Wednesday, December 4, 2019

IWSG Day: Wednesday, December 4, 2019 ~ That Bolt from the Black!






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

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:

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?

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

Hi, Everyone!
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
Florence, Italy
© 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!


Someone Who Always Has My Back
At Maggiano's for Thanksgiving Dinner
November 28, 2019
Denver, Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Speaking of successful and published IWSG authors, 
I recently read another wonderful book by an IWSG author:
Survival of the Fittest by Jacqui Murray.



Goodreads


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.

After my career in petroleum geology, I became an elementary teacher.
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




101 comments:

  1. You are a real writer! And that bolt was definitely a message. Glad you listened.
    And thanks for co-hosting today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Alex! How can one ignore a message like that? Have a great day!

      Delete
  2. Congratulations, Louise! I am thrilled for you!!!

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  3. I am thrilled that you are thrilled.

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  4. Woo Hoo!!! Congrats, published author!! I still remember the feeling. Even after more than 30 years, the new still hasn't worn off. Thanks for co-hosting this month and for sharing that fabulous news, lightning strike and all!

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  5. Congratulations! Well done!

    Maybe the Universe can send you messages in the future that don't result in injuries. :)

    And yeh for Terry for being so supportive!

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  6. Yay! Congrats on getting into the anthology. That's wonderful news and it must feel a lot better than the lightening strike-yikes!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks, Tamara! Yes ~ It's definitely easier on the tush!

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  7. Congrats on getting into the anthology contest. Last time I received an email accepting my poems (this was back in July 2019) I whooped and jumped like a loon. And I was outside at the bus stop. So yeah, I understand the feeling.
    Keep writing. You're not fraud. And whoop away.
    Thanks for co-hosting!

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    1. Thanks, Lidy! And thanks for sharing your experience!

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  8. "The email informed me that my short story was selected
    for publication in the 2019 IWSG Anthology Contest!"


    CONGRATULATIONS!

    ReplyDelete
  9. A huge congratulations on winning a place in the next anthology and being able to see your story in print.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks, Lee! You know how getting in the anthology feels!

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  10. Congratulations. So exciting. Looking forward to reading your story and all the others. Have a great day.

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    1. Thanks, Beverly! I'm having the best day! Hope you've had fun co-hosting too!

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  11. Congratulations on your short story! I'm a believer in signs, and that bolt from the black was a message for sure. Glad you took its prompting and found success! Happy writing in December.

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    1. Thanks, Sadira! Being selected for the anthology has given me such a boost, and encouragement! I am already happily writing in December! All the best to you!

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  12. Wow! Congratulations on your short story! Can't wait to read it in May! Great post and thanks for the head's up on Survival of the Fittest. Sounds interesting. Thanks for co-hosting this month!

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    1. Thanks, Lisa! I'm having such fun today! Happy writing to you and happy holidays!

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  13. Congratulations on winning! It really is thrilling to learn one won a story contest.

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    1. Thanks, Carrie-Anne! It is thrilling! Happy holidays and happy writing to you!

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    2. Hi again, Carrie-Anne! I think I've hit my limit for responding to blog posts today. I read your post ~ and wanted to congratulate you on your NaNo achievement ~ but then I couldn't figure out where to comment, so I'm doing it here. I think my brain just called for a time out! I liked your dream, and your graphs reminded me so much of my engineer brother. They were wonderful charts! All the best to you!

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  14. Hearty congratulations on your anthology story! What a way to make the year. And thank you for the kind words about my novel. I devoured your review. You know so much about my characters that most don't! RT and subscribe.

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    1. Thanks, Jacqui! Typical me, I was still finishing my post last night, when I took a break and had dinner and a glass of wine at my close by favorite bar and grill. I left for Parkway telling myself there was no way I had time to add a review of your book to my post. But I just had to write it for the IWSG Day before the end of the year. And I got it done! I enjoyed your book too much to wait any longer! I can't wait to read the rest of the series ~ and your book about Lucy who stars in a diorama right outside the fossil lab at the museum I used to volunteer in before teaching overwhelmed my life. I can't wait to see what you did with a 3.2 million-year old character! All the best to you!

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  15. Congrats on being an author in the anthology! I was excited to see your name listed as a winner. Thanks for co-hosting.

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    1. Thanks, Natalie! Your comment means a lot. I'm having a day of co-hosting I'll never forget. When I volunteered to do it today for Alex, I had no idea I would be in the 2019 anthology! Serendipity at work!
      Happy writing and Happy Holidays to you!

