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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

IWSG January 2021 Eyes On the Road Ahead


Welcome readers, writers, authors, and bloggers!

For the first time this year, it’s the First Wednesday of the month when we celebrate IWSG Day, in the form of a blog hop featuring all of the members of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Founded by Alex Cavanaugh and fostered by like-minded associates, IWSG is a place to share the fabulous views and exciting news that occurs along our fascinating writing journeys. Pull up a chair and join us!

Our awesome co-hosts for this month’s posting of the IWSG are  Ronel Janse van Vuuren , J Lenni Dorner, Gwen Gardner Sandra Cox, and Louise - Fundy Blue!

I don’t know about you, but I’m taking the fact that this New Year began on a Friday as a good omen! Happy New Year, everyone!  

Today is National Epiphany Day! Have you had yours today?

I didn’t quite reach my goal of 52 short stories by year’s end for anyone keeping track. But, 44 out of 52 isn’t too bad, considering how uninspiring last year was.  I read 25 books and thoroughly enjoyed all but one.  Because I don’t relish the thought of getting – or giving - bad reviews, that’s all I’ll say about that for now ;-) And, thanks to my lovely daughter, I got the long-awaited blue-star tree topper!  

Fish cough. Did you just do a double-take? I sure did the first time I saw those two words strung together. I couldn’t fathom such an idea as factual. It couldn’t be true. But it is! In addition, fish yawn on occasion and are frequently known to burp as well. The perfectly scientific fact is that, let’s face it, our seas and waterways aren’t always as pristine as we’d like to think they are (and it’s not necessarily human-caused pollution.) Luckily, and likely by design, whenever bits of particulate matter becomes lodged in their gill rakes, fish are equipped to ‘cough’ them out.  Six days into the New Year, and I’m inspired!  

Fun Fact: Since founding the Imagination Library in 1995, Dolly Parton has donated 100 million books to children.

That’s all for this time, friends.  Until again, be well. Keep your eyes on the road ahead, and be inspired.

Happy writing!


  1. Hi, diedre!

    Happy New Year to you, dear friend!

    In my region, today is the day of the 115th annual Epiphany celebration, the traditional dive for the cross at Tarpon Springs, the largest Greek Epiphany celebration in the Western Hemisphere. From our local newspaper: "Epiphany is a Christian feast day primarily commemorating the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist. Each year, young men dive into the bayou to retrieve the cross, which is thrown by an archbishop. A girl is chosen by the choir to release a dove before the dive. The winner is said to get a year of blessings." The Epiphany typically draws thousands of people to Tarpon Springs each year, but today the event will take place with COVID-19 restrictions in place. The church is encouraging people to watch the cross dive from home on social media.

    Yessum, I certainly agree that finishing 44 short stories by the end of the year was a marvelous accomplishment for you. 44 beats my total of zero! :)

    I always learn something new at Pensive Pens. I didn't know that fish cough, yawn and burp. That does it! Fish should be required to wear masks!

    I admire Dolly Parton for her philanthropy to benefit children through reading.

    I wish you a safe, healthy, happy and productive year ahead, dear friend diedre!

    1. Hi Shady!

      Thank you for stopping by ;-) A "traditional dive for the cross" is a new one on me. Until recently, given the way the word 'Epiphany' is often used, I assumed it meant a sudden great idea - ha!

      As you probably know, I love trivia! So coughing fish definitely got my attention. However, the (burgeoning) story of Chirpy (the coughing fish) will not include the wearing of masks. Fish don't have ears ;-)

      I'll have more time for blog-surfing once (if, or when) the kids go back to in-person school. In the meantime, be well, be happy!

  2. That's awesome how many books Dolly Parton donated. And it sounds like you've done really good on your goals last year, especially with dealing with the pandemic. Hope you have another productive year!

    1. Hi Natalie!

      In many ways, I surprised myself ;-) Reading as much as I did really helped a lot.

  3. Wow Dolly is such a gem. Love her hard. And yes Happy Epiphany! It's a big deal here where I live near Tarpon Springs. Happy 2021!!!

    1. Hi, PK!

      Nice to meet you. Is the comment section of your website turned off?

      Happy New Year, and happy writing!

  4. I had no idea fish coughed.
    That's a good amount of short stories. Almost one a week.

    1. Hi Alex!

      Coughing fish was news to me as well. Good for a giggle and a glimmer of creativity I thought might still be in hibernation ;-)

  5. Oddly, I did know that fish can cough and burp. And that Dolly Parton is an amazing person who gives books to every child who signs up. That's being a good person right there.

    I hope your New Year is going well. I only read and reviewed 23 books last year, but my goal for this year is 30. My other goals are to publish another fiction book in 2021, do the Blogging from A to Z Challenge in April, and increase the number of authors helped by Operation Awesome.

    1. Hi there!

      Good to meet another fan of fun facts ;-)

      Our goals are about the same for this year - I like that too.

      Operation Awesome is truly awesome ;-)

      Thanks for co-hosting!

  6. Happy New Year, diedre! To write 44 short stories in 52 weeks is highly impressive. You also published a book, yes? Even more so. Congrats!

    I did not know fish coughed or burped. Interesting factoid. Did you know that Jan. 4 was National Trivia Day? ☺

    Dolly Parton continues to amaze. What a lovely, generous heart she has.

    All the best for 2021!

    1. Hi Debbie!

      Aw, thanks.

      What? I missed National Trivia Day?! I must be slipping ;-)

      Happy month - and year - to you, my friend!

  7. Wow, 44 short stories is such a huge accomplishment. Well done!

    1. Hi, Gwen!

      I have to admit even I was surprised I accomplished that many, all things considered ;-)
      May the New Year be as good as anything we writers could ever dream up!

  8. My goodness this post was filled with great news (all those stories...all those books read) and one amazing fish story! I too am looking for omens that portend a great 2021, so I'll add the fact that this year began at the end of the week with a weekend to celebrate.

    1. Hi, Lee!

      It helps to remind myself (often) that as surely as the sun shines behind the clouds, silver linings are not just errant grey hairs ;-)
      Here's to a positive year!

  9. Loved the fish trivia and Dolly's donations of books.
    Wishing you a year where the ideas flow and your fingers fly over the keyboard.

    1. Hi, Sandra!

      Wouldn't that be perfect? Wishing the same for you!

  10. That's an impressive number of short stories! Congratulations.

  11. I dropped by to comment on your IWSG post for February only to discover that not only did you not have one, but I had not yet commented on your January post! So here I am, late as I so often am these days.

    Hope your year has started off well and continued down a good path.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


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