Tuesday, October 1, 2019

IWSG Day: Wednesday, October 2, 2019 ~ Reading and Writing, Plus Three Great IWSG Authors

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:
Ronel Janse van Vurren,  Mary Aalgaard, Madeline Mora-Summonte, 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:

If It's been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don't enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?


Hi, Everyone!
I hope that you will have a fun IWSG Day!

I'll be flying back to Colorado tomorrow (IWSG Day),
but I'll get to as many of you as I can tomorrow and more on Thursday.

Landing at Denver International Airport
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
August 8,  2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

What an interesting question this month!

I absolutely believe that to be a good writer, you must read!
Reading is what develops your knowledge of language:
The more you read, the richer your reservoir of knowledge.

Forget worrying about your writing being a mixture of yourself and another author.
If you write, write, write and listen to your heart 
(or mind if you're less feeling oriented than I)
as you write, your unique voice will emerge.
You are unique, and you have to trust and believe that your voice will emerge.

Also, forget worrying about creating an original story.
It is also said that there are only seven basic story plots.
They have already been told countless times and from long ago until now.
You can only write your original twist on a old story.

Focus on writing what speaks to you and compels you.
Write, write, write, and an authentic, fresh you will emerge as an author.

I read every single day, I listen to my heart as I write,
and I trust that I am becoming the unique author I aspire to be.

Reading and Writing
French or German; Frieze ornament; Metalwork-Gilt Bronze
Before 1783

This is the perfect post to catch you up
on some of the IWSG authors I've been reading lately.

Let's see if you can guess who these three IWSG authors are
based on their books which I am sharing!
You get three clues.

IWSG Author #1:
1.  Unbounded imagination ~ The reader is guaranteed to have a wild, wild ride!

2.  The author tends to write in an Everyman, Everysetting style.
The setting could be anywhere with anyone, except for a few developed main characters.  How about an FBI agent with claustrophobia as a main character?

3.  Only this author could come up with a time machine shaped like a giant cat!!!!!  So much fun!!!!!

IWSG Author #2:
1.  Currently this author greatest passion is to write for young readers.

2.  This writer weaves fantasy with history in a way that appeals to middle school kiddos.

3.  An alligator as a wizard's familiar?  No black cat here!  Again, such a fun writer!!!!!

IWSG Author #3:
1.  This author has been invaluable in promoting other IWSG authors.

2.  This author writes with a positive, inspiring voice.

3.  This author has SPUNK!!!!!

If you can't guess the identity of these IWSG authors,
here's a little mix and match to help.

Three IWSG Authors
Golden Gate, Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.
October 1,  2019
(Sorry about my toes ~ I'm writing this very much on the fly in my hotel room, 
worrying about if the internet or my computer will crash before I'm finished)
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

#1:  The funny, unique, prolific, and wildly imaginative Pat Hatt

I've just finished reading his A Not So New World.
Yes, I know that Pat has just published book nine in this series,
and this is book one; but I just learned of the series,
and I want to read it from the beginning.

I think it will be great fun to follow Pat's development of the series
and his development as a writer.  Blame it on the teacher in me ~ LOL!

Jack, the protagonist, wants to leave his mark on the world.
He's not doing too well in life thanks to his nemesis Professor Jones.
Professor Jones and his nasty cohorts have hatched a despicable plan
to rid the world of Jack and steal his invention
that would ensure his standing among the scientific giants of all time.

But Jack outwits them initially and escapes somewhere in time,
along with FBI agent Emily Milano who has Jack in her custody. 

But where and when?  
And more importantly, 
can Jack and Emily find their way back to their time?
Are Professor Jones and his nasty cohorts following Jack and Emily in time?

You'll have to read the book to find out!
Here's a link to Pat's blog Pat Hatt Time.
And a link to his books on Amazon.

And my question as I read more of the series:
Will Jack and Emily fall in love. 
I give it a 99.999% probability of happening.

For a breathtaking, action-packed adventure, 
I definitely recommend Pat's book!

#2:  A second imaginative and fun author who gets kids:  C. Lee McKenzie!

I recently finished reading her Some Very Messy Medieval Magic.

This is the first book by Lee that I have read, 
and it was great fun.
I taught young readers for twenty-five years,
and I would read this aloud to my students in a heartbeat
were I still teaching.  They would love it!