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  16. I love your not subtle reaction to such good news! Congratulations!

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    1. Thanks, Patsy! It was a wonderful moment! All the best to you!

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  17. Congratulations on your win. I really enjoyed your story.

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    1. Thanks, Rachna! Your comment fills my heart! You're such an inspiring person for all you have accomplished! I especially admire what you are doing for children's literature in India. I'm a big advocate for the importance of children reading and for children to have good stories to read. So thank you for all you do!

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  18. Hoist a flag on the roof, and let the whole world know, this calls for some wonderful celebration!!!! Congrats, I am so happy for you, and I wonder, will we all get to read your words> Terry, the backbone of the book, so to speak, well done for all your support, behind every writer must be a family with love and trust and hope.XXX

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    1. Thanks for your wonderful comment, Jean! This story is much better than the mermaid one I submitted to an earlier anthology contest ~ the one you so kindly read and encouraged me for. Terry said back then when my story wasn't selected: "I told you that you shouldn't write about mermaids." LOL ~ And yet he was so helpful when I was writing that story, and I haven't given up on it. I'll make sure you get to read this one when it's published, my friend. You have been so good to me! Hugs to you and Hugh!

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  19. Congratulations on being in the next anthology. That is so cool!
    And thank you for co-hosting today.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Pat! I'm still pinching myself! I wasn't expecting this when I volunteered to co-host today! All the best to you!

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  20. Congrats on getting accepted into the anthology!
    Thanks for co-hosting, too.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Patricia Josephine! I'm thrilled!!! Co-hosting is always fun! Have a good one!

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  21. Cyber-hugs to you! Your delight is contagious ;-)
    Along with talent, you've got support - that's a perfect combination. May I suggest a seatbelt - for next time?
    Thanks for co-hosting.

    Happy Holidays!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Diedre! A seatbelt might be a good idea ~ LOL! Wishing you happy holidays and happy writing in December! And sending a cyber-hug to you!

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  22. Congratulations! It's truly the dream to see the IWSG inspiring other authors, who then go on to inspire more. It's beautiful. Thanks so much for co-hosting this month.

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    1. Thanks, S.E! You described beautifully what the IWSG is all about! Wishing you happy writing in December and a a great holiday season!

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  23. Oh my gosh, this is so wonderful! Congratulations!! I'm so happy for you. This anthology is sure to be a great one!
    And congrats to Jacqui on her wonderful book. I enjoyed your review and look forward to reading the book myself.
    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you!

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    1. Thanks, Julie! I am very excited to see the anthology and read all the other stories in it. I still can't really imagine what it will be like to see mine in print. Do read Jacqui's book! It's great! Merry Christmas and happy writing in December!

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  24. Congratulations, Louise!
    All your hard work has paid off and you talent is being recognized!
    Hey, maybe we are related through our distant/deep Neanderthal connections.....I am 2.4%.

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    1. Thanks, Jim! It was wonderful to see your icon pop up! I miss the blogs you and Ron had, even though I support your decisions. I like to think we are connected in deep time! I'll be getting an email letter off to you very soon. Hugs to you and Ron and a belly scratch for Ms SD!

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  25. Replies
    1. Thanks, Anna! I'm so excited and, I have every hope of publishing more!; but as I told you once, even if this were it, nothing can take away this away! Have a happy, happy Christmas, and good luck with your writing!

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  26. Congratulations! Enjoy the ride and celebrate to your heart's content. So happy for you :)

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    1. Thanks, Tonja! I've been having so much fun! Have an awesome December!

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  27. Congratulations on the story. Someday if the right ambition ever sparks my creative mode I might have to submit a story to one of those compilations. I say that every year. Well, at least you did it and succeeded. Good for you!

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Arlee! I must admit, it is an amazing feeling to be selected. And I'm so surprised! It's the first time I've written fiction for middle school aged kids, so it was completely unexpected. You should try it one year! All the best to you!

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  28. Replies
    1. Thanks, Yolanda! You know the thrill having been selected for two IWSG anthologies! Happy writing and happy holidays!

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  29. Congrats indeed. Really real for real? Is that really a real thing? lol Really?

    It was a great story indeed. I've now read one of yours and you've read 50 of mine. I think I have some catching up to do lol so stay really real. Glad you can tell people now and enjoy it with all.

