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Wednesday, May 6, 2020

#IWSG: May


Happy Insecure Writers Support Group Day. IWSG is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Thanks, Alex, for starting this group and keeping it going. We are rockin' the neurotic writing world!

The awesome co-hosts for the May 6 posting of the IWSG are Feather Stone, Beverly Stowe McClure, Mary Aalgaard, Kim Lajevardi, and Chemist Ken!

They say April showers bring May flowers. That really applies to my part of the world. Daffodils and tulips are blooming with other perennials poking through the ground. We had some lovely sunny days in the 60s and even a 70 degree day last weekend. People want to rush out and buy plants (nurseries are one of the few businesses now open). Those of us who grew up here know better. My dad always said no planting until Memorial Day. The ground isn't warm enough. To illustrate, we're now dipping into the 30s and 40s with a possibility of snow flurries this week. Hey, it's Michigan.


We're still sheltering in place. With Michigan being 3rd in the country with corona virus deaths, our governor is trying to protect us and limiting what businesses can open. Boy, are some people mad at her. Those of us who appreciate what she's trying to do stay home and if we have to go out, we wear masks. Still not visiting with our grandkids. Our son (chef) and son-in-law (doctor) are working and could unknowingly bring home the virus. No hugs and kisses is probably the worst of this crisis for me.

The other problem is my lack of focus on writing. Maybe if I had a ritual to get me in the zone (this month's question), I'd be better off. Obviously, I don't. Our church has virtual services. Last Sunday's sermon was on fractured lives. How true is that! The pastor talked about so many things that hit home for me and for Hubs--lack of focus, sleeping more but not feeling rested, the unknown. 

The unknown is getting to most of us. I like to know when something will end. (Don't we all?) I want to know that the sacrifices we're making is going to be worth it in the end. Our lives are fractured. We don't get together with family. We don't go out to lunch with friends. We're scared to go out at all. That fear is making us edgy. We have cabin fever in May when that's a January/February "disease." Sure we can go out and work in our yards, we can take walks, our Lake Michigan beach is open, as long as we practice social distancing.

My science fiction romance ran into a big snag three months ago. And I can't seem to fix it. Talk about painting myself into a corner. The worse is it's the last 15% of the story. Sheesh. Should I slash that whole section and start over? Probably, if I could focus.

I hope you're staying safe. Sending virtual hugs to everyone who's insecure.
Meantime, check out our latest anthology.


Now Available

Journey into the past.

Will the third ghost be found before fires take more lives? Can everyone be warned before Pompeii is buried again? What happens if a blizzard traps a family in East Germany?
Will the Firebird help Soviet  sisters outwit evil during WWII?
And sneaking off to see the first 
 aeroplane - what could go wrong?

Ten authors explore the past, sending their young protagonists on harrowing adventures. Featuring the talents of Yvonne Ventresca, Katharina Gerlach, Roland Clarke, Sherry Ellis, Rebecca M. Douglass, Bish Denham, Charles Kowalski, Louise MacBeath Barbour, Beth Anderson Schuck, and L.T. Ward.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents, authors, and editors, these ten tales will take readers on a voyage of wonder into history. Get ready for an exciting ride!

Click here to find others on the Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop. Or go to IWSG on Facebook to see who’s blogging today.



62 comments:

  1. Hi Diane, hope you are safe. Love the daffodils and tulips. They are my favourite.

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  2. Yes, at least it is comforting to see the spring flowers and blooming tress and know spring is coming and not ruined by the virus. Mother Nature is having her annual temperamental tricks teasing us. I'm having trouble focusing too. I bet you will soon be out of the corner and writing again. Best wishes!

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    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement. Mother Nature is teasing us today with the sun. Snow tomorrow. LOL

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  3. I've been getting things done around the house and yard that I haven't been able to do in too long. It's spring and it's a good time to get those things done. Haven't done much writing though...

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    1. Congrats on your entry being in the anthology! Enjoy the nice weather.

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  4. You must be missing those grandkids so much. We're feeling that cabin fever too. Hard to focus on things during these times, for sure.

    Virtual hugs to you :)

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    1. Thanks, Ellen. I do miss those kiddos. At least we have FaceTime.

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  5. Glad you are seeing signs of spring. Planting time will come. So will time with your family.

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    1. Thanks, Alex. I know it will come--planting and the family. So will the writing.

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  6. Noooooo! I want to read that book!! Put it aside then read it as if a reader. Maybe that will get your enthusiasm back. Or just write something fun and unrelated to get the creative juices flowing. I'm jonesing to get my flowers for the deck but patience is this year's virtue (especially with that 28 night coming up here in MI!). Staying home is no hardship for me as a hermit by choice but sending my son out to forage in the stores is definitely stressful. I've never been a fan of online meetings but ZOOM has changed my outlook after meeting with critique group!

