Wednesday, August 5, 2020

IWSG: Wednesday, August 5, 2020 ~ Truth and the Surreal

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 Susan Baury Rouchard, Nancy Gideon, Jennifer LaneJennifer HawesChemist Ken, and Chrys Fey.

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:

"Although I have written a short story collection, the form found me and not the other way around. Don't write short stories, novels or poems. Just write your truth and your stories will mold into the shapes they need to be." 
Have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn't planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance? 


Happy August, Everyone!  
Wherever you are, I hope that you and your loved ones are safe, healthy, and happy.  

With regard to this month's question, I have always chosen a form/genre in advance.
Amen.  Full stop.  Period.
However, whatever I am writing, I always write from my heart
which is my preferred way of saying that I write my truth.

My truth?  What exactly does that mean?
When I tried to articulate this, I found it hard to put into words ~ Ironic for a writer, isn't it?

After some searching I settled on this definition which I found at simple

"What do you believe? What, on a broad level, has your experience been as a human being in your community or country? What universal struggle have you experienced or witnessed? And what is your response, your gut reaction, your belief concerning your experiences?" 

That works beautifully for fiction, but I primarily write non-fiction.
When I write non-fiction, my guiding principal is to write the truth.
For me that means verified facts, accuracy, and honesty.
I work very, very hard to do this to the best of my ability.

If I can't write with integrity, then why write?

*  *  *  *  *

On a completely different topic,
that of giving back to the IWSG and its wonderful members,
today I am reviewing a trilogy, recently completed by one prolific and cool cat
who does a great deal for the IWSG and its members.

Any guesses?

My Kitty Looking at a Very Special Kitty
Aurora, Colorado, USA
July 21, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

If you guessed Pat Hatt, you are right!
I recently completed Pat's Disconnective series which was released over several years:  
The Connective, 2017, The Disconnective, 2018, and The Elusive, 2020.

Pat's Disconnective Series
Aurora, Colorado, USA
August 4, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

I've read each of these books at least twice,
and the last time was a three-book marathon from beginning to end. 
Guaranteed, when you read Pat's novels you are in for non-stop adventure.
And the Disconnective series certainly delivered!

By the time I finished the three books back-to-back long after midnight recently,
I was wiped out, and it was not from the late hour.
My brain was in overdrive from the scope of the story
that raced through almost nine hundred pages like a go-cart
without brakes flying down from the summit of the Pikes Peak Highway.

And the next time I'm on Highway 103
driving along the South Shore of Nova Scotia,
I'm going to be torn when I approach Exit 19.
Should I exit the highway and visit the town of Milton,
or should I floor it and get the hell out of Dodge?

The Mersey River at Milton
Photo by Sara Star

Sally and Travis take Exit 19 with their mother Maggie,
never suspecting that they are about to be caught up in
a dangerous quest that will carry them into adulthood.
A car accident has killed their father, and their mother Maggie has decided 
that a new beginning in a sleepy rural town will help them heal as a family.
Unfortunately Maggie chose the wrong town.

On their first evening in their new home,
a pudgy short neighborhood boy named Billy warns the kids,
"Get out now.  Go back to where you came from.
Go before The Connective makes you a part of them."

When eleven-year-old Travis wakes up the next morning,
he finds seventeen-year-old Sally and their mother behaving strangely.
He quickly learns from Billy, who is in his sixth grade class,
that his mother and sister have become part of the sinister Connective.

And so the quest begins, as Travis tries to save his sister and mother,
and it quickly spirals downward as he battles an ancient evil
in mysterious Milton and surrounding Queen's County.

I don't want to give anything away, so I'll just say
that Travis's quest carries him far beyond Queen's County in The Disconnective,
and even beyond the planes of the living in The Elusive
as he fights terrifying foes in his struggle to vanquish evil and find his way home.

Pat with Kitties Orlin and Cassie

There are three things I want to say about The Disconnective series.
The first thing is that this series is surreal, and you have to suspend your disbelief.
Forget about critical thinking and logic, just let go and hang on for the ride.
It's a wild and enjoyable one.

