Friday, September 15, 2023

Morning Dread

My plans for last weekend, this week, and the next six or seven weeks
have been thrown into disarray.  I could get discouraged, 
but I'm going to suck it up buttercup.

Reykjavík, Iceland
June 12, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Well, once I get out of bed that is.  
When I wake up, I want to pull the covers over my head
and make the world go away.
This is so not me!  I am a morning lark.

I recently read an article by Tom Chiarella who was interviewing Jeff Bridges
in a summer issue of AARP The Magazine, and this jumped out at me.
Sometimes Bridges experiences what he calls morning dread.
"'I sometimes wake up and say, 
'Oh God, I gotta get up and do all this stuff that I don't want to do.'"

That's where I am right now.
Does this happen to you?

Everything will get squared away, but it's going to take time I'm short on,
and involve aggravating things I don't want to do.

Whine.  Whine.

So this morning I told myself that I could wallow for a little while
after getting out of bed, and then I had to get real.
I went hunting for some memes to cheer me up:

If Bruno Mars and "Uptown Funk" can't lift my spirits and purpose,
I can always count on the faces I love.

So here are some happy faces that are certain to work for me,
which I'm linking to  Nicole's  Friday Face Off.

Card Games at My Cousins Julie and Dave's Home
Blair, Julie, Sue, and Barb
Smith's Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada
August 11, 2017
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Jeannie and Rosie
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Date Unknown

The Best Guy in the World!
Blue Lagoon, Iceland
June 14, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Guaranteed to make me laugh; a favorite childhood photo of mine, ADHD me,
in a perpetual harness, tied on, and trailing a rope for a good three summers of my life.

Aggravation in the Past!
Smith's Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada
Summer 1952
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

What do you do if you experience morning dread?
When you wake up and say, 
"Oh God, I gotta get up and do all this stuff that I don't want to do."
I'd love to know what works for you!

Last week I didn't get around to visit as I planned.
🤞I make it this time!

Have a great weekend!

Till next time ~
Fundy Blue

  My next post will be soon! 🤞

On the Bay of Fundy
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



Friday, September 8, 2023

Down the IWSG Rabbit Hole: Part 2

As many of you know, I am a member of an inspirational online writing community
known as The Insecure Writer's Support Group.
The IWSG has been a writing mainstay for me since I joined it almost a decade ago.
We get together on the first Wednesday of the month
to support and encourage one another with our writing projects.

Some members write flash fiction, short stories, and novels across many genres.
Others write non-fiction books, writing craft books, or memoirs, and some are poets.
But the one thing we all share is a love of writing.  

Writers Getting Together

Wednesday marked a special anniversary for the IWSG, 12 Years Strong!
We were encouraged to share when we discovered the IWSG,
how we connect with it, and how has it helped us.
I decided to find out how it started twelve years ago and fell down a rabbit hole.

Down the Rabbit Hole
Wikimedia Commons ~ Valerie Hinojosa ~ License

I read dozens of IWSG founder Alex J. Cavanaugh's posts
and scanned thousands of comments looking for information.
As I worked on the draft, I realized I had way too much information for one post.
It was too late to regroup, so I split the post into two parts: 
The first was And So It Begins! on the founding of the IWSG,
and the second is my post today sharing my relationship with the group.

I learned about about this awesome group through my blogging buddy, Pat Hatt.
He has long been member of the IWSG, one who has published over 100 books.
At the time I joined the group, Pat had published at least twenty,
so I figured that he knew a good writing group when he saw one.

A Few of Pat's Books
Aurora, Colorado, USA
July 21, 2021
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

                                                                       Alex Cavanaugh featured Pat 
on his blog on January 13, 2014, as he has for many IWSG writers:                                                            "Today I have for you a special treat              A funky rhyme that can’t be beat.        Because today Pat and his cat                    Are here to amuse at my mat! "

Pat had recently released his latest book at the time,  Fight for the Light.
In his blog It's Rhyme Time, Pat invited readers to hop over to Alex's blog to see his post.
I thought What the heck?  Why not?

