It's the first Wednesday of the month,
the day that members of the
Insecure Writer's Support Group
share their writing struggles
and writing successes
and offer their encouragement
and support to fellow writers.
To visit the IWSG website, click here.
To become a member of the IWSG, click here.
Our wonderful co-hosts who are volunteering today,
along with IWSG founder Alex Cavanaugh are:
Tonja Drecker, Beverly Stowe McClure, Nicki Elson, and Tyrean Martinson, and Fundy Blue. (That's me!)
I hope you have a chance to visit today's hosts and thank them for co-hosting.
I'm sure they would appreciate a visit and an encouraging comment.
with advice, insight, a personal experience, or a story in their IWSG posts.
Or, the question can inspire members
if they aren't sure what to write about on IWSG Day.
Remember the question is optional.
This month's featured question is:
Let's play a game. Imagine. Role-play. 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 plan for this post radically changed direction when I received
an unexpected email from the IWSG administrators in mid-November.
The email informed me that my short story was selected
for publication in the 2019 IWSG Anthology Contest!
All of a sudden I was living the dream,
dancing all around, jumping up and down,
and getting a lot of congratulatory hugs from Terry.
He knew I had won only because he was sitting
at the kitchen counter near me when I discovered the email.
My immediate response to utter delight and surprise is not subtle.
How does it feel? Like I'm really real!
No Longer a WIP Pining to Be Real!
Bartolucci's Store and Workshop
September 19, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved
I've been a member of the IWSG for years,
and I've admired all the writing successes of the IWSG members.
It's wonderful and inspiring to see.
Meanwhile, even though I know I'm a writer and I've written throughout my life,
I felt like a fraud. I didn't feel really real.
I have multiple manuscripts in the works, but I haven't published anything
other than my blog posts since I joined the IWSG.
It feels amazing to receive the honor and validation
of having a story of mine published in the next IWSG anthology.
And Terry is so damn proud of me!
He ran right downstairs to my copious bookshelves
and brought the four previous IWSG anthologies upstairs.
Then he began reading them and researching all things IWSG-related online.
It's been hard to keep my exciting news a secret from everyone but Terry,
but I have managed to do so. He hasn't breathed a word either.
In late August an unexpected clap of thunder broke right over our home.
I was so shocked that I shot straight up out of the high chair
I was sitting on at our kitchen counter and fell over backwards.
My legs followed my body, and I landed on my tailbone in a perfect V formation.
A Bolt from the Black!
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
I interpreted that bolt from the black as a message from the Universe
to get off my butt and write that story for the anthology contest
that I had been mulling over for several months.
I received that dramatic message and got to work.
I'm so glad I did!
Terry would just as soon have me not receive
any more dramatic messages from the Universe.
He literally thought I had been struck by lightning.
I wrote my story sitting on a painful tailbone while Terry cheered me on
and placed an occasional plate of food by my computer.
He knew better than to ask me what was for dinner,
or should I take a shower or get some sleep.
And he definitely knew better than to ask me
if I was having fun, if I was doing what I wanted to do.
And he didn't say a word when a special delivery order from Amazon
for an obscure reference landed on our doorstep.
Wisest of all, he didn't roll his eyes or make a snarky remark
about the cost when he handed me the parcel.
Truly he is my Ever-Patient and best fan!
What would I change or improve about feeling really real?
Publish more and often! LOL!
Speaking of successful and published IWSG authors,
I recently read another wonderful book by an IWSG author:
Survival of the Fittest by Jacqui Murray.
This book filled
my geological and paleontological heart!
I couldn't believe it!
Here was a great story starring Homo erectus,
considered the most long-lived
of all the hominid species.
They lived throughout most
of the Pleistocene Epoch,
appearing about 2 million years ago
and lasting until 50,000 to 100,000 years ago.
The characters in this story lived 850,000 years ago.
Some have hypothesized that Homo erectus did not go extinct, but may have
descendants among other hominid groups including Homo neanderthalensis.
Five Tribes. One leader. A treacherous journey across three continents
in search of a new home headlines the cover.
I love a fierce story with a strong female protagonist,
and Jacqui Murray delivers an unforgettable one in Xhosa.
My students and I spent a lot of time discussing
text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world connections.
I was very happy to claim a text-to-self connection
with Xhosa, the main character and her People,
thanks to National Geographic's Genome 2.0 Project.
My DNA contains 3% Homo neanderthalensis genes.
It makes me feel so good to think my ancestors
may go back beyond H. neanderthalensis to H. erectus.
It was fascinating and fun for me to imagine Xhosa as one of my deep ancestors.
As for text-to-text connections ~
I immediately thought of Jean M. Auel's Earth's Children Series.
But I liked this book better than Clan of the Cave Bear and other books in the series.
Murray's characters seemed more authentic, like they were truly H. erectus
and not more modern people fitted into a Prehistoric mold.
The way Murray has her characters functioning in this long ago time,
their rudimentary culture, their communication,
their ability to adapt and survive in a violent and treacherous world,
was a marvelous construction of how alike and unlike they are from modern H. sapiens.
I thought Murray's use of smell as a form of communication was brilliant!
And text-to-world connections ~
The physical world Murray created for her main characters
to journey across three continents was vivid and authentic.
It reflected the extensive research underlying everything in the book.
I'll be reading the other two books in this series, for sure!
Wishing you seasons greetings and happy times with your families and friends!
And happy writing too!
Our Little Traveling Tree
on the Road in Surprise, Arizona
Christmas Eve 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved