Wednesday, September 6, 2017

IWSG

Welcome Wednesday. Another INSECURE WRITER'S SUPPORT GROUP day.


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time. Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter is @TheIWSG and hashtag #IWSG

Our leader is the awesome Alex J. Cavanaugh

His awesome co-hosts for the September posting of the IWSG are Tyrean Martinson, Tara Tyler, Raimey Gallant, and Beverly Stowe McClure!

  Be sure to visit the
Insecure Writer’s Support Group Website!!! 

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. Remember, the question is optional!!!

September 6 question.

Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? For example, by trying a new genre you didn't think you'd be comfortable in?

Yes,  I wrote an historical fiction novel in 2010. All my other work had been contemporary. I really had no plans to write historical because it takes so much research. But on a visit to Vicksburg, Mississippi, where there is so much about the Civil War, I heard where the citizens lived in caves when the city was under siege. How horrible that sounded. So I had to learn more and ended up writing CAVES, CANNONS, AND CRINOLINES from the viewpoint of a fourteen-year-old girl whose brothers went to war and her father was a doctor. I wrote the story about how it affected this family, with very little about the actual battles. What would it be like to live in a cave? I couldn't imagine. 

And, to my surprise, the novel has won several awards. Who would have thought it?

So, when an idea comes to you, give it a try. You never know.

Happy Reading.




100 comments:

  1. This book sounds interesting. Live in a cave?

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    1. Thanks, Nasreen. When I heard about families living in caves, I shuddered. I'm claustrophobic. Would scare me silly. So, I had to write about it.

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  2. Oooh, that does sound interesting! And lots of fun to write, although I think I'd be nervous about the research, too.

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    1. For a gal that disliked history in school, I was surprised to discover it was interesting, Karen. Maybe because we visited some of the old houses with pictures on the walls of the families, they seemed real to me, and I could almost feel their pain.

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  3. Letting your story grow from your own personal experiences is an excellent way to write.

    Thanks for co-hosting this month's IWSG bloghop!

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    1. It is, Chemist Ken. If it's personal, it touches a person more, I think.
      MMy pleasure. It's been fun.

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  4. Thanks for co-hosting today! It's amazing how life (history and current eveyns) can inspire the birth of a story. Truth is stranger than fiction.

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    1. You're welcome, Lidy. I've enjoyed visiting new blogs. I have a lot more to visit. Such fun. Yes, one never knows where the next story will come from.

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  5. Glad you stepped out and wrote it then.
    Thanks for co-hosting today!

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    1. My pleasure, Alex. It's fun visiting new blogs.

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  6. That is the way to be. Sometimes just have to go with an idea and see what comes to be.

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  7. Your research certainly dug up some interesting facts. I had no idea some folks lived in caves during the civil war.

    After 18 months of not writing, I decided to write about that period of my life. I had to searched my mind for memories and I was surprised how hard it was to get going again.

    Thank you for co-hosting September IWSG blog hop.

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    1. Yes, it did, Lynn. I had no idea either until we visited Vicksburg and watched the film about it.

      I hope your search was successful and you're writing those memories. They may make a great story.
      You're welcome.

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  8. What a cool story-behind-the-story! I think living in a cave would be horrible after enjoying all the luxuries of modern living. I wonder what someone from that time period would miss?

    Thanks for co-hosting!

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    1. A lot of the time those stories-behind-the story turn out pretty good, Tamara. I could never live in a cave. Closets disturb me. :) Good question. I wonder about the answer too.

      You're welcome.

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  9. It really is something how a subject strikes us and when. You really never know! That's part of the fun. :)

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    1. Yes, it is Madeline. Absolutely. If we keep our eyes and minds open, stories are everywhere.

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  10. That's why we write the stories anyway - who knows where it might lead? For you, to awards!

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    1. You bet, Diane. Sometimes they surprise us; other times they don't work. We never know unless we try.

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  11. How awesome that the story which surprised you did so well. Thank you for co-hosting today. :)

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    1. It sure surprised me, Christine. I was fairly new at writing and did not know exactly what I was doing. :)

      Thank you.

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  12. Congratulations! It's always great when you take a chance and it works out for you!

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    1. Thank you, Megan. Yes, taking a chance can go either way. I was lucky this time.

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  13. Very cool and interesting story! Congrats:)

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  14. The Civil War is one of my favorite historical eras! Someday I'd love to write at least one book set during that time. I started one when I was thirteen, but I didn't get very far, and it ultimately tied into my then-obsession with President Lincoln's sons (don't ask!).

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    1. It is mine too. I have a lot of books about the time, Carrie-Anne, but haven't come up with an idea for another book. President Lincoln's sons? Now that sounds very interesting. Not asking, just curious. :)

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  15. What a great story. I've got an idea for a historical fiction novel brewing. I think there are so many wonderful, untold tales that we could give voice to.

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    1. Thank you, Joey. Yes, historical events are good subjects to write about. I have an idea for one set during the American Revolution. Maybe someday...