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    1. Zoom is great. But...discovered the webcam in my computer doesn't work. Boo hiss! I like the hermit image, too. I will return to that story. Weekend Writing Warrior is keeping it my sights.

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  7. I've been watching Michigan closely because I have family there. Your governor is truly doing her best, and it's crazy how people are treating her. I hope you stay safe and healthy!

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    1. Thanks, Chrys. I do think she's doing what's right, considering how many people are dying here in MI. I hope your family is over here on the west side of the state. I fear for my sister who lives near Detroit, where so many deaths are.

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  8. Like you, I've been feeling fractured, aloof, and distracted--all at the same time. I'm finally coming out of it. The secret is less TV & FB browsing and more conscious focusing. Hard at first, but it's getting easier. I wish this love of writing came easier. LOL Love your tulip picture. Thanks for sharing your pain and desires. Good luck with the book!

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    1. Thanks, Diana. TV & FB require little thought. Too easy to go there instead of the story. Thanks for the encouragement.

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  9. Another effect of this virus is the division it has caused between those wanting physical security and those wanting economic security, I guess we're doomed to always be spit down the middle regardless of the issue. Hope you and your husband remain well and we come out of this soon.

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    1. Thanks, Lee. I'm glad I'm not a governor who has to make the hard decisions between health and economics. Almost like Solomon. Stay well.

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  10. I'm in Michigan too and staying home like you. It's hard not seeing my mom and my daughter who lives with her boyfriend.

    I hope you figure out what you're stuck on, especially since you are so close to finishing your story. Maybe just try something to see how it works. Stay safe and hoping it will be safe enough for us both to get out more soon and warm enough to garden.

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    1. Thanks, Natalie. I'm always amazed at the number of Michiganders on this list. What does that say about our insecurities??? Missing family is the hardest. Stay safe.

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  11. Hi,
    The storming of your capital in Lansing made world news. I was sitting here in Germany shocked to see people with guns in the capital and how crowded it was and people were not wearing masks.
    Stay safe and take care.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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    1. In Germany? Holy cow! I was appalled and ashamed of those people. I hope they don't learn the hard way how dangerous this virus is. Take care.

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  12. Michigan is definitely on the world news almost nightly. The country is so divided on this pandemic. Everybody is going to get it, if they don't take precautions. It irks me, badly, to see all those protesters standing shoulder to shoulder, and then wonder why covid stats are rising! And, I also understand, the country needs to reopen, but very, very slowly. Baby steps.

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  13. Baby steps is right, Cathrina. I'm afraid of the 2nd wave is we open too fast. I'm doing my best not to be the cause of someone else getting the virus. They say people can have & transmit the virus when they have no symptoms. Scary!

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  14. If you have Daffodils all the way up in Michigan, it is definitely time for me to go glare at mine. They haven't bloomed, yet!
    I don't have much focus, right now, but it turns out that's not too bad for my collection of unfocused, poorly edited short stories. I figure I'll find the path through my big WIPS, eventually.
    Happy IWSG Day!

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    1. Good luck glaring at those daffodils. LOL I hope your focus returns, along with mine. Hang in there.

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  15. I can't be certain what will work for your story, but I had to make the decision to cut a third of my book and start over with it. It's rough and taking me a while, but I know it's what needed to be done.

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    1. I'm afraid that's what I'll need to do, Sarah. Thanks.

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  16. Those idiots deserve to catch the virus. I'm glad our governor is being cautious about opening the state back up. Stay safe and healthy!

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    1. You took the words out of my brain, Ken. Hope you stay safe and healthy, too.

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  17. Fractured lives - how true it is. Yes, we all have our lives fractured because of this damn virus, and it will take time to put everything back together even after the risk is gone.

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    1. You are so right, Olga. We will never go back to the way it was pre-virus.

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  18. Fractured lives is so accurate. We've become a nation of those who desire to stay safe v. those who aren't sure where the next meal for their children is coming from. I am so lucky to have financial and food security and I hope it doesn't numb me to the plight of those who do not.

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    1. You are so right, Lee. We have food for children around here--school volunteers are handing out food, no questions asked. Still, I know it's scary times for those who had no/little savings. After 2008, we've gotten complacent about savings. I'm thankful that isn't our problem, even though it is for many.

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  19. Lack of stimulus can make us tired. Try puzzles or mind teasers. They may help and lives aren't so much broken as chipped and a bit beat up. It's the stress and it will pass. All we have to do is wait it out. Be patient with yourself. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. Thanks, Anna, for your compassionate advice. I've been doing a lot of crosswords and word puzzle computer games. It's really building up my vocabulary, even if I'm using it as an excuse not to write.

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  20. I am so impressed with your governor. She is one tough lady.
    I've got a spot I'm trying to wiggle out of in my writing too. Good luck with yours.
    Stay safe. Be healthy.