I commented on Alex's post:  "How fun to visit your blog, Alex. 
Of course rhyming Pat sent me your way! Have a great day!"
and Alex responded:  "Fundy, thanks for stopping by!"  
Such a humble exchange that led to friendships, opportunities, and fulfillment for me!

Blogging Buddies ~ Pat and I
Smith's Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada
July 28, 2023
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

I spotted Alex's link to The Insecure Writer's Support Group and followed it.
I discovered all these writers and all sorts of information!
At the time I was publishing posts on my family's time in the North,
and working up the courage to write a memoir.
But did I join the group?  No! 
I was too shy and insecure to join, but I became a Looky Lou.

I kept going back to Alex's blog and leaving comments.
I couldn't believe that first Pat, and now Alex, were actually interacting with me.
Real, honest-to-God, published authors!

That meant so much, and I began to dare a little.
On January 29, 2014 I went into LinkedIn and changed 
my professional headline from Elementary Teacher to Writer.
I claimed myself to be a Writer!
I wrote, "I've been out on a lot of skinny limbs,
but this one feels about one Planck Unit wide!"
Talk about insecure.

Pat replied in his rhyming fashion:
"haha got it out there
Now all know near and far
Writer at your lair
Can give a har har"

And Alex replied with encouragement:
"You took the plunge! Now you are officially a writer. Believe it. 
And believe you will be an author just like your sister."

And others replied who have given me their friendship and support over the years,
among them, Debra, Martha, Baili, Peggy, Noushka, and Jim.

My Sister Bertie  (Published Author) and I
Presenters, Colorado Council International Reading Association, 2009, 2010, 2011

On February 24, 2014 Alex gave me a push saying, "Fundy, please join us."
But I didn't feel I was good enough, real enough to join the IWSG.

It took me a couple of more months, but on April 9, 2014 I decided to join the group.
And, of course, typical me, I struggled to get the technology to work.
I poured out my heart in my post How LD Feels! What's Simple is Hard!
As in stupid, Stupid, STUPID!

Alex replied, "Yeah!!! Glad you finally joined us. 
One can never be too insecure for the group. 
Trust me. You are in the right place."

And Pat replied, "that cat joined and he isn't insecure at all, just be crazy and you are safe haha And if the mirror talks back like that, smash it"

The Stupid LD Person in the Mirror

Five days later I had my mojo back and posted a review of Alex's first book

Alex replied, "Wow, what a surprise!!! Fundy, thank you. 
I'm excited that you enjoyed it. Yes, first efforts, and I did get better.
And - there is a strong female character in the second book I think you will really enjoy.
Thanks - you just made my morning!!" 

I made his morning?  He made mine!

I mentioned opportunities.  Yes, the IWSG has given me opportunities.
I had a small article published in the IWSG book 
and I had a short story "Dare Double Dare"
published in an IWSG anthology Voyagers: The Third Ghost.

A Happy Author!
Aurora, Colorado, USA
April 24, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

It's been over nine years since I joined The Insecure Writer's Support Group.
Since then I have never missed publishing a monthly post for the IWSG.

I was five days late once.
On September 4, 2018, I tried to write a post Computerless and Lost! 
and publish it while sitting in a train station and then riding on a train.
I had accidentally left my computer behind in the security line
at Halifax Stanfield International Airport in Nova Scotia on August 8th.

"Hello, Fellow IWSG Members!  I’m sorry this doesn’t look like a regular IWSG post. 
I’m sitting in a train station in Brighton on the south coast of England,
and trying to write a post with my iPhone." 

I messed up so badly that Google locked me out of my account for three days.
It's the only post I've ever published that didn't have a photo.

Said Alex, "Wow, glad you didn't lose your computer! That would've sucked.
No worries, visit when you can and don't stress not writing. Just enjoy the trip."