As I was reading the third volume, I kept thinking, 
How do Travis and his companions keep going and going?
I would have curled up in a quivering ball of terror and said,
"Just kill me.  I can't do this any longer.  Just kill me and get it over with!"

I also was thinking, How does Pat come up with all of this?
His imagination truly has no boundaries!

I enjoy speculative fiction, and I certainly enjoyed the Disconnective series.

The second thing is that it was fun to see Pat grow and improve
as a writer throughout the series.
In the first book there were some spots where I wanted
to take out my teacher's red pen and edit, but I resisted.
My fascination with the story kept pulling me forward.

By the third book, I had long forgotten about that pen.
What intrigued me was that in the middle of all the adventure
certain themes were emerging:
courage, persistence, loyalty, and the importance of family;
and a question, "What would you do to survive?"

The third thing is a heads-up.
The series does contain violence and has mature sexual content.
I've lived long enough to know that some people might appreciate
knowing this up front, especially parents of precocious readers.  

As for me, I enjoyed Pat's humor, particularly his irreverent take
on some aspects of human history and culture.  I found it deliciously funny.  

If you like speculative fiction, have a zany sense of humor, enjoy a wild ride,
and appreciate an unbounded imagination, then you'll enjoy the Disconnective series. 

A Selection of Pat Hatt's Books
Aurora, Colorado, USA
July 21, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


Happy writing in August!  

Till next time ~
Fundy Blue

Waiting for the Ferry to Tiverton
Grand Passage, Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, Canada
July, 2016
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Check out the IWSG Anthologies blog site at IWSG Anthologies Blog
The post today is Catch Some Writer's Sparks and Fuel Your Creative Fire!

TaDa!  Only until August 8th!  
Voyagers, as an Ebook is on sale!

Voyagers is $2.99 on Amazon from August 4 through August 8.
Here's a link to a great price:  

You can order a copy of
VOYAGERS: The Third Ghost 
at the links below.

Print 9781939844729 $13.95
EBook 9781939844736 $4.99

Juvenile Fiction - Historical / Action & Adventure /
Fantasy & Magic


  1. Great post Louise, I was a follower of Patt Hatt for a long while but lost touch...must remedy that asap. Lovely photo of him and cats.
    Have a good month and stay well and safe.


    1. Thanks, Yvonne! I'm doing my best to stay well and safe. Some days I feel like I'm moving so fast that the virus can't catch me ~ LOL! Sending you a great big bear hug, my friend

  2. I've read many of Pat's books but not that series yet. I'll have to add it to my list. Cool you could see him grow as a writer.

    1. Always a teacher's mind, Alex, LOL. I've begun his "Not So New World" series, and I want to read all of it. I'll be enjoying the story and seeing how he evolves as a writer.

  3. It is always good to see a writer improve. Good post.

  4. Love your outlook, Louise -Truth - but doggone you, now I've got a new series I have to read!

    1. LOL! So many books, so little time! My constant challenge. I hope you enjoy the series.

  5. So agree with what you're saying about writing from your heart. And thanks for sharing about Pat's series. It sounds great.

    1. Thanks, Natalie! I found Pat's series great fun.

  6. Always write from the heart.

    I guess I need to read some of Pat's books.

    1. As you can see, my "Pat" collection is piling up, Diane! Have a good one, Diane!

  7. Wow, Pat's been busy. I haven't read them yet. I'm so far behind. Thanks for sharing his work, Louise. They're on my list.

    1. That is a small fraction of Pat's books, Joylene. I am in awe of his productivity. I admire him so much, because he keeps experimenting and pushing the boundaries. Nothing deters him. He keeps moving forward. Take care, my friend!

  8. Anything to do with cats is worthwhile!

    1. Hi, Debra! Actually in Pat's "Disconnective" series, I don't remember a cat. So sorry if I misled you. The photos of the books with the cats are a spoof of some photos of Pat's books that he has posted. Sometimes he stacks up a huge pile of his books and photographs them with his two main kitties, Cassie and Orlin. A dear friend of mine gave Terry and me the Beanie Baby kitties for Christmas one year, saying we needed cats in our lives. She knew Terry would never go for a live kitty. 😔 All the best to you!

