Wednesday, September 4, 2019

IWSG Day: Wednesday, September 4, 2019 ~ Black Bears Don't Growl

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:
Gwen Gardner,  Doreen McGettigan, Tyrean Martinson, Chemist Kenand Cathrina Constantine.

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:

If you could pick one place in the world to sit and write your next story,
where would it be and why?  
Would it be some faraway, exotic location?


Hi, Everyone!
I hope that you are having a fun IWSG Day!

My post is late today,
because I had an important deadline to meet:
Today's closing date for the Annual IWSG Anthology Contest.
I just submitted my manuscript at lunchtime.


Late Monday evening I crawled into bed convinced
that I would not finish my story before the deadline.
I thrashed around for hours really upset with myself
and unable to calm my hyperactive brain.

I kept going back and forth between how could I meet the deadline,
and have I made any mistakes.  Especially bonehead errors!

Take black bears, for example.
Did you know that black bears don't growl?
I didn't.

I should clarify that:  Black bears rarely, if ever, growl.
However, it's true that a black bear's moan of fear can be mistaken for a growl.

American black bear (Ursus americanus)
near Riding Mountain Park, Manitoba, Canada

I was fascinated to learn that people expect black bears to growl,
so they tend to interpret any bear vocalization as a growl.

I was even more fascinated to learn that a recording of a wolf growling
is often used for black bears in movies and television,
because people believe that's what black bears sound like.

There went this scene I was writing
about a black bear running out of the woods
growly fiercely as it attacked some people:
snagged in an unspooled pile of growling wolf tapes.

The thought of bonehead mistakes like this keep me spinning around in bed.

I expect a lot of things from myself when I write,
and accuracy is near the top of my list.
If black bears don't growl,
then I'm going to be damn sure one doesn't growl in a story I write.

Have you ever caught a bonehead mistake in your writing?

With regard to this month's IWSG question:
If I could pick one place in the world to sit and write my next story,
I'd sit at my kitchen breakfast bar where I'm writing right now.

It's the center of our home 
(so I'm in the middle of everything)

Unlimited coffee at hand 
(to keep me perky when I'm drooping)

Lots of chocolate in the fridge 
(to keep me running when I'm depleted)

CNN or HGTV on my kitchen television 
(white noise to calm my distractible brain)

My shower and bed nearby 
(So, if I remember I need to shower and sleep, I can do so quickly)

Nowhere exotic please!
I would not be able to concentrate on my writing.
I would have to get out and experience the place fully!

Blue Ice Covering Lake Fryxell

(formed from glacial meltwater
from the Canada Glacier and other smaller glaciers)
in the Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica

Happy writing in September!

If you are curious about black bear vocalizations, this is an excellent source:


  1. Glad you decided to get it done and enter!
    Now, don't rot your brain. Try OAN instead of CNN.
    Basically, sounds like home is best.

    1. My brain is definitely rotted right now, Alex ~ LOL! Remember that bolt from the black I wrote about last week? Well I took it as a warning to get off my tush and write the story that I had been playing around with in my mind. Now I'm having a rum and orange. Heck I may even have a second. You're the best!!!!!


  2. I had no idea black bears don't growl! You know what's weird? The King Cobra does growl. It's true.

    When I was in elementary school Lois Lowry, the children's book author, came to my school to speak. She said in one of her books she described a young girl's hair color as like a specific type of melon. I can not remember the type of melon. But she found out after her book was published that type of melon is green, not the orange she'd imagined. HA!

    That has stayed with me all these years.

    1. Thanks for the great anecdote about Lois Lowry, Sandi. I have heard her speak several times, but I hadn't heard that story. It's things like that that authors never forget! At least most of her reading audience probably doesn't know one melon from another and wouldn't like check. btw, I loved her book "Number the Stars." I read it most years to my kiddos, and sometimes used it with gifted kids in a small group. Have a good one!

  3. I didn't know they don't growl either. Maybe filmmakers should have your desire for accuracy and not use wolf recordings in their films, which only add to our ignorance on the subject. I did, however, see a black bear in the Smoky Mountains a few years ago. I think he was a baby because he was nowhere near as big as the one you pictured here.