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  16. Congratulations on many fronts, Beverly! And on being a great co-host this month.

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    1. Thank you, dear friend. Have a wonderful vacation in France.

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  17. The American Civil War provides so much inspiration for literature. I'm fascinated by history in general and enjoy reading stories that take place in past times. In my younger days I used to enjoy exploring caves, but I wouldn't want to live in one. I do think it would be kind of neat to live in a house that was built over a cave that could be used as a shelter if necessary.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. It sure does, Arlee. History is so interesting. I enjoy the stories about the people and how events change their lives.

      Cave life would not go well with my claustrophobia. A closet makes me crazy. Not to far from us is a partially underground house. It's built partly below ground and partly above. Neat.

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  18. I never thought I'd write romance, and now that's half of what I publish. You just never know. :)

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    1. A good thing you tried, Kelly. It's fun to discover our inner selves, isn't it.

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  19. Historical fiction scares me, or is it the amount of research required? Um? Awesome how well it worked out for you though.

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    1. It's probably the research, Shah. My problem is finding more and more information and stopping to write. You never know unless you try. Thank you for stopping by.

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  20. Woot! I'm glad stepping out worked well for you! Thanks for co-hosting. :)

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  21. Wow! What a great perspective to write from and also, how cool to win award for your writing too. Congratulations! Thank you for co-hosting!

    Enjoy the rest of your week!
    Elsie

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    1. It is pretty exciting, Elsie. And a big surprise.
      Thank you. A great week to you as well.

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  22. I love the research side of historic fiction. I think it's my favorite part of writing.

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    1. Researching history is fun, Jacqui. There is so much information out there. I never know when to quit and start writing.

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  23. Hi,
    That is such great news to hear. It has given me courage to continue on with the manuscript that I am writing, because it is also unusual.
    Many thanks also for being a co-host today.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia Everything Must Change

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    1. Yay to courage, Pat. So happy you've decided to continue with your manuscript. Unusual makes it more exciting, right?

      Thank you for stopping by with good news. :)

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  24. Good reminder to let yourself be surprised sometimes :) Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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    1. Absolutely, S. E. Keeps life exciting.

      I'm having fun.

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  25. Beverly, thank you for co-hosting this month. I love historical novels. And your story sounds amazing.

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    1. You're welcome, Cathrina. It's been fun.

      Thank you. Glad you like the sound of it. :)

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  26. Thanks for co-hosting this month. Love your last line. So true. Best wishes.

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    1. You're welcome, Diane. It sure is.

      Thanks for the wishes.

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  27. Thank you for co-hosting this month! I've found that if I have an idea that doesn't sound like anything I've ever written before, I should go after it because it's usually a good thing! It is fun to put yourself out there in uncharted territory and see what comes of it!

    Cheers,
    Jen

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    1. You're welcome, Jen. Good thinking. Those ideas are worth a try. Here's to your success.

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  28. Thanks so much for co-hosting this month! I love the idea for your historical fiction novel. It's unique and must have been inspiring to write. I'd love to read it when I have a chance.

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    1. My pleasure, Paula. It's been fun. Glad you like the idea for my novel. It was inspiring because I could not imagine living in a cave or being bombarded with gunfire constantly.
      Wonderful. If you have a chance to read Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines, let me know what you think. Happy reading.

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  29. What a terrific 'surprise' story! And good for you on the historical novel. I love research but tend to get distracted with the desire to know more.
    As one who loves windows, cave-life might not be a good fit for me ;-)

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    1. Sometimes surprises are great. Other times not so much. I hear you. There's always more research to do. It would be claustrophobic, for sure.

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  30. Congrats on your historical novel. I need to try writing in canyons and caves now! Thank you for co-hosting!

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    1. Thank you, Adrienne. Try it. You might be surprised too. You never know.
      My pleasure. Having fun.

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  31. This is such an inspiring post! I love it when seeds just plant themselves and sprout into a full blown project. And there is nothing quite like a cave to stir the imagination in so many directions. Thanks for co-hosting today.

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    1. Ah, thanks, Lee. I'm happy my post inspired you. You're absolutely right. I read a story that took place in a cave not long ago. There are a lot of different things we can do with caves, mountains, the ocean and other things.
      You're welcome. I'm having fun.

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  32. I love that! It sounds like a great read! I have to try my hand at some other genres, I've pretty much stuck with non-fiction type articles or fantasy. Thanks for co-hosting today!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Kathryn. I hope readers agree that the novel is a "great read." That makes me happy.
      Good luck with trying new genres. You may be surprised too.
      You're welcome. I'm having fun.

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  33. How interesting. I never wanted to write historical fiction either, but lately, several of my short stories and flash fiction gravitated towards historical approach. Russian history in particular. Although, my stories all have magic interwoven with mundane. It seems the only direction to ensure happy endings in Russia.

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    1. Sounds like you may be writing more historical stories next. I think history and magic would make a great combination. Best of luck with your new ideas. A happy ending in Russia might lift people's spirits.