  9. Stay safe my friend, and if you and Terry every get to ride free and with safety again,you might well drive straight ahead and not turn off into any small rural town. those books might be scary, not late night reading for me, I will see if our library has any of his books., meantime take care if you venture into the woods, the town or anywhere.XXX

    1. Good advice, Jean! I've lived in a lot of seemingly sleepy places, and they rarely are below the surface. Terry and I are doing well and staying safe, largely by simply not going anywhere. However tomorrow it is an outing for me to go to the dentist and to get an emissions test for my car. Double ugh, but I can't postpone these errands any longer. I hope that you and Hugh continue to improve! Sending you both big hugs!

  10. When I write non-fiction, I do the same...I write the truth. When it comes to non-fiction, that's what you have to do.

    Pat Hatt publishes and writes so much. He's amazing!

    1. Thanks for visiting, Chrys! Credibility is everything when you are writing non-fiction, so you must write the truth. And, Pat, he is amazing. And a hoot. I hope that you have had fun today!

  11. How supportive to read and review a fellow author's trilogy! I too have genre and length in mind when starting.

    1. Thanks, Jennifer! I've been having lots of fun reading books by fellow IWSG members. There is so much talent out there among our members!

  12. Your words 'If I can't write with integrity, why write?' really resonated with me. Great post. Happy IWSG day.

    1. Thanks, Kalpana! I hope that you enjoyed IWSG Day. Take care!

  13. I like your definition of truth too. I often wonder what people mean by it. Now I know what you mean, and that makes sense. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Thanks, Jemima! I "knew" more or less what "my truth" meant, but translating that "knowing" into words was difficult. Thank goodness for all the articulate people on the internet. Have a great day!

  14. Yeah. When it is non fiction you have to write the truth or what is the point?

    hahaha I go back and cringe a bit and want to whip out the red pen too on some of the older ones. I've updated a few in the past. When I get more grounded like Delivered is a bit more believable real world wise, but when I go out there, pffft let it fly. Goddard only knows where it comes from. The Not So World series goes even more out there, big time.

    Thanks a lot for the shout out. I'll have to send you some to fill in those holes you got there in the Pat Hatt pile lol

    1. Goddard only knows! LOL I thought Goddard was so much fun, Pat. I can't wait to read more of the Not So New World series. I am in awe of where you go way out there. That pile will get bigger for sure. Amazon makes it all too easy, or so Terry thinks. I wish I had had real kitties to pose with the books. I had great fun staging that. I should have waited to poke you until after I got back from the dentist and getting an emissions test for my car this afternoon. But I couldn't wait ~ LOL I was afraid you might have been completely absorbed by that other place. There was a yellow Maserati waiting to get tested in the lane next to me. I've only seen a few in my lifetime. The technician was all gaga over the car. It might have been a classic from the 1970s. I don't get the big deal. It looked like a gaudy tin can on big wheels. At least there was no VIP line for the Big Wheels. The Maserati driver and I both spent well over an hour inching through the line. I hope you had an afternoon that was more fun!

    2. lol well the fake kitties were a good touch and they cost way less to feed. A gaudy big tin can on wheels like that can sell for a pretty penny though. That is the only thing I'd think about it. Not completely absorbed by the other place. The cat shall still be around, just work sucks way too much time away and the other place is far less time consuming. Nope. Not more fun. Rather have your afternoon.

  15. I think I bought two of his books digitally

    1. Hi, Adam! I hope that you and Daisy are having a good week! I wish I enjoyed reading digital books more, because they are cheaper to buy and store. I'm trying to slim down my real book collection which s so hard. All the best to you, my friend!

  16. How lovely of you to feature Pat today. He's such a great support to the blogging community in whole. He does have one wicked sense of humor though, that's true!

    1. Hi, Theresa! Pat is a wonderful support to the blogging community, and he is a whole lot of fun. I hope that you are having a great weekend! Take care!

  17. Great review. I think I won't be reading this, not just now. But I love your thoroughness!

    1. Thanks, Rebecca! I had fun writing the review. I hope that you are enjoying the weekend. It's hard being stuck at home a lot of the time, but at least I'm making peace with this reality for now. Take care!

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