Wednesday, October 4, 2017

IWSG: Wednesday, October 4, 2017 ~ Shaped by Life





It's the first Wednesday of the month:
the day when 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:
Olga Godim,  Chemist Ken,  Jennifer Hawes,
and Tamara Narayan,.

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.

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Slipping this in just before the contest deadline ~ Cause that's who I am.  I'm revealing a bunch of insecurities, not so much with writing but with technology and blogging.  I'm traveling, so no IWSG swag.  I can't figure out how to add my photo to the logo, like other clever IWSG members.  And worst of all (so embarrassing)  I can't take iPhone selfies.  So I've taken a photo with my point and shoot camera of me with my computer and logo in my hotel room, between packing and hitting a pub to recover.  Cheers!


Technologically Insecure!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Every month the IWSG poses a question
that members can answer 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:

Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?

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The obvious answer to this question is yes, since I'm writing a memoir.

However, the more accurate answer depends upon
the definition of "personal information."
If the question means simple information
like my appearance, my address, my age, my income,
or how I hold my fork in a piece of fiction, I would say no.

If it means me, who I am, how I think, what I believe in,
and my life experiences, how can the answer not be yes?

Whenever I write fiction, it's often setting,
particularly place, that leads me into a character.
My character is grounded in a place,
because so much of whom a person is
comes from his or her place in the world,
and my understanding of him or her is derived from
my personal experiences or observations in that place.

My characters are often drawn from people I've known
and conflicts I have experienced or observed.
For example, in my novel-in-the-works one main character
is trying to escape from a preordained life as a logger in rural Nova Scotia.
That character was inspired by someone I knew well in the same situation,
but my fictional character is very different from the real person I knew.
I find my characters quickly take over and show me who they are in my writing.

The short stories I have written and the novel I am writing
have my fingerprints all over them.
When I consider the elements of story ~
setting, character, plot, theme, and style ~
I see myself in each element.

That’s because, if I'm going to invest time and effort in a story,
I'm going to write about settings, characters, plots, and themes
that speak to me personally and in a style that is my unique voice.

Yes, I'm writing books, and yes, I'd like to get them published;
but I am quite selfish in that I am writing about ideas that are significant to me,
and they are shaped by my beliefs based on my experiences.

Writing Shaped by Life
My Brother and I Canoeing
Lake Attawapiskat, Northern Ontario, Canada
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


58 comments:

  1. I like your "significant to me" approach to your books and hope they get published, too. Love your writing.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Teresa! Have an enjoyable day visiting around.

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  2. I like that line as well. You nailed it, Fundy.

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  3. I like the photo of you and your brother canoeing! Is that the only word in the English language that has "oei" in it? I wonder.

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    1. That photo is special to me, Debra. I can't speak definitively about the whole English language, but I know potato definitely doesn't, thanks to Dan Quayle. Poor guy ~ I think more people remember his misspelling of potato more than the fact he was vice president of the US. Have a good one.

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  4. Significant to you is the way. Trying to escape being a logger in rural NS? Yeah, I'd really, really want to escape that haha hard for us not to write and show much of ourselves sometimes. The cat spills all and much of me slips in from time to time in books where it makes sense to.

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    1. Hey, Pat, where you're at! You are definitely all over "Delivered!" My friend certainly wanted out of logging. Heck, I wanted out of rural Nova Scotia! LOL Not that I didn't and don't love my connection to such places, but I would have been unhappy living in them all my life. Have a good one!

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    2. Look at you go wit h the pic too haha you sure travel about all over. Do you actually live anywhere besides a plane? lol

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  5. Good luck to you and your endeavours, I'm sure you are writing 'sellers', that will become treasures of people's pleasures. I write characteristics of people that I know in my novel that I'm currently writing.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Andrew. I'm sure that your novel will have a lot of heart in it! Good luck to you in your writing as well! Take care.

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    2. Thank you for your kind words. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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  6. This is so true. We need to write what we know and include it in our novels! It makes writing easier for me.

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    1. Hi, Jennifer! It certainly makes writing easier for me, too. Have a good one!

