Wednesday, July 3, 2019

IWSG: Wednesday, July 3, 2019 ~ Ennui








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:
Erika Beebe,  Natalie Aguirre, Jennifer Lane, M.J. FifieldLisa Buie-Collard, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor.

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.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Every month the IWSG announces 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:

What personal traits have you written into your character(s)?

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

Thank goodness for the Insecure Writers Support Group.
I've been struggling with everything this month, including
blogging,
and without the commitment of posting for the IWSG,
I'm not sure when I would have gotten moving again.

Nothing bad has happened.  
I've just succumbed to a growing ennui
as frustrations piled up during June.
Recent days have found this non-napper overwhelmed,
hiding under a blanket, and sleeping in the afternoon.

Stern self-talk has not worked as I've fallen further and further behind
with writing, blogging, exercising, downsizing our belongings,
and preparing our house to put it on the market.

I wake up from one of these uncustomary naps and peek out from under my blanket
hoping someone has made it all go away.  No such luck.

However the arrival of IWSG Day has driven me back to my computer
and forced me to write something, anything this evening.

With regard to this month's IWSG question, I usually write nonfiction;
so, when I do have characters in a piece,
they are real people and I use their actual character traits.
My current nonfiction work is a memoir, so I am absolutely in the story.


Two Unlikely Protagonists
My Father and I
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Circa 1974
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



When I write fiction I draw from people, situations, and places I've known.
I naturally write realistic fiction, and it's hard for me to move beyond that.

Last month on IWSG Day I came across a member
who enjoyed writing and reading noir mysteries ~
My apologies, but I can't remember who she was.

Curious, I googled that genre and found a Barnes & Noble list
of 50 Must-Read Noir Detective Novels compiled by Jeff Somers.
One of the fifty was Brighton Rock by Graham Greene.
Since I love Brighton, England, I had to read the book.

Brighton Rock is brilliant.  
Greene's harrowing noir mystery is set
in the criminal underworld of seaside Brighton in the mid-1930s.
His characters are unforgettable, and Greene created them
with a vivid, original style of writing that is a joy to read. 






Greene knocked my feet out from under me with his writing.
He left me stunned on the ground, paralyzed by inadequacy.

And so I nap under my blanket.

How do you keep writing, when you feel stymied by ennui and genius?

I'm going to hit publish, go to bed, get up tomorrow,
and summon some courage to get going again.
I will not miss IWSG Day!



Me, with the Most Courageous Person I've Known
My Mother, Sara MacDonald MacBeath
Summer 1951
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

38 comments:

  1. I know how you feel - I read a brilliant book and it just makes me want to quit, or I listen to a brilliant guitarist and wonder why I try. But we aren't them - we are ourselves, and we can't compare.
    Glad you poked your head out for IWSG day. Don't let everything overwhelm you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Alex! You're right. I have to knock off comparing myself with genius. My time would be better spent learning from someone like Graham Greene instead of napping under a blanket. Often the IWSG is inspiring. Today it feels like a lifeline. All the best to you as you make your rounds!

      Delete
  2. I haven't seen that photo before of you and your father -- it's terrific! What a great shot. Sorry to hear you are feeling overwhelmed by all that's going on. It's okay to let routine go during such times -- give yourself a break from things -- because no one can do it all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the encouraging words, Debra! I recently removed this photo of Dad and me from an album I'm deconstructing. I'm reducing the space my photo collection takes up by getting rid of fat albums and organizing the photos chronologically in boxes. I'm supposed to be culling photos as I go, but I've had no success with that. LOL Have a great day, my friend!

      Delete
  3. Love the photo! I think we all go through those times of feeling too overwhelmed to be motivated. When I get there, I write a short list of what I need to get done and cross them off as I do them. Then I start another list. Just a short one though so I'm not so overwhelmed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Natalie! Thanks for the tip about short lists. I'm going to try that today. Thanks for co-hosting today. I hope that you have lots of fun!

      Delete
  4. Sometimes stern self-talk works, but sometimes we need to be kinder and more gentle with ourselves. Give yourself a break! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Madeline! "Kinder and more gentle with ourselves" are words worth living by. Have a fun IWSG Day!

      Delete
  5. Hi Louise :) You and your dad look great in that photo! Oh the ennuie...I had the last summer and it was due to fatigue from too many responsibilities. I basically stopped cooking and blogging...two of my favourite things. I think you just need to let it happen until you finally get fed up of it, then you'll be ready to tackle it, at least that's my humble opinion! I hope you feel better soon!!! And don't compare yourself to any other writer!! You are unique! :) xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Rain, for your open heart and sharing! I'm at the point of fed up with ennui. Time to embrace the meaningful again. I hope that you are having a fun day with Alex and all the fur babies!

      Delete
  6. That's a sweet picture of you with your father.

    With publishing, I can get so overwhelmed that I don't want to do anything. Then there's the backside - once I have a break and can do what I want, I also don't do anything. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can so relate, Diane! ~ LOL! I love that photo of my father and me. btw, I really enjoyed Damien Larkin's "Big Red." I thought the premise underlying the story was fascinating and terrifying. I hope that his book is doing well!

      Delete
  7. We just need to give ourselves a break and not be too harsh on ourselves. Like your picture with your father.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Rachna, for your wise words and kindness!