Said Pat:  "Great you got the computer back at least. Losing it would be worse than the screen of death. At least if you get the latter you can get the satisfaction of taking a hammer to it lol
Sure far far away from your sea this time. Hope you are enjoying away and you can post many pics when you get back to make up for none today."

Brighton Train Station
United Kingdom
August 30, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

How do I connect with the IWSG?
What you see is what you get,
my ups and downs, my technology difficulties, my ADHD challenges,
my writing progress and lack thereof,
through sickness and health, me unfiltered.

How has the IWSG helped me?
How can I count the ways?
Friendship, support, encouragement, understanding, compassion, inspiration, validation.
I'm one member's story, sharing a few interactions with my friends Alex and Pat.

Alex, who founded the IWSG has given so much of himself to so many others.
He reflected in his Wednesday, May 6, 2015 post:  
"Writing is tough business. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I’m hesitant to continue. (I didn’t sign on to do more than one book anyway.) I know the bad reviews on Amazon were inevitable, but it always sucks. I’ve been through some incredible highs and lows, and I want to do my part to help other writers going through the same stuff. I’m not a great writer, but maybe I can be a great supporter."

I beg to differ, Alex!  You are a great writer and a great supporter!
And so are you, Pat!  
Thanks to both of you for being there for me!

Here's to the next twelve years of the IWSG!

I'm going to link to  Nicole's  Friday Face Off.
My face is in the post.  That will have to do for this week!
It's 1:37 am, and I had promised myself no more staying up late to write a post.  Oops!
If there are any errors, I'll find them tomorrow.
I might be a little late making the rounds.  😵‍💫

Till next time ~
Fundy Blue

  My next post will be soon! 🤞

On the Bay of Fundy
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



IWSG Information:

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is on several online platforms including
FacebookGoodreads (IWSG Authors)Instagram,
X, formerly Twitter, (Our twitter handle: @THEIWSG; Our hash tag: #IWSG),
and Blogger and other blogging sites.

I belong to the blogging group, and all the IWSG requires of me and other members
is to publish a post on my blog about writing on the first Wednesday of the month,
visit a dozen other members' posts, and return comments. 

The IWSG announces a question each month that members can answer in their IWSG posts.
These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. 
Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post,
or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

The IWSG welcomes anyone interested in writing,
and you can explore its website here:  The Insecure Writer's Group.
You may join on the IWSG Sign-Up page.

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

IWSG: Wednesday, September 6, 2023 ~ And So It Begins!

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 J. Cavanaugh are Sonja DograJ Lenni DornerPat Garcia,  Sarah - The Faux Fountain Pen, and Meka James!
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: 
The IWSG celebrates 12 years today!  When did you discover the IWSG, how do you connect, and how has it helped you?

Happy September, Everyone!  
Can it be September already?
I'm not ready for fall, let alone winter that follows fall.
And then there are those lucky people in the southern hemisphere 
who are heading into spring followed by summer.  Enjoy!
Wherever you are, whatever the season, I hope you are happy, safe, and well!

A Beautiful and Fleeting Summer Evening
Smith's Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada
July 31, 2023
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

I thought this month's question would be quick and easy to answer,
but I fell down a rabbit hole and it took much longer than I thought.
I entered the rabbit hole when I became curious about how the IWSG started.
I ended up scrolling through a lot of Alex's posts as I searched for the IWSG's origin.

Yes, The Insecure Writer's Support Group began on September 6, 2011,
but Alex published the first post on Tuesday, September 5th:

"This is my first Insecure Writer’s Support Group post:

My biggest fear is friends - losing them. I worry I might say or do something dumb. I worry my snark might be taken the wrong way or my inexperience will cause hard feelings. After losing a friend earlier this year (even though it was over something of which I had no control) I don’t want to see any other friendships dissolve. You all matter to me and I don’t want to offend anyone.

Fortunately, friends are my greatest supporters. If you’re a writer looking for friends and encouragement, you’ve come to the right place. On days you’re feeling down, someone will say a word that renews your energy. My blogger buddies have kept me going long after I wanted to quit. They mean the world to me. And if you’re connecting with other bloggers, you’ll discover they are an awesome bunch of people!

And this is a little surprise, because I didn’t tell these guys. But my publisher is currently preparing review copies of CassaFire, and this will be the dedication:

For my three awesome friends
who guided me on this journey -
Rusty Webb
Jeffrey Beesler
Anne Gallagher
I couldn’t have done it without you!

Now, what’s your word of encouragement or writer insecurity today?"

One thing that struck me was that the first blog hop list
for the IWSG already had 118 members!
Another was that it included the names of many who are members today!
Obviously, something had been going on before the first official post,
and the IWSG has continued to be important to the "charter" members.

And, as I saw on Alex's followup September 9, 2011 post, 
he was already making a point of visiting everyone's site:

"Thanks to everyone who participated in the first post of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! I hope I visited everyone’s site. So many poured out their heart, and the encouraging comments were awesome. Really, it was beyond what I imagined. I may have started something here! But it’s you guys who made it special. One post that caught my attention was from Youngblood, and I hope you have a chance to drop by and offer a word of encouragement. Next post date – October 5!" 

Remember This Badge!

Another followup on September 12, 2011:

"Big thanks again to those who left such awesome comments for those participating in the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I appreciate everyone’s efforts. You guys rock!"

And on September 23, 2011 a big question about Alex was answered!
What he looks like!

Seriously, if I did know what Alex looked like, I would never reveal it,
because I know he promised his wife to keep his writing life and private life separate.

Alex's friend Rusty no longer blogs, 
but I hope Alex and others get a kick out of his drawing.
This drawing was too fun not to share.

During the month of August 2011, people were tossing around
ideas for a possible writers group.
Alex wrote in an August 17th post:

"Now, about that Insecure Writers Support Group…

I’ve noticed a lot of posts lately about doubts, concerns, and a lack of confidence. Insecure is a term most writers use to describe themselves. (Some would even say neurotic.) 

The cool thing about this community is the amount of support available. Everyone is such an encourager. I thought it would be cool if one day a month, everyone involved in the Insecure Writers Support group posted either:
A situation where they need some encouragement
Words of encouragement for others about to face a situation
What do you think? Good idea or really stupid? Would the possibility of a large group of writers posting their doubts all on the same day send the blogging world into a neurotic tailspin? Or would this be better than expensive therapy sessions? (Better than coming to me for therapy, because I might just mess you up even worse!)"

From my reading of Alex's earlier posts I discovered 
that an earlier supportive group, Fantastic Friday Writers, existed,
and I'm deducing that the IWSG grew out of FFW.

Down the Rabbit Hole
Wikimedia Commons ~ Valerie Hinojosa ~ License

I was going to write about the second part of the rabbit hole I fell into,
but what I've shared so far is more than long enough for one post.
I'll include how I ended up with the IWSG,
and why I think it's such a wonderful group on Friday, September 9th. 

I  hope you enjoyed this delve into how the IWSG started.
I love the enthusiasm of Alex when he was establishing the IWSG
and figuring out what to do with it with his many blog friends back then.

He said on September 9, 2011, "I may have started something here!"
Well, cheers to you, Alex, for starting a wonderful group,
and for shepherding it throughout the last twelve years.
And thanks to all those early blogging friends of his who helped to make it happen! 

Enjoy IWSG Day.  Stay happy, healthy, and safe.
🤞~ I hope to see you back on Friday!

Just Because ~ Nothing Says Summer and Nova Scotia to Me
Like a Patch of Queen Anne's Lace!
Smith's Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada
July 30, 2023
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Till next time ~
Fundy Blue