    Oh, do you want me to send you one of my butt pillows in case a sign from the universe ever happens again? lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, Pat! You have the best sense of humor. It's so weird to think you've read a story of mine, yet completely normal to think I've read yours, the really, really, real master!!! You have been and will continue to be my inspiration, and my imagination will never catch up with you. And I can't resist saying this: Take care! LOL

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  30. Looks like he told almost as many lies as Trump

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    1. Can anyone ever catch our leader Trump, Adam? I hope that you and Daisy are enjoying the holiday season! All the best to you!

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  31. Congratulations on your publication! It really is the best feeling, every single time! @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Samantha! It is the best feeling, for sure! Happy holidays and happy writing in December!

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  32. Congratulations! You really are living the writer dream! What a wonderful way to roll into the new year. Thanks for sharing and co-hosting today.

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    1. Thanks, Lee! Now I have bigger writing dreams ~ LOL! It is an honor and a thrill to be in the 2019 anthology. Happy writing in December!

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  33. I'm excited to share the anthology joy with you. :)

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    1. As I am with you, Yvonne! Congratulations!!! All the best during this holiday season!

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  34. Congratulations! Sorry that you had to write under those circumstances and I hope all is well now. Looking forward to seeing the anthology. Thanks for co-hosting and enjoy your Christmas! :)

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    1. Thanks, Debbie! I've enjoyed the four previous anthologies. It's great fun to read the stories of fellow IWSG members. I still find it hard to believe that I'm going to have a story published in the next one! I hope you have a great Christmas with those you love!

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  35. I am so happy for you! Congrats on being included in the anthology. Tough competition.I love your story about how your short story came about. Talk about a bolt out of the blue! Your Hubs is a real gem. Treasure him!!!

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    1. Thanks, Diane! I still am going around saying, "Pinch me!" I never thought I had a chance, because I had never written for kiddos before. After that thunderbolt, I realized that if I didn't give it a shot, I had a guaranteed 0% chance of succeeding. I do treasure Terry! He just arrived home tonight after a trip out of town. He's wiped out, sound asleep in his chair in front of the fire. Life feels very good right now! All the best to you, and Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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  36. How wonderful Fundy Blue (Louise, the cat is out of the bag). Congratulations. Will certainly buy the IWSG Anthology now that I know there is a story in it inspired by a bolt of lightening, exactly my kind of thing. Universe, I’m all ears !
    Thank you for the interesting and heart-lifting post, as well as your great review on the Homo Erectus book by Jacqui. Love prehistoric stories have you seen the film on Homo Sapiens and how the wolf became man’s friend ? 2018, ALPHA.
    Wishing you a Merry Christmas, thanks for the pics, especially Pinocchio being born. Where in Italy did you visit this workshop ?

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    1. Thanks, Susan! And thank you for your thoughtful response to the comment I made on your post. I've been a member of the IWSG for at least five years. It's a wonderful and encouraging group. Like everything else in life, you get out of it what you put into it, and it's all about making writing friends. I have not see the movie Homo Sapiens ..., but I'll look for it. I did have a delightful picture book "The First Dog" by Jan Brett. I loved to share it with my second and third graders, and often I shared education fossils and artifacts from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science when we read the book. I do hope you have a chance to read Jacqui's book! Pinocchio ~ The Bartolucci's Store and Workshop that I visited was in the old part of Florence near the Piazza della Signoria (Via della Condotta, 12, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy). It is an amazing place to visit, and of course, it's full of things to buy. I have wonderful carpenters and woodworkers in my family, so I can't resist a workshop. All the best to you and Merry Christmas!

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  37. I loved your story of the bolt from the blue that made you write your award winning story. Hats off to Terry too.
    Thank you for co-hosting and Happy Holidays.

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    1. Thanks, Kalpanaa! I'm a little more nervous around thunder and lightning now ~ LOL Happy Holidays to you too!

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  38. Congratulations on getting that first story published! May there be many more...

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    1. Thanks, Kate! I really appreciate your comment! Happy Holidays!

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  39. Congratulations on the selection of your story. That must have been a great feeling when you found out.

    Thanks for co-hosting this month!

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    1. Thanks, Ken! It was amazing, but I'm glad the secret is out because I was dying to tell my family and friends! Wishing you writing success this month and a very enjoyable holiday season with the people you love!

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  40. Congratulations on the story acceptance/becoming real. I love your description of how it feels.

    I'm also intrigued by Jacqui's book. I'll have to add it to my list. I agree with what you said about Clan of the Cave Bear, so what you say about this one makes me want to read it!

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    1. Thanks, Rebecca! You know how amazing it is to be accepted. I am looking forward to reading your story in the anthology! Have a great weekend!

