One book leads to another...

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

IWSG August 2020 – Just living is not enough

How is everyone keeping busy these days? I’ve discovered the worst thing about spring cleaning is figuring out what to do with all the stuff you don’t want any more when no one is open to take it. All the boxes and bags everywhere have the dogs convinced we're moving.

Can you believe it’s August already? 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!

Our awesome co-hosts for the July 1 posting of the IWSG are:  

Susan Baury Rouchard, Nancy Gideon, Jennifer Lane, Jennifer Hawes, Chemist Ken, and Chrys Fey!

The optional Question of the Month is:
August 5 question - Quote: "Although I have written a short story collection, the form found me and not the other way around. Don't write short stories, novels or poems. Just write your truth and your stories will mold into the shapes they need to be."
Have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn't planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance?

My answer: Yes, and not usually ; -)

It’s International Pirate Month! Do you have a favorite Swashbuckler? Did you know they wore patches not to cover up eyeless sockets, but to always have one eye accustomed to darkness for quick trips below deck?

August is American Adventures Month! I once sold a motorhome in less than ten days with a simple phrase the buyer swore reached out and grabbed him: “See America from the comfort of your living room” Indeed, we saw a lot of it that way. While it might not be as easy an option these days, we still do. Except, these days, the kids and I also travel virtually, picking a different state each time.

Last month we chose Nebraska. Known as “The Tree Planters State,” it is home to America’s largest hand-planted forest.  Kool Aid and the Rueben Sandwich were invented there. We all got a kick out of CARHENGE, Omaha’s close equivalent to Stonehenge, and the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium featuring one of the world’s largest indoor rainforests, a coral reef, as well as an indoor desert in a dome (including meerkats!) has been placed on our MSIP (Must See in Person) list!  Anyone out there from Nebraska?

Among several excellent books I read last month was one entitled “Sold on a Monday,” by Kristina McMorris. I must say, the story sticks to your heart as peanut butter does to the roof of your mouth. Simply indelible.

As far as writing, I am brimming with excitement!

See you all sooner than later ; -)


“Just living is not enough, one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower,” Hans Christian Andersen



  1. Hi, diedre!

    Merry Christmas & happy new year, dear friend! Time's flying and we will soon be there. It's not to early to get your holiday shopping done.

    Thanks for sharing that tidbit explaining the reason a pirate wore a patch on one eye. I always thought it was to look badass and scare his enemies. :)

    I love your ad slogan “See America from the comfort of your living room.” It's up there with "See the U.S.A. in your Chevrolet." When I was young I was fascinated with maps, and still am. I enjoyed going to the library, picking a state and studying about it. Our school had a program whereby students could obtain an address to write to each state to receive a promotional info packet about that state from its C of C. It was fun, interesting and educational. Thanks for sharing trivia about Nebraska. The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium would surely go on my MSIP list if I were making plans to travel in that direction.

    I agree with Hans C. Andersen's "Just living is not enough" quote. As the pandemic continues to take its toll and force radical adjustments in our daily lives, we must find ways to make it worthwhile.

    It's great to know that you are brimming with excitement about your writing. I'm happy for you, dear friend diedre! Take care and have a safe, healthy and happy month!

    1. Hi Shady!

      Merry Christmas! Great minds think alike, I see ;-)

      What would someone like me ever do without trivia? Did you know there's a Camel Farm in Ramona, CA?

      Indeed, if (safe) internet travel piques the curiosity and keeps the kids off games for just a bit, I'm all for it.

      It's been quite a journey, but if all continues to go as well as it has with my current project I'll feel like the cows came home at last ;-)

      You take care as well, and thanks so much for coming!

  2. I need to do some spring cleaning like you. Glad you're so excited about your writing.

    1. Ha! I hadn't actually planned on all the cleaning, just got a wild hair one day.

      Oh, I am so excited! I hope to talk with you more about it soon ;-)

  3. Carhenge. Never knew there was such a place.
    That was a great selling line.

    1. Nor did I. Pretty cool, huh?

      After 51 trips, it was time to sell it ;-)

  4. Virtual visits are a great idea right now. Not the same as really being there, but you have to improvise these days.

    1. Yessum, if it keeps the kids off games for a time, I'll settle for the next-best thing ;-)

    2. Oh, yes. I'm worried that this Covid thing is going to drive us farther apart in the real world into accepting the virtual one as the norm. It's coming. I would prefer it not happen while I'm on the planet.

