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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

You Don't Say

Welcome Readers and fellow Writers, to the January 2019 online meeting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Founded by author Alex Cavanaugh and comprised of writing members just like you (and me), featuring writing tips, resources, articles, contests, and IWSG swag! See what we’re all talking about here and join us as we share our writing journeys.
*We meet on the first Wednesday of every month – join us and enjoy!

Visit our gracious Co-hosts, and let them know you’re here: Patricia Lynne, Lisa Buie-Collard, Kim Lajevardi, and Fundy Blue!

Season’s Greetings, Everyone!

I had quite the ‘other worldly’ Christmas this year. 

This season, we traveled in hopes of a glimpse of “the white stuff” for Christmas. What began as dainty angel socks dropping softly to the ground gradually turned into a scene that this life-long desert dweller could only describe as (insert emoji) WOW! At one point, someone said “Where’s Lucy?” and we all swallowed hard.

Evidently, friends and family really enjoy the use of emoticons as they often share with me their latest reasons to laugh uproariously – or sigh in disgust. This puts a rather exciting new spin on “Show, don’t tell,” don’t you think?  It’s the way everyone communicates these days, and entirely acceptable - unless you want a publisher to take your work seriously. While there are a handful of editors who use them sparingly, most explain the usage as tools to alleviate “the sting” (ouch!). When pestered for an opinion on the subject, one of my editors replied with a question I doubt I’ll soon forget: “Are you a writer or an illustrator?”

But aren’t those expressive little symbols irresistible? The trouble is that it takes me longer to find just the right one than it does to formulate in writing the thoughts or feelings I want to convey. Do you ever feel that way?

How is your writing journey looking for 2019? Will you begin or finish that project that so absorbs your every thought?

Oh, by the way, Lucy’s dilemma was only temporary. All we had to do was rattle a box of Cheez-its 😉

Happy Writing!


  1. Hi, diedre!

    Happy new year to you, dear friend!

    I clicked to enlarge your pictures. That snowy scene is an image suitable for framing. I wish Mrs. Shady and I had been able to break away and travel north for the holidays. Last month Florida was blessed with two weeks of cooler weather, but I miss those snow covered landscapes. I'm happy to know Lucy didn't wander off and get lost in that frozen wilderness. Your camera captured an exciting moment as she raced toward you to munch cheese snacks.

    For years I resisted the urge to rely on emoticons to communicate what I am feeling. In recent years I embraced them and developed a way of using them for ironic and comedic effect. It disturbs me to think that our vocabularies are shrinking and being replaced by symbols. Perhaps the day will come when only two simple actions are required to convey everything we are thinking and feeling - blink once or blink twice.

    There are no words :) :) :) to describe how happy I am to have your ongoing faithful friendship, diedre. Thank you, dear friend. I wish you an exciting and rewarding year!

    1. Hi Shady!

      I was pleased when snow began to fall - right on cue - on Christmas night. Four days and a second storm later I was becoming quite apprehensive and retracted every disparaging word I've ever said about the desert.

      Nonetheless, between sledding and snowballs, jigsaw puzzles and movie binging, good times were had by all before the morning we left, at the first glimpse of sunshine, when the temp was only 10.

      Lucy was indeed a trooper. It will be interesting to see all the treats she buried in the snow, come Spring. Our two Labs acclimated fairly well, though one many never get in the car again.

      Now, see? I was tempted on at least two occasions to add smiley faces in the above paragraph. But the "Two simple actions" (gasp!) concept stopped me in my tracks (I am smiling as I write).

      Thank you for your words of wisdom, my friend. Wishing you a year of joy and pleasant surprises!

  2. What a treat to get a white Christmas! I bet you enjoyed it.

    1. HiYa Captain!

      It was certainly a season to remember. I was struck by how utterly silent snowstorms are. No thunder or thumps on the roof, just icicles hanging off the drip edge above an unfathomable blanket of snow below. Next time, I will bring warmer socks!

  3. I'm glad you had such a Happy Christmas, dIEDRE. And I wish you a very Merry New Year! (No, I'm not dyslexic, but I play one on TV.)

    I enjoy seeing a photograph of a snowy landscape. But photos are good enough. After my 4 years in Reno, I feel I've experienced enough "dainty angel socks" to last the rest of my lifetime.

    If I may ask, where did y'all go to see the snow? Is it safe to assume that you HAD seen snow falling prior to this? Like, some years back?