Pete and his friend Weasel have seriously threatened the stream of time
by failing to close the Time Lock which protects history.
If they cannot find Peter of Bramwell, who has gone missing in 1173 England,
before he must be present during a critical event,
time and history will be forever altered.
If they do not find Peter of Bramwell in time, Pete and Weasel may cease to exist!

And how on Earth does Pete handle his familiar, alligator Fanon,
in medieval England?
Not to mention a curious girl, a talking horse, Druids, and a Circle of Stones.

You are never too old to read a great middle school book,
especially if you have a good imagination, a sense of fun,
and enjoy adventures.  By all means read Lee's book!

Here's a link to Lee's blog C. Lee McKenzie.
And a link to her books on Dancing Lemur Press.
(Scroll down, her book is Item 7 in the DLP list.)

#3:  The wise and inspiring L. Diane Wolfe!

I recently finished reading her Overcoming obstacles with SPUNK:
The Keys to Leadership & Goal-Setting!

Ostensibly this is a book about overcoming barriers to reach your goals
and to become a successful leader.
It is exactly that; but I think it is, more importantly, a book
about developing critical life skills that can help you at any stage in your life.

Diane identifies five keys to helping you succeed:
1.  Develop a Positive Attitude
2.  People Skills
3.  Raising Self-Esteem
4.  Overcoming Fears
5.  Setting Goals

Her writing is clear, cogent, and easy to read,
and her book is full of practical information thoroughly grounded 
in the real world.

Diane's book is full of how to develop important skills
that are necessary in the business and personal world.
I struggle with shyness, and just yesterday I drew on Diane's advice
to help me in a situation where my shyness almost had me fleeing the scene.
Instead of hiding I had a great time.

What I like best about Diane's book,
aside from the great information,
is how positive Diane's writing is.
She speaks with authority, but also with honesty and integrity
in an inspiring way.
I highly recommend reading Diane's inspiring book.
Guaranteed you will find something helpful for you!

Here's a link to Diane's blog SPUNK on a Stick.
And a link to her books on Dancing Lemur Press.

Actually not only is Diane a writer, she is the owner of Dancing Lemur Press and a senior editor.  She is a speaker and conducts seminars on book publishing, promoting, leadership, and goal-setting, and she offers book formatting and author consultation.
I'm not linking you to her book, but rather to her publishing house,
so you can explore her inspiring site!

I have no time to go back and proofread this post.
If I don't go now, I won't have my room serviced,
and I so hate wet, used towels.
Asking for your forgiveness of errors in advance.

Happy writing in October!


  1. I have always read.LOTS!!! The latest was one I could immerse myself in, from start to end." Hare's Fur" by Trevor Shearston, a " I cannot put this down till I finish it" one. Denver looks like a massive airport, hope you are staying home if there is snow coming. We have some a bit North of us, falling in the far south, and hoping the lambs are safe.

    1. Hi, Jean! I hope the lambs are safe too! I love a book that I can't put down. I'll add yours to my reading list The temperature has dropped here in Vegas, and it is downright chilly. We'll be home tomorrow. I don't know what kind of weather to expect this winter. Montana already had a storm that dropped up to four feet/1.21 meters of snow! Take care!

  2. Replies
    1. Definitely, Adam! I hope that you are having a great week, my friend!

  3. I read quite a bit and learn from what I read. Great post and I hope you have/had a safe journey home. Have a great October.


    1. Time zones wreak havoc on round-the-world friends, Yvonne! It's very early on Wednesday here, but we aren't flying for about twelve more hours. Thanks always for your kind words!

  4. I got all three right, I mean I at least couldn't screw up me lol but then I did write that years ago. Guess I got a good memory. Reading is a must indeed and as far as those worrying about copying or whatever, as you say, as long as one sticks to their own heart and head, shouldn't be an issue. I don't think I'm too much of a copy cat. haha I think your 99.99% probability guess is probably 99.99% right. Thanks for always reading from a guy who goes everywhere, even with cat time machines.

    1. You're no copy cat, Pat! You are unique, and I've enjoyed reading your books. That cat-shaped time machine was purrfect! I loved it, and I can't wait to read more about the adventures of Jack and Emily! Have a great IWSG Day!

    2. Wait until you see what comes up, you may be thrown for a time loop lol

  5. I got two right and should have known the first one! Haven't read that book yet, although I've read several of Pat's books. Good choices and I like your reasons for enjoying each book.

    1. Haha! I can't believe you didn't guess Pat's book! I thought the cat-shaped time machine was a dead giveaway. Orlin? Cassie? I am enjoying my exploration of IWSG authors so much! Thanks for all you do!