    3. That's exactly what bothers me most about all this. There is so much in life to experience. Hugs and sunburns come to mind, the smell of rain, the feel of kitten whiskers and sandpaper tongues ;-)

    4. :-) I feel a song coming on! And I totally agree.

  5. Carthenge is a riot! I'm on a quest to visit 50 states and heading to 3 of my last 7 soon: Maine, Vermont, and NH. But Kansas is also on my list, so I will have to look for fun side trips like that one in Nebraska.

    1. What a wonderfully rewarding quest! I bet your travels have inspired more than a few terrific stories!

  6. I did not know that about a pirate's eye patch. I love that! Really cool fact. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Isn't it fun? I check out pirate trivia every year and it's a new one om me too ;-)

  7. DEAR dIEDRE ~

    >>... How is everyone keeping busy these days?

    Me, I'm putting stickers on car windows for being parked in the wrong places. It keeps me busy in this mobile home park. (Everything you've ever heard about mobile home parks is TRUE!)

    >>... Did you know [pirates] wore patches not to cover up eyeless sockets, but to always have one eye accustomed to darkness for quick trips below deck?

    I did NOT know that! And, gee, how dumb were pirates?! Why didn't they just use flashlights? Rum kills brain cells!!

    >>... Nebraska - Kool Aid and the Rueben Sandwich were invented there.

    I didn't know THAT, either! I always assumed Kool-Aid was invented in Guayana, and that the Rueben Sandwich was invented by Rueben Kincaid.

    (dIEDRE, didja used-tuh think I was smarter'n this?)

    ~ D-FensDogG

    1. HiYa, Stephen T!

      Stickers on windows at a mobile home park? Now I can't even guess what line of work you're in ;-)
      Glad I could enlighten you with questionable trivia!

  8. Hi diedre! We got tired of the spring cleaning some time ago, along with the quarantine existence, in general. 😝 Luckily, hubby went back to work after a month off, and life in Ontario has transitioned into Stage 3, meaning most places have reopened, but everybody has to wear a mask indoors. (It's not politicized here, thank goodness, except for a small minority.) Good for you, getting so much done, though. 👍 Interesting trivia about the pirate eye patches. Love the sales pitch for your motor home! No wonder it sold so quickly. Virtual travel is fun, but we hit the road for a bit of a local jaunt last week. Serious case of cabin fever! Carhenge is a cool idea. 😃 Sounds like you're working on a new writing project. Looking forward to learning more about it. Cheers! 🍹

    1. Hi Debbie!

      Not politicized? How refreshing!
      About now, we study the wisdom of selling the motor home, though we did enjoy an extended stay at the cabin last month.
      I'm at the finishing-touch stage of a project I can't wait to share!
      More soon ;-)

  9. Somehow I've been seeming to always miss your posts when you first put them up. And I guess soon you'll be putting another up so I guess I need to comment on this one.

    Oh, I miss travel so much. I've been watching travel shows on TV and reading about travel, but really it's no substitute.

    I have a fondness for Nebraska. Particularly I've been drawn to Grand Island because we used to always spend a few days there when we were on the road.

    Though I've heard of Carhenge, I've never been there. However I've often passed by the similar Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo. Crazy what people come up with, but it makes for some fun roadside attractions.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. Hi, Lee!

      Glad you came by! I always feel like I should have a pitcher of sweet tea handy for these occasions ;-)

      Speaking (or, actually thinking) of porch swings, did you know the largest porch swing in the world seats 25 people and is located in Hebron, Nebraska?

      Grand Island is the largest inland island in the world, and I've never heard of it - gasp!

      Sigh, I guess a lot of us are traveling vicariously (through Google) these days ;-)

      See ya soon!


Any thoughts? Join the conversation, comments welcome here!