One book leads to another...

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Watchful Eyes

Welcome Readers and fellow Writers, to the March 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:  Fundy Blue, Beverly Stowe McClure, Erika Beebe, and Lisa Buie-Collard!

               Oh – and this month’s Newsletter is a must-read for everyone!

Happy 65th day of 2019! Only 300 days left to finish writing those novels.

Have you ever had one of those months you just wanted to tear off the calendar and shred into confetti-sized pieces? Having done so, I feel better now ;-) But, I sure missed visiting my blogging friends, and have yet to get back to any semblance of a writing routine, though I have managed to do some reading. Next best thing, right? 

After finishing two books and starting another, I decided to check the inbox reserved exclusively for all things ‘writing’ and managed to rekindle at least a partial sense of belonging in a summer pool on opening day. By the way, the weather here is beautiful, now. I hope it is where you are too.

Anyway, Publishing Trends always provides insightful articles of interest such as:
Publishing as it currently relates to reaching the reluctant reader. While this may present a difficulty for traditional publishers, I think technology today provides a somewhat independent curatorship we as writers can certainly take advantage of. Kim Briggs suggests things we may have already figured out here.

“Substantially all ideas are secondhand” Mark Twain consoled, in a letter to his friend Helen Keller on the subject of her first book and subsequent fall from literary grace for (gasp!) plagiarism. To be fair, she was only 11 years old when she wrote “The Frost King” but it’s easy to honestly (cryptomnesia) do, nearly impossible to prove, and, as Helen Keller replied “I have ever since been tortured by the fear that what I write is not my own,” Gulp. Careful out there, folks. 

Now that I’ve seen how terribly realistic they look, I’ll not be employing the Fake Snake idea I talked about last month. I couldn’t bring myself to touch one ;-) Instead, I’m considering an Owl box as a more natural form of pest control. I think this guy pictured on the left had taken a wrong turn the day he stopped to watch me at my desk, but I wouldn’t mind if he returned. I accomplished a good amount of writing under his watchful eye ;-)

“I dream of painting and then I paint my dream” ~ Vincent Van Gogh

 If you were to send a message in a bottle what would you say?


  1. Hi, diedre!

    Thanks for sharing that Helen Keller story. My strengths are recycling and repackaging. All my life I have been down on myself for being incapable of an original idea. I feel better now that I read Mark Twain's observation that “Substantially all ideas are secondhand.”

    An owl box is a great pest control idea, certainly a win-win as it provides the owl with a home and a food supply and you with a writing muse.

    Enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend diedre!

    1. Hi Shady!

      Thanks so much for coming by. Always a pleasure to hear from you.
      Incapable of an original idea? Not you, my friend. Not ever.
      If I actually did coax an Owl into residency here I'd surely regret the loss of all the other birds. When the Great Northern sat outside my window that day, the entire yard became eerily quiet for the duration of his visit. I'll have to stipulate the size of the owl, I guess ;-)
      Have a wonderful rest of your week - see you soon!

  2. It sounds like despite the weather, you have been incredibly motivated! I hope the energy keeps up and you have a lovely rest of your day :)

    1. Hi Erika!

      Thanks for reminding me that while I've been incredibly busy - and downright cold! - productivity levels haven't suffered. However, I do look forward to more enjoyable projects ;-)
      Here's to creativity!

  3. The fake owl looks real enough.
    True there are no new ideas. It's how we put them together that makes them unique.

    1. Hi Alex!

      Ha! The owl is real, Captain. I took the picture myself, and marveled at his cowlick ;-)
      There's a certain comfort in thinking your unique spin on perhaps an old idea could garner the attention of new readers. Keeps a writer motivated, I think ;-)
      Have a terrific week!