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    1. You're right, Sandra--one tough lady. Good luck with your wiggling. Doing my best to stay healthy.

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  21. Yes, we have online masses, too, Diane. And truly I miss the hugs and kisses from children as well as grandchildren. Happy Mother's Day, my dear. Be safe!

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    1. Thanks so much, Victoria. Happy Mother's Day to you, too.

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  22. Fractured. Yes, that's exactly what our lives feel like now. I kinda feel like a ship without a rudder. I'm still afloat and in no danger of going down, but I have no control over where events take me. It's scary for all of us. Is it any wonder we can't focus on writing?

    But at least you have one bad-ass governor! I sooooo admire her for doing what she believes is right for the people of your state, and I hope your legislators fail in their efforts to sue her. Here in GA, we make the worldwide news, too, only it's because even though we were one of the last states to have a shelter-in-space order, by golly, we were the FIRST to abandon them! Even though the number of cases... and deaths... here continue to grow. Like you said in an earlier comment, I'm glad I'm not one of the people who's had to make those tough decisions about when to re-open.

    Take care, and be safe.

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    1. Thanks, Susan, for your encouragement. A ship without a rudder is a great analogy. I knew GA had opened up and I worried for the residents. I hope you can stay safe. Even when our state opens up, I'll be very careful about venturing out again. Stay safe.

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  23. Thanks for stopping by my blog.
    Everything is in bloom where I am. It's pretty but my allergies are suffering.
    The unknown is the biggest thing right now.
    Here's a big virtual hug right back at you.

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    1. Thanks, Toi. Yeah, allergies are the pits. Hubs' are acting up, too. Stay safe.

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  24. I can very much relate. The best thing we can do is to be kind to ourselves. It's ok to be unfocused. It's ok if our books need longer to finish.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Lynda. Giving ourselves permission to accept our weaknesses makes things better. Stay safe.

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  25. Stay safe, Diane. Go with the flow.

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  26. I've been doing quite a bit of gardening during the last couple of weeks of the lockdown. It's good to be outside and seeing the flowers and plants. Agree with you that missing family is the hardest part. Stay safe.

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    1. Thanks, Suzanne. I've always enjoyed this time of year, new growth, new life. It helps adjust to the confinement.

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  27. I'm in Northeastern Colorado. We are barely seeing buds on the trees.
    I hope you stay well. :-)

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    1. One of my cousins lives near Estes Park. Her photographs are phenomenal. I could do without the snow warnings we have. Stay safe.

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    2. I want to visit but couldn't find your blog. Sorry.

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  28. Love the pics! We have daffodils showing their greenery but it sounds like we're a few weeks behind you. Our local rule of thumb is to not plant until after the first full moon in June!

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    1. We're in a freeze zone through the weekend, Jemi. So disappointing after the lovely days last week.

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  29. Yeah, one has to wait a while as the temps always take a down turn.

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    1. At least, we're not in the NE. Snow storms.

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  30. Hi Diane,

    Your father was right! LOL...I spent the passed few weeks digging, digging, and more digging, getting my lovely new perennials planted. Last night the FROST! I did cover them, but my Miss KIM lilacs don't look to good today. I hope they snap back, they were planted a few weeks ago, so I am hoping. I spent a small fortune to do my grounds.

    Like you, I miss the HUGS from friends. Social distancing here isn't too bad. I live in Galena, IL.. NW IL. You may have heard of it living in Michigan. It's a charming historic town right near the Mississippi River and on the border of both Iowa and Wisconsin. We all wear masks at the local stores in town and in Dubuque (closest city to us-15 miles away). Neighbors talk from a distance and I actually had a social distancing birthday gathering. My front porch is 28ft by 10 ft. SO, I placed small tables six feet apart and had food and drinks on each. Once everyone sat, we all talked and had a marvelous time. There are ways to still socialize without coming into close contact. One just has to be creative! I must say it was like sitting at a charming cafe... only with friends. LOL Stay safe and I hope WE BOTH get back to our writing soon...

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    1. I do know where Galena is. Always meant to visit there. Sounds like you figure out a way to socialize without endangering anyone. Once those perennials bloom, you'll be glad you put in all that hard work. Over the last 6 yrs, I've managed to have something blooming all season long.

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  31. Hope you have a Happy Mother's Day, Diane:)

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  32. It's hard, not being able to be physically close to everyone we love right now. One of my daughter's is quarantined separately (since she's a college student with her own apartment) and not getting to hug her regularly hurts. May your Mother's Day bring you joy, even if you can't get hugs on the day! @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act

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  33. Hi, Diane! I'm still making the rounds. Your comment about a lack of focus, sleeping more but not feeling rested, the unknown certainly resonates with me. It accumulates, let me tell you. We had the same garden guidelines in Nova Scotia, but it's called Victoria Day and falls on May 18th this year. All the best to you.

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