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  41. Congrats on making it into the anthology - and thanks for co-hosting. Have a great December.

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    1. Thanks, Jemima! I always have fun co-hosting. And, so far, my December is awesome. Wishing you all the best!

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  42. Wow, wow, wow! When I read you were one of the anthology contest winners on Alex's blog today, I had to rush over here and congratulate you. Even though we don't know each other in person, I knew how important this "win" and validation was for you as a writer. And, now that I read your post about it, that feeling was confirmed. Well done, you!!! And, such good timing as well, based on the question of this month and the fact that you are a co-host. Thank you for that as well.

    I've been intrigued by Jacqui's book and reading yet another wonderful review about it, I will definitely have to put it on my TBR list! Happy holidays and keep that smile on your face!!! :-)

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    1. Thanks, Liesbet! Your uplifting comment made me feel awesome! I had no idea when I volunteered that I would win or have this December question: serendipity at work! All the best to you, Liesbet!!!

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  43. Congratulations!!! You've always been real and I'm glad that now you really feel it. Sounds like you have an absolute gem in Terry.

    P.S. LOVE that picture of the puppet.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Nicki! I really appreciate them. I'm so glad that you love the puppet picture. If I'm lucky enough to get back to Florence, I will definitely go back to Bartolucci's shop. I hope that you are enjoying a relaxing and fun weekend!

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  44. Louise, I'm absolutely THRILLED for you!! Congratulations! I love your story - Dare Double Dare is one of my favourites.

    Have a wonderful Christmas season and a Happy New Year.
    Thank you too, for co-hosting the IWSG this month.
    Keep on writing!

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    1. Thanks, Michelle! You made my day with your kind and encouraging words! I am absolutely keeping on writing! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas time with your family and loved ones!

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  45. Congratulations. What a beautiful way to share your story of publishing your story. You are a real writer with wonderful talent. Happy Belated IWSG! And Happy Holidays.

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    1. Thank you, Juneta! I really appreciate your uplifting comment! I'm still making the IWSG rounds myself ~ Happy Belated IWSG Day to you. The first Wednesday of the month is always fun! All the best during the holiday season to you and your loved ones!

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  46. Congratulations Louise!!! I'm so proud of you and so happy for you!!! You ARE real girl! :) I love your bolt story! I'm so glad you took that as a sign too! :) Your little Christmas tree is so cute! :)

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    1. Thanks, Rain! Some messages from the Universe are impossible to ignore! I'm very happy and excited! It's finally beginning to feel a little more real. Have a great week, my friend! Hugs to you!

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  47. Congratulations from the depth of my heart and soul dear Louise :)))

    i am so happy that you achieved finally what you longed for for so long !!!

    i would love to read your story and all other stories dear friend as your words always cast spell on me :)

    my heart is overwhelmed by the love between you two love birds lol
    you painted so beautifully how Terry cares for you ,it warms my heart ,love inspires me most in this whole world dear Louise and i think only those heart have it with whom Creators loved so much and blessed them with his most basic most beautiful virtue the LOVE!!!
    i am filled with joy to know that your work is going to publish ,i know what it means for a writer to approach such success :)))

    Your storm sound scary ,how bad you fell because of it ,this is relief that you were not hurt seriously ,i hope you are feeling better now
    wishing you all the happiness and peace existing in this universe my friend :)
    i enjoyed sharing about your reads ,it seems i was watching an historical drama on netflix :)
    great book it sounds ,either i feel connected to such very old characters ,the feel of being there in those olden times is magical :)
    take great care my friend! hugs!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind and loving words, always, Baili! Your comment made my day! I would love to see you doing something with your wonderful stories ~ maybe you'll have time once your sons are educated and on their own. All the best to you, and many hugs!!!

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  48. We never know what will inspire us to write. And I don't think we should wait for the inspiration. If we want to write .... we have to actively seek out ideas and try them. We must accept our failures and learn from them. Keep trying. Blogging certainly exposes us to new ways of expression.
    You are really shining and I am happy for your success.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, NOX3! I should have tackled that story sooner, but then it likely would have been a different story. Blogging is what keeps me writing day in and out, and I have learned so much by doing it. Best of all I have met awesome people through it. This next year I am really focusing on my writing. All the best to you!!!

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  49. Thanks for co-hosting this month.
    Congratulations on your anthology entry!
    Thanks for the reading recommendation.

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    1. You're welcome, Toi! Wishing you all the best!

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