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  34. You never know indeed! I *Love* trying new genres. @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

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    1. So true, Samantha. Good for you. It is exciting to try new things. Best of luck with your adventures.

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  35. Awesome that your try at historical fiction won an award. You're right. You never know.

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    1. I was really surprised, Natalie. I was such a new writer then I had no idea what I was doing. Sometimes that's best.

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  36. That's a great story about where you found your story idea. I don't think I'd be brave enough to try historical fiction but I love reading it.

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    1. Thank you, Susan. Traveling can reveal lots of neat ideas for stories. You might surprise yourself and some day you just can't resist the call of history.

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  37. Great post. Congrats on the awards. Love the story.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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    1. Thank you, Juneta. I'm having fun. That's what's important.

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  38. I had no idea they lived in caves for safety. That's interesting. I am interested in reading about what that could've been like, especially for a child. You book has piqued my interest.

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    1. I didn't either, Chrys, until we went to the battleground and museum and saw a film. I'm glad you're interested. If you read Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines let me know what you think. Thanks.

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  39. Hi, Beverly! Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month! I found your account of unexpectedly writing historical fiction encouraging. I'm tearing my hair out trying to write a small part of actual Canadian history. I appreciate any inspiration I can find! Thank you!!

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    1. Hi, Fundy. My pleasure. It's been fun. Happy my post inspired you to write your history. Just keep saying "I can do it, I can do it." Best wishes to you. Let me know how it goes.

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  40. Hm, I'm not a YA fan, but this historical sounds like a book I'd like. I love historicals, but am more curious about character perceptions than on the actual events. I think I learn more of history when the setting is a character rather than a factual retelling.

    Thanks for co hosting this month.

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    1. I'm glad you like the idea of my novel. I tried to show the effect of war on the family, more so than the battles. In all of my novels, the characters are the most important and how they deal with life situations.
      You're welcome. I'm having fun.

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  41. I think it's interesting when an author tries to write in a new genre. It makes it fun for readers like myself.

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    1. It's a challenge, Mason, but also fun for the writer too.

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  42. Thanks for co-hosting this month, Beverly!! History doesn't have to be the focus, just the supporting structure or environment. As little or as much as benefits the story. Glad you found the right blend!

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    1. My pleasure, Nancy. It's been fun.
      Absolutely. My characters are the most important part of the story and how they deal with their situations. It worked out okay.

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  43. That is a very inspiring example of expanding your horizons, Beverly, and being successful at it. Talking about living in a cave, I am in New Mexico right now and visited a few caves where the indigenous Indians used to live. Hard to imagine, but the views are fantastic and it is safe from predators! :-) Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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    1. Sounds intriguing, Liesbet. I've been to Carlsbad Caverns, years ago. When we reached the bottom of the cave, they turned out the lights. It was so dark you couldn't see the person next to you. I was ready to get out of there. It would be interesting to see where the Indians lived. And safety would be important to them.
      You're welcome. It's been fun.

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  44. Many congratulations, Beverly. The book sounds wonderful. It sounds like it should receive awards. Bravo to you, my dear. All the best to you!

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    1. Thank you, Victoria. It's one of my favorite books I've written. I guess the judges liked it. :)
      Best wishes to you, as well.

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  45. YAY. Have you thought about writing a historical novel again?

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    1. Thanks, Stephanie. Actually, I wrote another historical fiction novel recently, but not about the Civil War. It's a bit later in time. My mg/tween, A Family for Leona, about the Orphan Trains. Also, I have a rough draft of a story during the American Revolution. Don't know whether I'll ever finish it. Time will tell.

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  46. I do love research, but can get so easily bogged down in it. It's fun to pull off a story outside your usual genre.

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    1. It is easy to keep researching when everything is so interesting, Shannon. I agree that it's nice to try something different now and then.

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  47. Oh my gosh... I love that! Very cool. Your stories sound amazing and I'm not at all surprised they won awards.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Erica and Christy. You have a new fan now. Me. Have a lovely rest of the week.

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  48. Thanks for hosting. This is my first time back in a long tine. I enjoy reading historical fiction, but I bet the amount of research is overwhelming. Vicksburg, MS. Huh? I'm very familiar with it. I've been to the battlefield many times. I went to Ole Miss (many years ago) and traveled through Vicksburg to get there. My daughter started her freshman year at Ole Miss this year so I'll be traveling though again. It is full of history.

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    1. You're welcome, Melissa. It's been fun. There is a lot of research and sometimes I get so busy reading, I forget to write. :) How exciting to see Vicksburg so often. I'd love to go back. We toured some of the beautiful homes. So much to see, it's a great vacation spot.

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  49. Love that you branched out because of a visit you took. Awesome that the story has been up for so many awards. Yeah! :)
    ~Jess

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    1. Thank you, Jess. I really enjoy writing historical but it takes so much research time and I'm not that patient. I was very fortunate that the story was well received.

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  50. Yes, surprised myself by writing a paranormal.

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