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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Thinking Above Chance

Happy Holidays, Everyone! Tis the perfect season for memories in the making as cherished traditions are observed or newly introduced, savored - and stored for use in future writing projects  - for which we can sharpen our amazing writing skills on with any of the many great resources offered by the Insecure Writers Support Group, founded by Alex Cavanaugh, right here and right now on this first Wednesday of the month, when IWSG members convene through blogging, Facebook, and Twitter to talk about whatever is on our writing minds and agendas. See what we’re all talking about here.

I think about writing all the time, especially when I can’t. Sometimes I think about writing when I shouldn’t; as in, to the point of distracting me from what I should be doing – for instance, working. I didn’t have to look incredibly deep to understand this preoccupation; it’s simply how I’d rather be occupied. It’s on my Bucket list ;-)

But there’s more, and I think you’ll relate, there are things we know and feel non-consciously before or without, consciously realizing it. This was discovered by a panel of psychology, science and computer science experts intent on proving – or dis-proving – the timelessly tantalizing ‘powers’ of the Ouija board game who found that the accuracy of answers rested solely on belief. Because each player believed that something mysterious could happen, each player was then able to channel their non-conscious, inner-self and thereby think above chance to reach the most knowledgeable, or at least plausible, answer.

Of interesting note is that this exercise only worked with two or more participants, perhaps a demonstration of the old ‘Safety in numbers’ adage? If so, we’re in the right place; here at Insecure Writers Support Group! 

As for the optional question of the month,

“As you look back on 2017, with all its successes and failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?”

What a year it’s been! In retrospect, I would believe more and expect less ;-) How about you?

Are you a neighborhood decoration dominator?


  1. Hi, diedre!

    Every year in December when I review all that happened during the past twelve months I come to the same conclusion: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

    As I recall I only tried my hand (and mind) at the mysterious Ouija board a couple of times in my youth. I suspected that friends who quickly and consistently spelled out answers to questions on the device were putting me on. I clicked the link to the piece about the history of the Ouija board and read that interest in spiritualism ignited in America in the mid 19th century when the Fox sisters of upstate New York gained fame. According to the article: "the Foxes claimed to receive messages from spirits who rapped on the walls in answer to questions..." I'm pretty sure the Foxes inspired a popular 20th century song:

    Knock three times on the ceiling if you want me
    Twice on the pipe if the answer is no
    Oh my sweetness
    Means you'll meet me in the hallway
    Twice on the pipe means you ain't gonna show

    It's good to see you, dear friend diedre. Enjoy the rest of your week and happy holidays to you and your family!

    1. Hi Shady!
      I've never played the game, but have witnessed sincere awe in some that did. I guess my faith lies more in the 'power' behind how a sapling survives a blizzard, or a rosebush a drought.
      Those New York women were some rather 'Foxy' ladies, weren't they? ;-)
      Good to see you too, my friend. I'll be making the rounds just as soon as I can ;-)

  2. A decoration dominator? Moi? Not at all, though I enjoy driving around looking at others' creative efforts. Wishing you a healthy, happy, productive 2018 with lots of writing time.

    1. Hi Rhonda!
      We used to go all out when our daughter was young, then for several years the only lights we had were on the Christmas tree. This year my husband put up outside lights again and I've been so thrilled I can't wait to finish up a current all-consuming project so that I can just enjoy!
      Thank you for the warm wishes, I wish the same for you!

  3. Your dedication to the craft of writing shines through. That's a wonderful thing, diedre, since you have the talent to back it up. Best wishes for all your future endeavours!

    Like everything else, the Ouija Board will work for those who believe. If you are a total skeptic (like myself) and THEN something happens, that would be completely freaky! ☺ Still, I would be grappling for a logical explanation. We skeptics are diehards! LOL

    We used to go all out with the lights and decorations and still do a lot, but with some substitutions to make it easier. Laser lights instead of roof lights, for example.

    Wishing you and your family the happiest of holidays and plenty of free time to write in the new year!

    1. Hi Debbie!
      You say the kindest things, thank you ;-)
      I know it's ironic for a ghost-chaser like me to have so little faith in Ouija boards and Tarot cards. I imagine encountering an actual ghost would definitely shake my soul,and while the curiosity remains, belief is so much more powerful that I'm careful where I put it - ha!
      May the holiday season provide all the warmth and happiness your caring heart desires!

