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Wednesday, April 5, 2023

IWSG: April 2023

Welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group. 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 April 5 posting of the IWSG are Jemima Pett, Nancy Gideon, and Natalie Aguirre!

A thank you to whoever came up with an optional question each month. That really helps when I have difficulty thinking about what I should write. 

April 5 question - Do you remember writing your first book? What were your thoughts about a career path on writing? Where are you now and how is it working out for you? If you're at the start of the journey, what are your goals?

I sure do remember, even though it was almost 30 years ago. Holy cow! I didn't realize it was that long ago. 

My thoughts as I wrote my first story was that I was going to treat this (writing) as a business. When I "went to work" (had a definite writing time), my writing increased. I even took a class for starting a small business. That's when I learned I should have a separate checking account and credit card, both dedicated for my business, keeping them separate from the family finances. I also learned about making long-term goals for the business. Although I learned about getting a tax ID for the business and how to report sales tax, I figured my books would be in bookstores, and they could take care of that. A few years ago, when I started selling my books at craft and vendor shows, I figured I'd better get that tax ID and report the sales tax I collected. 

After that class, I got my new checking account and credit card. I tried making long-term goals but never kept it up. I learned about writing query letters (thanks to Writer's Market) and a list of publishers and agents. Mind you, this was all before the internet really got big. Everything I learned then was from paper books, the library, and wonderful fellow writers who shared info. How much easier it is today with Google and the many online writers groups.

That first story had several rejections, some even with "send something else." I entered the first 3 chapters in contests. Boy, did I ever get some interesting comments from the judges. Learned a lot from that. Those early stories were practice and will never see the light of day again. 😀

Eventually, I sold my first book to a niche publisher. Since then, I've published fourteen more (one to another small publisher, the rest self-published). Even though I'm not making a lot of money, I'd say my plans have worked out.

Hope you have a great writing month.

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.

Saturday, April 1, 2023

#WeWriWa - The Case of the Wedding Wrecker: Enough Pity Partying

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, where writers share snippets from their work-in-progress or new release. I'm sharing snippets from the 4th Alex O'Hara cozy mystery, The Case of the Wedding Wrecker. Last time, Alex finally gets home from the jail when her friends descend on her. After holding it all in for hours, she falls apart.


My two besties sat on either side of me and rubbed my bare shoulders.

“Hey, it’s going to work out,” Ellie said.

“There, there now,” Dottie crooned like I was one of her kids with a scraped knee. No hugs or kisses were going to make me feel better. Though she tried.

“I miss my mom.” I sobbed my heart out. Mom should have been here. She should’ve been the one to twitch my veil, hug me, and commiserate over that stupid deputy interrupting the wedding. Instead, cancer stole her from me.

And a little more:  

“I know, I know,” Dottie crooned again.

Ellie ran to the bathroom and got a wet washcloth. She handed it to me to wipe my tears. I gasped at the cold.

“Enough pity partying.” That was Ellen. Straight to the point. “What did Chief Hoesen say?”

While I appreciated their help, I couldn’t bear any more questions.

“Please don’t ask. I don’t know what happened. I do know Nick is innocent.”

“Of course, he’s innocent,” Dottie proclaimed. “Anyone who thinks different is a moron. Like Deputy Dawg. That man is several bricks shy of a load.”

“He’s more like a brick,” Ellen concurred. “How dare he march into church and arrest Nick?”


Be sure to check out the other WeWriWa authors. Stay safe and healthy and have a great week.