One book leads to another...

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Come Again?

Welcome Readers and fellow Writers, to the May 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: Lee Lowery, Juneta Key, Yvonne Ventresca, and T. Powell Coltrin! 

Happy May Day, Lei Day, International Workers Day, and congratulations to all who survived the April 2019 A to Z Challenge!

It’s “Get Caught Reading Month” Will you? I’m reading my fifth book of the year so far. I haven’t started writing anything new yet, though I am plowing through my WIPs like a champ. So far, so good ;-)

The world is full of new ideas with prevailing meanings:

I’m not sure what to think of cover re-designing – after your book has been published. Has anyone had any experience with that? 

While enlisted in the military during WWII, Joseph Keller discovered a troubling paradox involving the subject of insanity with regard to he and his fellow bombardiers; which inspired his novel “Catch 22” the eventual success of which exceeded that of his later works to the point that when critics asked why he hadn’t written a second best-seller, he responded wryly: “Who has?”  

Well, there was Orson Welles who, after convincing every listener that New Jersey had indeed been attacked by Martians in the radio drama “War of the Worlds” went on to write “Citizen Kane” a critically acclaimed Box Office bust; which ultimately defied all dismal odds, and in 2011 released its 70th Anniversary Blu-ray edition.

“The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you are throttling today” ~ August Spies 1886 - As true now, I think, as it was then, though for different reasons.

IWSG Optional Question of the Month:

“What was an earlier experience where you learned that language had power?”

The power of the spoken word clicked for me the first time I realized how much quicker you receive what you ask for by merely saying “please” how rewarding a simple “Thank you” feels, and the healing effects of “I’m sorry.”

Raised in a home of avid readers, it wasn’t long before I followed suit and was immediately enamored with the notion of relatively private entertainment or instruction obtained through written language; words intentionally assembled to describe, enlighten, entrance or forewarn – What a concept!   I still feel that way, and I guess that’s why the practice of changing (except in good-natured jest) the time-honored meanings of words at random or whim seems so disrespectful. Especially for writers who strive so hard to get it right. Can you imagine today’s definition of snowflakes dropping softly to the ground near a grand woke oak throwing shade on a hangry squirrel? It’s enough to crash a GOAT grammar app! I don’t even want to think about what my human editor would say.

Moving along…

Do you have a special Mother’s Day tradition? I’m thinking of proposing a couple for our family. Perhaps a Family Comic Strip? A Lip-synch Tea Party? A backyard Bug Safari? (These ideas all came from   I suspect my family could use a break from playing Bingo every year ;-)

Have a wonderful month of May!


  1. Aloha, diedre!

    I wasn't aware that May Day is also Lei Day, set aside to celebrate the lei and the skill and artistry of Hawaii's lei makers.

    To me the key takeaway from your post is the lament over changing the time-honored meanings of words at random or whim. I agree it is disrespectful and I am troubled by it. I don't like the term "throwing shade," nor do I care for the new word "hangry" meaning irritable as a result of hunger. I also mourn the loss of proper diction that was once commonly heard in this country. The other day I was watching a clip from a 1950s game show. The moderator and panelists all spoke with perfect diction. It was a joy to hear them speak, and the words they used carried the traditional meaning. I did not need to refer to a slang dictionary to understand what they were saying. We are losing something important in the 21st century!

    I'll never forget the Mother's Day Mrs. Shady and I babysat our toddler age granddaughter. We decided to entertain her by performing a karaoke duet. Our rendition of Sonny & Cher's signature song "I Got You Babe" was an instant classic. There's an idea for you. :)

    Before I go, I want to thank you for the superb comment you left for Kathleen Mae Schneider on her mother Margaret's birthday post. Kathleen thanks you as well. She and I agree it was one of the best written and most touching comments we ever had the pleasure of reading. I hope you saw Kathleen's reply. As (bad) luck would have it, she fell and injured her hand the same day you left the comment, requiring her to apply an ice pack and take pain meds. That explains why it took a couple of days for her to respond to your thoughtful comment. It certainly wasn't due to apathy. She was overjoyed by what you wrote. I just wanted you to know.

    Enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend diedre!

    1. Hi Shady!

      I didn’t know about Lei Day either, until I recently read about it. When I visited a few years back, I was convinced that every day was Lei Day ;-)

      “Losing something important,” is exactly my point regarding language. “That’s fly” makes “Jeet yet?” almost tolerable as at least an attempt to use a language already in place. I vaguely remember childhood games where adding syllables to existing words created some kind of (not very) secret code. But that was childhood.

      Your Mother’s day Karaoke Duet event sounds delightful! My grandson still remembers the song I taught him back when bubble baths were still acceptable. Nowadays, we sing “Swinging on a Star” together on road trips ;-)

      It was my pleasure to chime in on Kathleen’s post. Her lovely tribute to one so deserving was like looking into my own heart; where my loved ones too, live on. Yes, I did see Kathleen’s reply – I wish her a speedy recovery! Thank you both very much for your kind remarks on my comment, and for inspiring me to do so.

      Have a fantastic week!

  2. Orson Wells sure fooled a lot of people.
    Sometimes cover changes can be good. It will catch new readers' eyes.

    1. Hi Alex!

      He sure did, especially all those times he sawed Marlene Dietrich in half ;-)

      Cover change examples I've seen sure seem to attest to that.

  3. Hi diedre; A family comic strip sounds like fun! ☺

    It's interesting how sometimes, books or movies are unsuccesful at first, then over time, become popular. Orson Welles is such an icon! Didn't the same thing happen to "It's a Wonderful Life"?