    Emoticons -- I use them occasionally in texts and emails, and a few times I've even incorporated a few into my blog bits. But, yeah, a little goes a long way.

    The one that has reached a point of slightly annoying me is "LOL". People will now add that to the end of almost ANYTHING they text, even when what they've written isn't the least bit humorous, or even meant to be. It's almost like people have gotten into such a habit of writing "LOL" that they unconsciously use it now almost as a signing-off signature.

    I actually started occasionally using "GOL!" (Guffaw-Out-Loud!) because I couldn't bring myself to add one more LOL to the world's already overabundant collection.

    dIEDRE, I sincerely hope you have a Happy 'n' Healthy 2019. And that goes for all those whom you love, as well.

    ~ D-FensDogG @ STMcC Presents 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS'

    1. Howdy Stephen T!

      Compared to this experience, the desert I know has only been dusted. This reminded me very much of the Smoky Mountains - and exactly why I couldn't live there (grin).

      On word that is might snow for Christmas, we headed to our summer place in Arizona's White Mountains. Yeah boy, did it snow - and what a transformation!

      "GOL" I like that! I learned of LOL around the time my daughter was using POS (Parent Over Shoulder) and instantly disliked them both - ha! Still, it's an easy (lazy?) habit to fall into.

      Thanks for the wishes, my friend. The very best to you as well!

  4. First, I must say, your pictures are magnificent. Congratulations on finding your snow scenes.

    Your "show and tell" reflections, brought to mind, about ten years ago, when Myspace systematically removed all the bells and whistles from their blogging platform. Gone were the images, the videos, the (gasp!) glitter... Subsequently, most of the bloggers exited. For the record, I was the last to leave, but that is another story altogether... I recall my son telling me, this new set-up was made to order for me. All I really cared about was words. And you know, he was right. Looking back, I spent so much time looking for the proper picture or music video to accompany my story or poem, as though that really was a make-or-break component.

    I am glad I stumbled onto your page here, Diedre. Best of wishes for the coming year.

    1. Hi Michael!

      Thanks! My husband and daughter took those pictures as I (mistakenly) thought I'd forgotten my camera.

      "All I really cared about was words", Precisely! While we're fortunate to have platforms that accommodate creative expression, may we never forget the power of eloquent storytelling.

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting, Michael. Wishing you a wonderful new year!

  5. Happy New Year, diedre! ☺ (As you can see, I love emoticons, but there's definitely a time and place for them, like in a blog post.) Looks like you found yourself a real "Winter Wonderland". Where did you go? Glad to see that little Lucy survived the deluge. What a cutie! ♥

    1. Happy New Year, Debbie!

      I hear you. So many platforms allow for casual conversations where it's natural to want to relay a more personalized message - as in smiles (as I'm sending you now)or surprise, as I am at my tendency to use them ;-) I couldn't resist - ha!

      We were at our summer place, which looks and feels entirely different in winter. Lucy did amazingly well and wanted nothing to do with the little sweater they brought for her to wear. One of our Labs refused to allow a Snowman to be built in the yard, and the other preferred to watch the goings-on from inside the cabin! I kept the latter company because, well, someone had to ;-)

  6. Hi, Diedre! I'm glad that you had a white Christmas, and also glad that Lucy came running at the sound of Cheez-its! We spent December in Arizona to get away from the snow in Colorado, and found ourselves in snow and sleet traveling to Bullhead City from Surprise. That was unexpected, let me tell you! I use emojis sometimes, usually a kiss, a heart, a wine glass, a thumbs up, or a thank you. Otherwise I waste a lot of time searching for just the right one. Happy writing to you!

    1. Nonetheless, the pictures you posted on your ever-interesting blog depicted a wonderful trip through our occasionally surprising desert ;-)

  7. Happy New Year Diedre! I hope 2019 is going well for you.

    1. Hi Gina!

      So far, so good ;-)
      Sounds like 2019 may just be a stellar year for you - hope you share the inspiration!

  8. Seems like such a long time ago when you posted this. I'm not sure what happened to me this month but I missed a lot of #IWSG posts I think. Already this year is going so fast.

    I haven't gotten the hang of using the emoticons. Sometimes I'll use the obvious ones suggested on FB but most of the time I don't mess with them. Come to think of it I really don't comment or post much on FB.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


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