18. You do have a full plate! Moving making writing difficult but I'm glad you found your perfect place. Happy IWSG Day.

  19. Congratulations on all you have accomplished! May your online workshops be a huge success, they sound interesting. No, i haven't taken such classes or workshops, my regular work just keeps me too busy.

    Don't tell, but yes, sometimes i sing in the car by myself, i have promised not to sing in public as my voice isn't fit for man nor beast!

  20. Hi Susan,

    WOW, that is quite the chore to move out of your family house after SO MANY years. I LOVE old big country houses, and I recently bought a 1914's only four bedrooms, LOL but I am finishing the basement and walk-up attic to accommodate my library, writing and art area. LOTS of work and you say.

    Good luck with the virtual conference, it sounds amazing. I love conferences, but I have never signed up for a virtual one. I would love to sign up for yours, but I am just too busy putting "This Old House, " together.

  21. The Mid-Michigan RWA chapter held our annual retreat virtually this year. Not as much fun as an in-person event but better than not having it at all. Hope your event goes well.