    Clever phrasing about the snowflakes and hangry squirrel. Sadly, it seems that language is evolving in a less than desireable way. We should take the high road and stick to proper form, yes? What disturbs me most, is that grammar and spelling errors have gained a level of acceptance. GASP! Is it because modern education is lacking??

    1. Hi Debbie!

      I think you're right about "It's a Wonderful Life" though I wonder if that had to do with audience maturity. I liked it a lot better once I was older.

      Oh yes, I prefer proper form. I occasionally disagree with grammar apps, but never my editor ;-)

  4. I love the story of Orson Welles and the War of the Worlds radio broadcast. Back when I was teaching, I had a lesson plan built around it. It's a great story. I was never much impressed by Citizen Kane, however.

    I haven't done a cover re-design for any of my books. I know others who have, but I love my original covers. Not sure I'll ever want to replace them. :)

    1. Hi M.J.!

      I bet your lesson plan was engaging!

      I don't know anyone who has changed their cover, but there seems to be a lot of talk of it, of late. I am considering it. As for you, if it works - don't fix it ;-)
      Happy writing - and selling!

  5. A family comic would be fabulous!

    "Hangry" is a word I could live without. And "woke" in its new context? Just kill me now. Why have we become a society that not only tolerates, but encourages the disintegration of proper communication?

    1. Hi Lee!

      The closest I can come to an explanation is a curious need to be heard in a world where everyone talks too much.
      I prefer reading ;-)

  6. I think just the act of verbally communicating can teach us pretty quickly about the power of words. We all learn certain styles of manipulating others. The more effective the words, the better the manipulation.

    Congratulations on having read 5 books so far this year. I started reading a book this year but I still don't think I'm a fifth of the way through it.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. Hi Arlee!

      "Manipulation" seems to be the key these days ;-) though I much prefer "Effective"

      I imagine you've been fairly preoccupied of late, my friend. Congratulations to you on the A to Z challenge! You'll read when you're ready. It once took me a year to finish a book by an author I adore, not because of the book, but because of life.

  7. My love of words started with a love of reading. I'm also reading more this year and enjoying it.

    My mom just moved here to independent living last year so we're starting a tradition of spending time with my daughter, her, and me.

    1. Hi Natalie!

      Indeed, pen to page creates words for reading, which then inspires pen to page for someone else. I love the cycle!

      This is wonderful, Natalie! You will never regret this new tradition. Enjoy - and savor - every moment.

  8. Howdy, dIEDRE ~

    Buenos dias!

    I only just recently became aware of the word "hangry" and I rather like the cleverness of that one. "Woke" I can definitely do without.

    I myself have invented a few words over the decades, although I'm the only person who uses them. But that's OK, because I'm not big into sharing, anyway. ;-)

    I don't know what's happened to me, but I haven't finished reading one book so far this year. Although I've started and not finished four. That is NOT like me at all!

    I have, however, read 'Catch 22' twice. When I was in high school, that was probably my favorite book. I thought it was hilarious! Although the version of the book I read was written by Joseph Heller.
    ;-D (Don'tcha just hate smart aleck guys like me? I know I do!)

    Having studied film a bit, I have a great deal of respect for Orson Welles. That guy was so innovative for his time. I think just that first opening shot of his classic film noir 'Touch Of Evil' alone would have put him in Hollywood's Hall of Fame. Having worked in the film industry, I really understand how much work and timing went into creating that single shot. It still kind of blows my mind every time I watch it. That had to have been one very lo-ooo-ng night for everyone involved in that shot.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...'

    1. Buenos tardes, Stephen T!

      Perhaps your reading count is down because you’ve been blazing a few trails of late ;-) No matter, you’ll catch up when the time is right. Your reviews are always good!

      So, you made up words and I made up stories. Which one of us, do you suppose, received the most grief for our efforts ;-) I found the reception to be much warmer once I learned to change the names to protect the innocent. Or, maybe it was because I gave up singing once I learned to write.

      Joseph Heller. Good eye, my friend. Not even spellcheck would have caught that. Now I’ll wonder if my eyes are failing…or if I’ve come down with twitchy fingers. To say the least, Heller’s writing style was unique, but I was able to follow along as the pieces all came together. And how’s that for creating a new word (or phrase)?

      I haven’t seen “Touch of Evil” but I did just watch a trailer. Leapin’ Lizards! I guess the more things change on the border, the more they stay the same. In just that startling trailer, I can see what you mean about the amount of work that went into the film.

      Keep thinkin’ the good thoughts, Partner, and I’ll keep on the ghost chase for she who haunts the Bird Cage in Tombstone ;-)

  9. Reading, writing and words all connected for me. I loved hearing your story. I always do the Goodreads Reading Challenge and usually read more than I pledge. I have not read as much this year so need to get to reading.

    1. Hi Juneta!

      I believe they're all connected too ;-)

      Seems like once I accept a reading challenge I don't enjoy it as much as if I happen to read a lot and surprise myself. Of course, I get behind on other things but that's not always a so bad ;-)
      Happy reading!

  10. These days, I do more writing than reading. When I read it's for writing or it's short fiction. SO during my summer break I am going to read three books. I miss reading long stuff.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    1. Hi Teresa!

      I tend to go through stages, as well. Reading for writing, then reading for enjoyment is a most pleasurable way to feed a writer's muse ;-)


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