  4. "Believe more and expect less." That's a great answer. Yes, I should've done that, too, Lesson learned, eh? ;)

    1. Hi Lady Chrys!
      Yessum, many lessons learned this year. We should be feeling right knowledgeable about now ;-)
      It appears I'll have to miss your latest book release and blogfest. Mutterin' magpies! I'm sorry.
      Is saving an hourglass too ridiculous?
      Happy December NaNo, and Merry Christmas too!

  5. I definitely think about my writing to the point of distraction sometimes. It's an occupational hazard.

    1. Hi Shannon!
      An occupational hazard - ha! I love it! I guess if we didn't experience these things, our hearts wouldn't really be in it.
      I look forward to reading about your many (mostly successful) adventures in our hazardous craft!
      Happy holidays!

  6. HiYa, dIEDRE.

    When I was a kid, some of us fooled around a couple times with a Ouija board in the basement of my house. Considering that the house definitely had at least one spirit dwelling in it -- and it seemed to dwell primarily in the basement -- this was a really DUMB thing to do.

    Oddly, nothing ever really happened the two or three times we experimented with the Ouija board. But that doesn't change my mind about them. I think they can be downright dangerous -- in the same way that improper meditation can be dangerous.

    One needs to be careful when they start fooling around with the spiritual realm. I don't know why so many people fail to take into consideration that not everything in the spirit world is benevolent, and inviting just anything to interact with you might be welcoming a whole lot of trouble.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents 'Battle Of The Bands'

    1. Hi Reno!
      You raise a good point. If in fact we can communicate with whatever lurks in another dimension, we'd better be certain we're ready for anything ;-)
      And to think I was fairly unconcerned until I started watching "Stranger Things" - eek!
      Hope you're enjoying the holidays ;-)

  7. Hi Diedre! What an enlightening and informative post! "Believe more, expect less." I need to tattoo that on my arm and refer to it over and over. I've always been a big believer, but an even bigger expector! I keep thinking that I can move a mountain in minutes and being upset when I fall short. I enjoyed what you wrote about the Ouija Board, having had startling teenage experiences with it. My great grandmother told me I was attracting Satan. She was the sternest of Northern Baptists. We haven't put up Christmas lights for years ~ definitely not a neighborhood decorating dominator. I hope you get to kick back and enjoy your husband's light display! Happy writing in December!

    1. Hi Fundy Blue!
      Trying to move mountains seems to be my theme of late (sigh). But there is light at the end of the elusive tunnel - the power of belief, right?
      Ha! My grandma said the same thing! Yet, my great grandma fully believed she could move things with her mind - like the location of her daughter's glasses (grin). Actually she had nothing on my cats; who could spirit away the bows from every package in one night ;-)
      May your holiday be filled with joy and comfort!

  8. Hi Diedre - I see the lights around, but tend to ignore my own area - easier. However I do love the Christmas tree and lights - the outside ones - if they're good ... then they are wonderful.

    Spirits - tis the season ... and I'm sure things will all come right in the end - take care and all the best - Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary!

      Where there is good they say ;-)
      Wishing you a delightful season!

  9. Greetings Diedre,

    I finally got here at the unearthly time of almost two thirty in the morning.

    My Ouija board has indicated to me to stay away from all those social "notworking" sites, in particular, "Farcebook." It's better I balance out such distractions and do something weird like actually write something.

    Of course, you do realise that "IWSG" actually means, "I Was Seeking Gary." Maybe I should write something about how delusional I may well be.

    Have fun in this season to be jolly, my thoughtful friend.

    I'm now going to hang some Christmas lights on the scaffolding I've been staring at since early May of this year.

    Penny's human dad,

    Gary 😀

    1. Happy Holidays, Gary!

      Other than occasional spectating, I don't find much interest in most of the 'notworking' sites either.

      However, I do love to write and blogging serves that purpose well. Welcome to the weird side ;-)

      "I Was Seeking Gary" - Ha! You may have something there, the group does bring folks together.

      I love the idea of Christmas lights on the scaffolding! Go all out and leave them up until the scaffolding comes down ;-)

      Christmas cheer to Penny, too!


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