  6. I'm so happy you enjoyed my book. That just made my day.

    1. ☺️Happy to do so! Your book was great! I like to surprise IWSG authors with my reviews, so this was great fun for me!

  7. I've always taken that "there's only seven plots" concept as a challenge rather than a rule which has served my writing well, but I don't know where I'd be without the wonderful short story magazines that fill my mind with wild visions.

    1. Hi, Jennifer! I see the "7 plots" as a challenge too, but I also find it very freeing in that I write what I want and don't worry about plot classification. Short story magazines are lots of fun. My father always had a stack of them in the bathroom, and since I grew up in one bathroom homes, I started reading them too. Dad's favorites were crime, mysteries, and science fiction, so I quickly acquired a taste for them. Have a great IWSG Day!

  8. What a fun post! The clues about the authors and their books was great. :)

    1. Thanks, Madeline! I hope that you are having a fun IWSG Day!

  9. I guessed all of them. I've only read Lee's book. The one you are featuring and her new one that is just releasing are great.

    Have a great trip!

    1. Way to go, Natalie!!!! I look forward to reading more of Lee's books. And more of other fellow IWSG members. All the best to you!

  10. Fun way to highlight authors!
    Happy IWSG Day!
    Mary at Play off the Page

    1. Thanks, Mary! I had a lot of fun putting the post together! And of course, I enjoyed each of the books; otherwise I'd just not share them. Happy writing in October!

  11. Hey Busy girl! Great post! I agree with everything you said! Thanks for the reviews!! Big Hugs!!

    1. Big hugs back at you, my fine feathered friend! I hate that I haven't been getting around to all my blogging friends! But I'm looking at maybe two months at home!!! Maybe I'll catch up. Leaving for the airport shortly. I'll visit you tomorrow!

    2. Hi, Stacy, Oops, but I accidentally deleted your comment about your oldest brother and Vegas. I was trying to learn how to use the comment area for my posts. Duh!

  12. I love to read too. Can't imagine my life without it. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    1. Hi, Anna! I think I would die if I could never read again! All the best to you on IWSG Day!

  13. Do you remember the Twilight Zone episode where Burgess Meredith was saved from some apocalypse that left him alone with all the books from the NY library. He was thrilled until he broke his THICK glasses. Oh how one could relate to that. Thank you for your insights.

    1. I had forgotten about that episode until you reminded me of it. I'd be frantically searching everywhere for glasses. Have a good one!

  14. What comes into my mind is a scripture 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.'
    When someone writes it is so that others may read what they have written. So why would you not read what others have written if you expect others to read what you have written? Interaction increases knowledge and friendship.

    1. Spot on, Brenda! You said it all so well! Have a good one!

  15. What a great and fun way to promote IWSG writers! I fully agree that reading makes us better writers. Every book I read leaves me feeling richer than the one before it and the one before that.

    1. Thanks, Brigitte! I'm finding it very rewarding to read the books of fellow IWSG members. Thanks for visiting!

  16. Great post. Highlighting others' work is such a wonderful way to approach this month's IWSG.

    1. Thanks, A.B.! It seemed the perfect time to share recent books by IWSG authors that I've read. Happy writing in October!

  17. Guessing the IWSG authors was really fun!

    You make a really good point about there only being seven plots. Don't worry about being original, just worry about putting your own unique spin on things.

    1. I'm glad that you enjoyed guessing the IWSG authors, Ellen! I had a lot of fun writing the post! I suspect you have fun writing your posts too, especially when you feature the delightful Simon! Have a good one!

  18. Sorry for deleting my last comment--I'd accidentally commented on the wrong post! ha! But here's the appropriate comment for the appropriate post:

    How cool to have spotlighted a cute guessing game of our fellow IWSG authors!

    1. I totally get it, Elizabeth ~ Been there, done that. I'm glad that you enjoyed the guessing game. It was fun to read the books and put it together. All the best to you!

  19. I think you absolutely must read in order to be a good writer. I also believe you need to experience life as well in order to be a good storyteller. Talk to people and actually LISTEN to their stories. And, most importantly, research on the topic you're writing about. Nothing irritates me more than finding inaccuracies that could have been avoided with a little research.

    1. I'm so with you on everything, Theresa! I check and recheck for accuracy, even on the simplest of posts. We're in the middle of our first snowstorm right now ~ The streets are a mess. I hope all is well where you are! Take care!


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