One book leads to another...

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Cat Coats For Rapid Rescues

Happy December, everyone! And, on this, the first Wednesday of the month (every month except January 2020 when we convene on the 8th) – Happy Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day! It’s an online gathering of authors, writers, bloggers and poets – anyone who dares put pen to paper or fingers to keys - where you’ll find helpful tips, handy resources, the latest trends in publishing, and a comfortable place for hundreds of writers – just like you and I – to share our writing journeys!

Feel free to meander and mingle. Our gracious co-hosts this month are:

For member news and fresh and witty movie reviews, the thoughtful blogs of our esteemed founder, Alex Cavanaugh, are well worth a visit. In addition, the IWSG Monthly Newsletters keep us all up to date on contest winners and upcoming events.

Congratulations are in order for the winners (announced today) of this year’s Anthology contest! High Fives to those of us with endless possibilities yet to pursue. An excellent place to start is IWSG’s own complimentary list of publishing options.

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit” ~ Richard Bach

Not that we had any reason whatsoever to need it this Thanksgiving, but the subject of ketchup did come up in teasing conversation …Anyway, ketchup has always been one of those words that give me (slight) grammatical pause; is it Ketchup, or Catsup? I’ve always gone with the wording on Heinz labels, and hoped my readers wouldn’t mind ;-) I am happy to report that seasoned editor Robert Lee Brewer, at Writer’s Digest suggests that either is A-Okay!

Have you had a good writing year?

I’m well into reading my fifteenth book of the year. I’ve two rejections for three submissions (so far) this year. Can’t win them all, right? My second private novel is in the early stages of production, and I’ve all but completed an entire remake of my seven-year-old website, including new interactive features, and inspirational plans for future development.  Funny, the year sure seemed busier than it looks in print. Ah, the joys of self-employment ; -)

Optional Question of the Month:  How would you describe your future writer self, your life, and what it looks and feels like if you were living the dream? Or, if you are already there, what does it look and feel like? Tell the rest of us. What would you change or improve?

My future writer-self would be much more relaxed and would want to reflect fondly on every moment spent bravely disclosing notions of once contending stories, ever clamoring for release. She would own and completely adore at least one deceptively small full-service publishing company, fronted by a charming CafĂ© & Bookstore (complete with storefront writing nooks) hosted by a clowder of tortoiseshell cats who would also attend our monthly story-exchanges; promptly at sunset.    

The writer I am today has serious concerns about completing goals before the passage of time diminishes the ability to do so. When creativity flows in a river of expressive prose, it’s a writer’s paradise. But, you can’t predict the rapids that rip your raft to shreds when everyday life intervenes. With that in mind, I plan to propose the allocation of fourteen days per month strictly for writing - hypothetically speaking, of course.  I think my boss will understand ;-)

Did You Know?
As ideal as full-time writing might sound many, if not most writers do have jobs to cover bills and hunger pangs. Famed poet T.S. Eliot was a bank clerk and a publisher, author Harper Lee was an airline ticket agent, and JD Salinger was, among other things, a director of cruise ship activities.

Happy Writing!

Merry Christmas!


  1. Hi, diedre!

    Happy IWSG Wednesday, dear friend!

    I submit that a professional in any field of endeavor is an amateur who didn’t quit. I also submit that the "Ketchup" spelling somehow implies a higher quality product. Ketchup is the Grey Poupon of Catsup. :)

    I congratulate you on all of your written works, rejected or otherwise. This is your passion. This is your craft. Carry on. Keep priming the pump and you will eventually get water, brief spurts at first, and then a steady and generous flow. Someday you might very well live the dream described in your answer to the Question of the Month, right down to the curious clowder. One thing is certain. You will not live that dream if you quit. I hear you when you express fear that time and circumstance will intervene and thwart your plans. I turned age 70 a couple of weeks ago and my mind goes there occasionally. When that happens I remind myself that I continue to learn and develop. I choose to believe that I am getting better every day. The universe might stop me but, when all is said and done, I will know that I didn't stop myself.

    Merry Christmas to you, dear friend diedre. I wish you a happy, healthy and productive 2020!

    1. Hi Shady!

      Thanks for coming by when I know you've a busy schedule. "The Grey Poupon of Catsup" Ha!
      I appreciate your words of encouragement, my friend. There's a popular (lottery) slogan out here that goes "You can't win if you don't play" There might be something to that ;-)

      Merry Christmas to you as well!

  2. Good luck getting your boss to understand. And then send him/her over to talk to mine. I have concerns about being more productive too. I've only finished one manuscript. Hoping to finish #2 next year.

    1. Hi Natalie!

      Will do ;-)
      Sounds like you're well on your way. May the New Year Muse be with you! Besides, I'm pulling for you too.

      Happy Holidays!

  3. I say ketchup.
    I still want to know about the cat coats.

    1. Hi Captain!

      Ketchup it is!

      Ha - Tortoisehell is the description of the coat, not the breed of the cats that would adorn (occupy) my bookshop ;-)

  4. dIEDRE ~

    >>... As ideal as full-time writing might sound many, if not most writers do have jobs to cover bills and hunger pangs. Famed poet T.S. Eliot was a bank clerk and a publisher, author Harper Lee was an airline ticket agent, and JD Salinger was, among other things, a director of cruise ship activities.

    WOW! Very interesting! I had no idea. And I would imagine that being an airline ticket agent and (especially) a director of cruise ship activities would put those people in positions of observing and analyzing many different types of people (or "potentially future character types").

    You're on your 15th book of the year? That's terrific! Me, I merely finished reading a book I'd started in 2018, read one more (which was horrible!), and am now half-way through what is primarily a "picture book". Sadly, my reading has been reduced to a crawl the last couple years.

    I hope you have a Happy Christmas and Merry New Year, dIEDRE!

    ~ Stephen
    D-FensDogG of the
    Loyal American Underground

    1. Howdy, Stephen!

      I thought so too ;-) Though I was actually hoping to prove to myself that I alone must juggle work and writing - ha! I have the occasion to meet some colorful characters in my line of business, but the aforementioned literary dignitaries certainly had better prospects ;-)

      I guess I have been on a reading roll this year. Not bad for only reading on weekends, huh? As I recall, you've been on a traveling roll of late. You can't very well read and drive ya know ;-)
      Be well and stay warm, my friend. Thanks for coming by.

      Wishing you the happiest of holidays!

  5. Those are very cool tidbits about those famous authors. I never even thought about whether or not they had other jobs. I think living life outside of writing is what helps fuel the writing.

    1. Hi Nicki!

      I agree ;-) Where would we writers be without inspiration?

      Happy Holidays!


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