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Wednesday, May 6, 2020

IWSG May - A New Society

Hello there!

Whether you’re just passing through, or looking for a comfortable online group in which to share your writing journey, you’ve come to the right place! The Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers resources, tips, timely news, how-to’s, and don’t do’s – all the support we writers can use to make the most of our craft.
We meet on the 1st Wednesday of every month. Feel free to browse around and mingle. As in the words of IWSG founder and “Cassa Series,” author Alex Cavanaugh, “Your words may be the encouragement someone else needs” Join us!

This month’s gracious co-hosts are:   Feather Stone, Beverly Stowe McClure, Mary Aalgaard, Kim Lajevardi, and Chemist Ken!

This month’s Optional Question is:  Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into the ‘ZONE’? Care to share?

As for me:

I am pleased to report that I accepted and survived the April Blogging A to Z Challenge this year. With things the way they are these days, Lord only knows what I would have been writing about last month.  Of course, it wouldn’t be the first time an award-winning novel was born of seeds of discontent and hardship.

Case in point: John Steinbeck, who on this day in 1940 won the Pulitzer for “Grapes of Wrath,” a fiction so full of unacceptable truths it practically had to scream and kick its way to success.
I find it much easier – as well as prudent - to talk about problems once they’re solved, not while the difficulty remains. That’s why I chose historic trivia as my blogging challenge theme, an entire world of subjects PR safe with problems already solved ;-)

Typically, stories come to me the way storms roll in from a distance - with just enough will-it-get-here tease that I grab a glass of sweet tea and the laptop, and feverishly type till the air itself turns electric and my hair starts to frizz. It’s exhilarating!

But there are times, like now, for instance when my muse has picked up all her (my?) pieces and gone on home without me. Great.  I’ve burned my favorite candle (John Steinbeck, of course) down to the metal plate, and was pondering the possibility of human hibernation when the most delightful bit of inspiration came to me in the form of a postcard in the mail, snail mail, no less.

I couldn’t wait to reply!

I’ve sent off a few cards to those I think would enjoy. I bet even mail carriers enjoy delivering these pleasant surprises.  If societal change is inevitable, let’s make an old one new again. The Friendship Maintenance Society.  Why not pass it around?  How about answering one of those questions for me, in the comment section?


  1. Hi, diedre!

    I'm happy to see you again, dear friend! This post could serve as your Reflections on the A to Z Challenge, and I want to emphasize how much I appreciated your historic trivia theme and the copious research and clever writing that went into it.

    I can relate to your account of what happens when you get into the writing zone. I love that feeling of having so many ideas, words and phrases in your head at the same time that you hope your feverish fingers can keep up the pace and get them all out on the paper screen before they fade away.

    Every morning when I awake a different song starts playing in my head, seemingly selected at random from my memory files. This morning I have on repeat in my noggin "Carry On Wayward Son" by Kansas:

    Carry on my wayward son
    There'll be peace when you are done
    Lay your weary head to rest
    Don't you cry no more

    I wish you health and peace through the rest of the week and the month of May, dear friend diedre!

    1. Hi Shady!

      And thank you, my friend, for being so supportive. I may just let this post serve as a reflection on the April challenge as not many knew I even participated, and as things begin to get back to normal there’s a good chance that I’ll be really busy for a while.

      The Kansas song is a great choice! I forgot how much I liked it. For the last couple of days, the band Triumph (song: Fight the Good Fight) has been on my mind.

      Have a wonderful week!

  2. Glad you survived the A-Z challenge. What a cool postcard. I've been watching Steve Hartman's Kindness 101 class for kids on YouTube. It's for us adults too and it's inspiring to try to be a better, more happy person.

    1. Hi Natalie!

      Thanks ;-)
      I was so delighted to receive that card! I dearly love unexpected treasures like that.
      I'll have to check out Steve Hartman. The class sounds terrific - for everyone!

      Happy day!

  3. Congratulations on the Challenge.
    I've got several new albums that are on rotation - posted about one today.
    Mail carriers will appreciate those since the post office is really struggling right now.

    1. Hi Alex!

      Thanks. The challenge provided much needed busyness ;-)

      There's just something so appealing in the antiquated practice of handwritten snail mail. Legibility is the only problem I have with the process ;-)

      Happy listening, Captain!

  4. Whew! The A to Z is not a light undertaking. Congrats on getting through.

    1. Thanks, Lee!
      It was great exercise, and kept my mind from dwelling too long on any one thing. Now it's back to business ; -)
      Happy month of May!

    2. I did the A to Z for several years, but then a lot of other things started happening and there just hasn't been time. Glad you did it. Here's to summer.

  5. Congratulations on the A-Z Challenge. That's a whole lot of work!
    Personally, I'm a coffee and a comforter kind of girl, myself. Maybe a snack. Beyond that, I'm pretty much pen to paper. Happy IWSG Day!

    1. Hi Karen,

      Thanks, it was well worth the time ;-)

      Happy writing!

  6. Hi Diedre - congratulatons on doing the A-Z ... I enjoy them, but this year had other things that needed doing - still in the process of that and them! Take care and all the best - Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary!

      Thanks! It was a much needed distraction as well as surprisingly motivating in its aftermath ;-)
      Have a beautiful May!

  7. I love the Arizona Cowboy picture, dIEDRE!

    I was also hugely into John Steinbeck in my twenties. I read a great many of his books and still own a few. And two of my Top 25 favorite movies of all time were based on Steinbeck novels ('East Of Eden' with James Dean, and 'Tortilla Flat' with Spencer Tracy, John Garfield, and Hedy Lamarr).

    Hmmm.... I never heard of that kind of post card before. Was that sent to you by a friend, or did it just arrive randomly?

    Well, the song I've most recently had on repeat is the live version of Van Morrison's 'I'VE BEEN WORKING', which I just used in my last BOTB installment.

    I don't know anything about podcasts, but the Book I'm reading is 'The Holy Bible' (as always), and the thing I'm currently kind of obsessed with is the testimonials of Messianic Jews at the 'One For Israel' YouTube channel. For some reason, I just find those testimonials extremely fascinating!

    So, what is your latest obsession, dIEDRE? And what song have YOU had on 'repeat'? (Asking for a friend. ;-)

    ~ D-FensDogG

    1. Howdy Stephen T!

      It's one of my favorite images as well.

      "Tortilla Flat" is a film I'd like to see. I understand it doesn't end they way the novel does, but it still sounds interesting.

      For the last few days the song that follows me everywhere is "Calling All Angels" by Train.

      Thanks for visiting ;-)

    2. Oh! It was my daughter, a constant source of joy, who sent the post card ;-)


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