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  5. I am envious of your beautiful weather, diedre! Still in the deep-freeze up here, with a worse-than-usual winter. Ah well, spring does always return, eventually. Mark Twain is likely correct, but there can be new twists to old ideas, yes? ☺ The owl looks realistic too, but much nicer than a snake. That would creep me out, completely! The Van Gogh quote works perfectly when using "writing" instead of "painting". Good one! (P.S. my writing muse has returned, but is battling the photography muse for supremacy.) Enjoy your weather! (Pleading "typing dyslexia" for removal of previous comment.)

    1. Hi Debbie!

      I think I spoke too soon. After a fabulous week of 80s, temps are predicted to plunge into the low 60s - tomorrow!
      "No winter lasts forever, no spring skips its turn" ~ Hal Borland (I sure hope he's right!)
      You are fortunate to have dueling muses - it keeps them both on their toes ;-)
      Wishing you warmth and sunshine!

  6. What? Say it isn't so! Now there are only 299 days left in this year, and I have so many plans to accomplish! LOL Message in a bottle ~ a group of second graders in my mother's class in Newfoundland and I went on a field trip, and we launched a bottle into the water off the wharf forty-four years ago. We sent greetings, who we were, and a plea to let us know where the bottle washed up. So far no answers. I imagine that the bottle has been polished to sea glass on Gull Rocks out in the bay. But I do wonder if intelligent life will ever find Voyager 1 and its message from humankind. Reading is always the next best thing to writing, Diedre! I hope your back into your writing routine soon! Wishing you the best!

    1. Hi there!

      299 days. No Pressure, right?
      I've yet to send a message in a bottle, but how exciting for you to have done so! I love stories of someone actually finding one - and responding. But then, the extended anticipation would make the Pony Express seem like over-nite delivery ;-)
      All in good time, I guess. I'd love to know if you get a reply from Voyager I.
      Best wishes to you as well!

  7. Howdy, dIEDRE! ~

    >>... Have you ever had one of those months you just wanted to tear off the calendar and shred into confetti-sized pieces?

    Yeah. That's EXACTLY how I felt about February. And March isn't off to much of a better start, either.

    The weather here in Northern Nevada has been rotten and we're all so tired of it. Enough already!

    As I just mentioned to Donna, all I wanna do is get on my bicycle and explore my new city, but the weather has not cooperated at all. And before long, I'll need to look for work again. I hate to see days in which I'm a "free man" go wasted due to snow, rain, and wind.

    A buddy and I once got lost at night in the Okefenokee Swamp, and in the beam of our flashlight, we could see a couple of alligators closing in on us. Meanwhile, some owl in a tree kept "WHO"-ing. The situation was creepy enough as it was. We didn't need no owl to add more horror movie-like details to the scene. Therefore... I'll take the fake snake, please.

    ~ D-FensDogG

    1. Howdy Stephen T!

      Indeed, you've had a lot of obstacles get in the way of a little thing like moving! I'm teasing, of course. The undertakers will have a time getting me to move again.

      To have made the move without a job in mind means you must really want to be there. That's a good thing! I hope the weather gives you a chance to enjoy the place before you get back into work mode.

      I'm pretty lame when it comes to bundling-up just to walk to the mailbox, and am wondering how long it will be before the mail carrier makes good on his promise to stop delivery ;-)

      Yikes! That's a spine-tingling swamp story! You know that owl was only warning you guys, right? There might have been water moccasins too. Now I've scared myself.

      Happy hunting!

  8. I don't need to shred any calendar pages as time seems to take care of that quite adequately for me. I can't believe how much time has passed this year and I feel like I've gotten hardly anything done like I had planned. Guess I need to do better. Or time needs to stand still for a month.

    I've seen a lot of fake owls around L.A. including a couple on a house across the street from me. Then there are a lot of fake people around here so I guess fake owls make sense.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. Hi Arlee!

      Funny thing about time passing too fast to notice until it’s gone; only bystanders realize the worth of a moment even as they covet the next. I’m looking for the fabled ‘happy medium’.

      “A lot of fake people around here…” Too funny – and so true! Much like fake owls, the truth about folks is eventually clear ;-)

      Happy times!


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