      Delete
  8. lovely photo of you and your Dad, and ditto to you and your Mum. Save all the photos until you move and settle in, there will be some then that maybe can be culled, I have boxes, ours, my Dad's, some of his Mum who I did not meet, and I know, like you, I need to sort, label, and get into order. Ennui, I think that creeps in when we have too much on our plate, minds, or that massive list of things to do. Keep calm in the midst of sorting things out before you put your home up for sale.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the excellent advice, Jean ~ especially since you have just gone through a major move. I am slowly making progress, but it's difficult. Since we'll be moving to another state, I simply must cut the volume and weight of my belongings. Terry is one of those mysterious creatures who has traveled lightly through life, and he just shakes his head at me. I'm the pack rat who is emotionally attached to everything. We each know exactly what we'd toss or donate when it comes to the other one's belongings ~ LOL Big hugs to you, my friend!

      Delete
  9. IWSG has been a godsend for keeping me blogging (and connected to a writer community.)

    Has "stern self-talk" ever helped anyone? ;-)

    I can be full of self-doubt and hard on myself as a writer. I do find some solace, sometimes, in the idea that we each have our own stories to write in our own unique way. Graham Greene can't write your story; only you can.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your encouraging words, Jennifer! "Stern self-talk" can sometimes get me going, but other times it fails me spectacularly. I hope that you are enjoying IWSG Day!

      Delete
  10. You may be suffering from a touch of depression. Sitting in the sun or eating a banana or/and chocolate might help. Hang in there. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Anna! You're right. I have been struggling with a bout of depression, my genetic curse. I have been eating squares of chocolate, but I think I've moved too far up the cocoa scale for soul-comfort at 95% cocoa ~ LOL I'm already out of the depths. I knew the amazing members of IWSG would give me a lift. Thank you!

      Delete
  11. Gonna need to get your rock on and show those naps who's boss. Just have to take one thing at a time, or maybe three at a time if it gets it over with faster haha And pffft, write away, always someone better at everything and anything, so do what one can and keep on keeping on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Pat! It's always a treat to see your icon pop up! You're an original, like Graham Greene. I made sure I was out and about today at "nap time": forcing my shopping cart through the pre-July 4th crowds at Sam's Club, a perfect antidote to napping. I came around the corner of an aisle and an older man sat down on a stack of mattresses and said, "I'm going to take a nap," Then he lay down, crossed his cowboy boots, and closed his eyes. "Sounds like a good deal," I replied. He was probably waiting on his wife pushing a cart somewhere in the store. Since he had claimed the mattress, I took it as a sign from on high that I should not be napping ~ LOL All the best to you, my inventive friend!

      Delete
  12. I personify ennui. I love your photos.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
  13. I don't know if I'd call my mother courageous. But I rarely seen her scared. My bravery would not sort me into House Gryffindor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL ~ Your comment sent me hunting, and I did a House Sort on a J.K. Rowling site. I'm a Ravenclaw ~ which is where I thought I might fit.

      Delete
  14. What a lovely post!! I enjoyed this!! Hope you have a great day♡♡

    Jadieegosh

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love Brighton in UK and I enjoy your photos. Each of us has a personal style in all we do. You write just as you and if the group is your thing then follow along.
    Would love to wake up and find my eyesight self improved so I could read and write like I used to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Heidrun! It's nice to see you again. Eyesight is so frustrating, isn't it? I'm trying to be patient with writing just as me. Have a happy weekend!

      Delete
  16. I love Brighton too. You're the second person in a week to mention Graham Greene, so I'll have to try reading something by him. Also, remember that moving takes more out of you than you think. It's not only a physical thing, it's mental as well and can take an unanticipated toll...Thanks for dropping by my blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your kind comment, Lisa. With moving, I think the mental is worse than the physical. I wish I could visit everyone in the IWSG every day! Have a great weekend!

      Delete
  17. I love both pictures! They are priceless!
    My friend, take it easy!! We love you and will be here for you, when everything starts to settle down! Which I hope it's soon for you! Big Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Stacy! You always lift my spirits! I'm in a better place this week, and now I'm catching up on comments and visits. I'm trying to make peace with things being unsettled and out of my control. Thanks for the hugs; they are much appreciated!

      Delete
  18. Hope things have calmed down for you a bit by now. I am so loving that photo of you and your father. I don't think I have any photos of my father and I together. Come to think of it, I really only have a handful of him at all. I think now I've got to go hunt down some family members to see if they can share some with me. Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Theresa! Things have calmed down a lot. A week can make a big difference. I only have a few photos of just Dad and me, so each one means a great deal to me. I hope you can find some of you and your father. All the best to you!

      Delete
  19. beautiful post and most of all what a stunning and engaging images dear Louise :)))

    your photo with your father is remarkable :) really powerful shot ,you are and were such and elegant lady :)

    your mother is also lovely woman ,image looks so poetic !

    your reply to question is great indeed

    either i cannot think of characters that are not known or well observed , being old fashion makes it hard for me to comprehend characters which i can't relate

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Baili! Thank you for your kind words, always. I'm with you ~ I have to write about characters that are drawn from my experiences and with whom I can relate. On your blog you have shared fascinating stories based on people and situations you have known. I could likely weave a good story about things from your life, but I could never come close to the powerful stories you have written. I haven't lived in your reality, so I can only imagine, not know in the way that you know. I hope, I really hope, that sometime you could tackle a novel. You have so much truth and heart to share, and you write vibrant, lyrical prose. Just saying!

      Delete

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