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  7. Greetings
    Good answer. I also read your 'about me.' Tolkien inspired me to become a writer, so LOTR is may favorite book along with C. S. Lewis, Narnia. Tolkien and Lewis were both professors at the same university and met to talk stories at a pub. If I could time travel, I just might pop into that pub and meet them both.

    Nancy

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    1. Hi, Nancy! Tolkien has inspired me, too. What an amazing writer and teacher. I like the works of C. S. Lewis as well. I was fortunate to study them both one term in university, one of my favorite courses ever. I'd join you with them in that pub!

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  8. Hi Fundy, I agree your ideas should be significant to you. I think that's the only way you can put emotion and passion into your writing.
    Hope you have a day filled with sparkle.

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    1. Thanks, Sandra! Sparkle right back at you!

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  9. Terrific post! Since we all have unique-to-us thoughts and experiences, how can we NOT incorporate some of that into our writing? If we aren't true to ourselves, why bother? And if what we write isn't significant to US, why would it be significant to anyone else?

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    1. Thanks, Susan! I hope your enjoying your day of visiting around!

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  10. Wow! Well thought out. I'm more fluid when it comes to my characters. They kind of happen and are revealed from the scenes they act out. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. Thanks, Anna! I'm sure everyone has his or her twist on developing characters. I'm a big proponent for whatever works. Have a good one.

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  11. There has to be something you relate to in your characters and stories--even if it's just something really, really small.

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    1. Thanks for visiting and commenting, Michelle! I hope you've enjoyed your day visiting around the IWSG!

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  12. Your stories are significant to me, Louise. I'm always moved deeply. Your prose and your depictions mean something special because they're are about real people and real situations. If you wrote fiction, I think I'd still be moved because you put so much heart and soul into your writing.

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    1. Thank you for the lovely comment, Joylene! It encourages me so much, because I'm an insecure writer! Thank goodness for the IWSG and supportive members like you! I'm visiting around in little chunks of time today, since I'm getting ready to leave beautiful Victoria! At least we're already booked in our hotel here for next September. That makes leaving a little easier. I hope you're feeling better and better every day! Take care, my friend!

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  13. Great photo of you & your brother. Whether we write fiction or a memoir, we always inject bits & pieces of ourselves in the characters.

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    1. Thanks, Diane! That's one of my favorite photos of my brother and me. I think "always" is correct, Diane. I can't imagine being a writer where nothing of yourself creeps into your work anywhere! Have a good one, my friend.

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  14. You have to write the way that works for you.

    I guess writing a memoir does give you the right to steal ideas from yourself. :)

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    1. Hi, Ken! I'm sure every writer does what works for him or her. Thanks for co-hosting today. Co-hosting is fun, but it is a commitment of time and energy, so I appreciate your stepping up. I'm still making my rounds today ~ lots of interruptions, but I'll get there. It's always fun touching bases with members! Happy writing in October.

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  15. You are adorable! I love that picture of you and I love that picture of you and your brother canoeing!
    Great answer to the question! I do hope you get your books published! I don't think you are selfish! Big Crow Hugs!

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    1. Hi, Stacy! Thanks for your kind words! The IWSG is having a contest today, and I told myself I had to participate to support the group, even if I was scrambling at the end. What can I say? I am who I am. I was at the Royal BC Museum for about an hour today ~ squeezing in a few of my favorite things before we leave, and I'm looking at a diorama of northern sea lions, and guess what's sitting on a rock near them? A crow! Stuffed like the sea lions, I'm sad to say. I've been taking photos of crows all over Victoria, and if I can get my act together, I'll do a post on them. All the others are live!!! Big hugs back at you! Take care!

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  16. They do say write what you know, so I think most writers do tend to slip some personal information into their stories from time to time whether they realize it or not.

    You are so cute taking your picture with your digital. You know, I am the worst selfie taker ever, I don't even try anymore. Glad I wasn't born into this digital generation because I would so not fit in with my techie, selfie taking peers.

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    1. Thanks for understanding, Theresa! Were it not for my amazing nieces and nephew, I would be nowhere technologically. Have a great day!