    1. Hi, Theresa! It's so kind of you to visit and leave a comment when I've been so behind in blogging. I've been lucky enough to see a number of black bears in my life time, most in national parks. That black bear in the picture is one big black bear. I hope all is going well with you and your family! Take care!

  4. Loved the caption about the "Brain and Me" can relate to that.
    Great post to read.


    1. Thanks, Yvonne! I hope that you have a great day, and may your writing flow! I've got to write my post for tomorrow, and then deal with reality after being on a writing binge since we returned from the wedding on Monday. I'm beginning to think that I'll never learn! LOL Hugs to you!

  5. I write in my kitchen a lot too. Awesome that you got your anthology submission in.

    1. Thanks, Natalie! I should have started writing it sooner, but life conspired against me. It was the historical accuracy that was giving me fits. Like the darn bear. I had no clue where my story was going, couldn't make it come together. Then it clicked, and if it doesn't make the anthology, I have a book. Regardless, I have a book, maybe a series. It was great fun! Have a good one!

  6. Who knew? I certainly didn't. Good luck with your contest entry!

    I can't write in the middle of stuff. I like to be tucked away. :)

    1. Thanks, Madeline! I'd love to make the anthology, but the process is what's important. When I'm absorbed in writing, my world doesn't even exist. I'm really, really alive. I'd never tried writing a story for kids before, so this was challenging. I caught a great wave, and I'm going to ride it wherever it takes me. Good luck with your writing!

  7. Wow, I did not know that about black bears. So interesting. Just goes to show you should research even when you think you know something if it is a real thing. Happy IWSG!

    1. You're so right, Juneta! Research! Research! Research! I hope that you had a great IWSG Day!

  8. Office next to a beach with a view of the ocean.

    1. That is a very fine place to write, Adam! I could go for that too.

  9. I didn't know about the black bears either! It's funny about the wolf growling...every time I hear dinosaurs growling in movies, I think of rhinos or elephants! Good luck with your manuscript Louise! I think my favourite place to write is at my desk surrounded by the pets and having a lovely view of my garden! :)

    1. Haha! I love dinosaur movies! You have a beautiful spot to write in with a special collection of fur babies!

  10. Never knew that they didn't growl. Movies lied to me? How rude. lol I've made bonehead mistakes a plenty, but something like making a black bear growl I could let go if I'm writing fiction, non-fiction though, nope. That is when I'd have to be exact.

    haha you? You wouldn't go anywhere? Well wonders never cease. I guess we know how to get you to stay home, huh? Write!

    1. It was temporary, Pat! ~ I have two week long trips before the end of the month. But I will be writing. Have a good one!

  11. I can relate to that Minion!

    Bears grunt and the babies sound like human kids.

    1. Hi, Diane! I bet a lot of us can relate to that Minion! It was fun to discover a lot more about black bears. Have a good one

  12. Congrats on making the deadline. I didn't know black bears didn't growl either. Would never had noticed that it was an incorrect assumption. And sounds like thanks for that mostly goes to Hollywood, TV producers, etc. At least you caught it.

    For me, I'd pick a Harry Potter related location. And yes, I'll be out exploring and experiencing the locale. But I'd like to think that seeds of creativity will sprout by the mother load if I did. So my writing won't be negatively affected.

    1. Thanks, Lidy! I'd like to think the same thing too, but so far I haven't done so well! Thanks for visiting, and have a great Friday!

    2. I tried to find your blog and came across "A Writer's Fate." Loved that Hunter S. Thompson quote. If you're on Wordpress or somewhere else, let me know!

    3. I'm on wordpress. Here's the link to find me:

  13. Thinking about your story and problems within it while you're trying to sleep is a very writerly thing to do. It's no fun, but it keeps you on your toes. Good luck with your story.

  14. Glad you made the deadline! Nothing wrong with being happy writing at home either. Home is where the heart is!


Thank you for your comments! I appreciate them very much.