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  17. Louise, the photo of yourself and your brother canoeing is so lovely and calming! :)

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    1. Thanks, Linda! I'm sending you big hugs today! I hope that all is well with you, my cherished friend!

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  18. Wonderful photo of you and your computer.
    Your post is very thoughtful and deep. You're right, there are our "fingerprints" in every aspect of a story, not only characters.

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    1. Thanks, Olga! I appreciate your kind words! Have a good one!

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  19. I get technical insecurities too - I find the best way around 'em is just to throw myself in and see what happens :)

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    1. Hi, Angela! That's good advice for a lot of things. I learn a lot through trial and error. That's how I've managed to make it this far. Have a good one!

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  20. “I am writing about ideas that are significant to me,
    and they are shaped by my beliefs based on my experiences.”

    Of course!

    :)

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    1. LOL ~ It's almost like a "duh!" isn't it? Have a good one!

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  21. But you see, I think writers should write about subjects that are important to them. Unfortunately I can't remember, but a famous writer once said I write to see what I'm thinking. Paraphrased, of course. I think many write to try to understand something or write hopeful fiction about an important subject. All best to you!

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    1. You raised an important reason for writing, Victoria. I'm not sure if we're thinking of the same writer, but I remember C. S. Lewis remarking somewhere that he wrote to clarify his thinking ~ something to that effect. I never forgot that. It would comfort me when I was floundering around in all sorts of pieces as I tried to clarify what I was thinking. I'm definitely writing my memoir to understand what I experienced in the North as a girl, and there is definitely hope in it, as I've lived long enough to see change coming. All the best to you, too! I really appreciate your thoughtful words!

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  22. Love the selfie and great post!
    http://dbmcnicol.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks, Donna! The selfie took several attempts to get all of my head ~ I have short arms ~ LOL Have a good one!

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  23. I love that pic! You look so happy in it. Happy IWSG Day and good luck with your memoir!
    Anne from annehiga.com

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    1. Thank you, Anne! I had fun getting around to IWSG members yesterday! Hope you did too! Have a good one!

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  24. Your photo is silly happy. I love it!

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    1. Thanks, Diane! I hope that you had a good IWSG Day!

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  25. We can't help but put our "fingerprints" on our writing.
    Love your pic!!

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    1. Thanks, Lynda! Definitely not a professional shot ~ LOL! Have a good one!

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  26. Hi Fundy - thanks for stopping by. I love the canoe picture!

    We all leave pieces of ourselves in our writing and I confess to using my childhood neighbourhood in a lot of my books without coming out and saying HEY THIS IS WHERE I LIVED!

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    1. Thanks, Jenna! The canoe picture is one of my favorite photos of my brother and me. Thanks for visiting!

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  27. Excellent post and I think your picture is great!

    Thanks for participating!
    Heather M. Gardner

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  28. Sorry I'm late here, but this is an excellent photo!

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  29. Oh dear!
    this sounds little bit like me.
    back in 1997 i think when my eldest son strated to play games on simple computer i had no interest or wanted to operate it but later when in 2007 he forced me to learn and made me blog i did not know what to do with this thing ,mouse,key board and monior were totally aliens to me but how sweet of him to made me blog and asking me to handle it by my own .
    in beginnings i made lots of mistakes but slowly i learnt .and now by the grace of God and kindness of my son i can manage many things related to blogging on my own.

    this is fabulous photo and i lOVED you childlike lovely sweet smile my precious Louise!!!

    so yuo did it and for that hearties congrats!

    outstanding answer Louise!

    loved each bit you said .honestly and simply you write whet you see and observe around you and what you feel and find fascinating.
    this is what a true writer does my friend!

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    1. Thank you for the kind words, Baili! I'm really glad that your eldest son encouraged you to blog and taught you how to use a computer! It's a window on the world. I'm back from Calgary where it was very cold and snowy. I had an awesome time at my sister Barbara's retirement party. She had now moved to Nova Scotia from Alberta. But no matter how much fun it is to travel, it is always good to be home. Take care, my dear friend!

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Thank you for your comments! I appreciate the time and energy you put into making them very much.