IWSG 105: Positive Addiction


~~~oOo~~~

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.

 

Co-hosts

Patrcia Josephine | Diedre Knight | Olga Godim | J Lenni Dorner | Cathrina Constantine

OPTIONAL IWSG DAY QUESTION:

If you ever did stop writing, what would you replace it with?

This question got me thinking about my life way, way back. Most of you know writing saved me. It was the one way I could get in touch with, and solve, most of my troubles—without dragging the world in after me.

Writing has gotten me through so much I don’t think I could, or would ever want to, give it up. Which led to what I thought—at first—was my stupid question:

Is there such a thing as a positive addiction?

The answer is yes, and here’s what I found.

“The term “positive addiction” was advanced by William Glasser in a book with the same name. His focus is primarily the activities of running and meditating, though he offers many other examples from the experiences of others. Glasser claims that positive addictions “strengthen us and make our lives more satisfying.” They also enable us to “live with more confidence, more creativity, and more happiness, and usually in much better health.” Positive addictions, unlike their negative cousins, enhance life.” From Psychology Today.

The keywords for me were: activity that enhances life. I’ve said writing saved me.  What I didn’t know was I’m an addict.

Another example of positive addiction is from BrainWorldMagazine:

Musicians report ecstasy from their renditions of great music, and actors experience ecstasy when the audience applauds a great performance.

It makes sense to me because I’ve heard more than one writer share writing from inside a waking dream, or lost so deep in a scene that they cried while capturing it.

For me, escaping into a world of my own making and acting out all kinds of wild and crazy scenarios helps me cope with my daily life. It is my go to when I need to escape. It’s dragged me out of depression and back into that daily life.

Now your question:

What do you think: are you an addict?

Gleaned from:

IWSG 104: Adding Some Favorite Things


~~~oOo~~~

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.

 

CO-HOSTS

Joylene Nowell Butler | Ronel Janse van Vuuren | Meka James | Diane Burton | Victoria Marie Lees | M Louise Barbour

OPTIONAL IWSG DAY QUESTION:

When you are working on a story, what inspires you?

All kinds of things: how-to-write manuals, books I read, movies and tv shows I watch, and the occasional webinar.

for example

Reverse Outline

A while back, I discovered the Reverse Outline, and it saved my story. I hit a wall. No surprise there, and my solution turned out to be a simple one. Everyone knows when revising, we go through and chop away the stuff that doesn’t fit the story and fill in the rest of the story with what’s missing.

I had done my traditional campfire story–my take on the outline–then I went off target and loved where it was going. So I strayed further and further away and basically got lost.

In the Reverse Outline method, the first thing you do is logline each chapter (I used excel to track my plot and subplots) until what I’d written petered out. Then I looked at where I wanted the story to end, and back filled from there. During the presentation, she also suggested this was the best time to add tweaks and surprises.

It got me back on track. I’m so grateful to Masha du Toit for helping me save my work.

Id List

Angela M. Sanders pointed out the Id List during a recent presentation.

Simply make a list of all your favorite things. What makes the quality of your life that much better? Things like walks in the park, playing with puppies, feeding a bunch of sugar to your grandchildren then dropping them off with mom and dad, skinny dipping, rodeos, ribbons, good food, grass between your toes, singing at the top of your lungs, etc.

Then sprinkle some of the best of the best into your work. She suggested it added a deeper dimension to the story and made it more relatable.

Now your question

What is one of your most favorite things to do?

IWSG 103: How to Build a Toolbox


~~~oOo~~~

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.

 

CO-HOSTS

Jemima PettNancy Gideon | Natalie Aguirre

OPTIONAL IWSG DAY QUESTION:

Do you remember writing your first book? What were your thoughts about a career path on writing? Where are you now and how is it working out for you? If you’re at the start of the journey, what are your goals?

My First Book

Do I remember writing my first book? Well, it was a while back and I’m not that young. So no, I don’t remember writing it.

Side note: Yes, I am one of those people that can watch the same movie a few years later and be surprised all over again. Hey, me!

Practicing

What I did back then is the same thing I’m doing now, or at least I hope so. I write shorts to practice what I want to learn. I’ll read about a writing technique and use it over and over again in shorts.

So now you know how I fill my toolbox. It’s like a purse, but the things that sink to the bottom are more important that gum, tissues and lip balm.

You may know what I’m about to share already, but it was a major epiphany for me.

Shorts and Chapters

What’s a chapter but a highfaluting short story.

Same beginning, middle, and end. Some shorts have open endings. Some cliffhangers. They can be in a set of three to touch on a theme or build to a important point. We can use all the skills we gathered and practiced in short as we can in…

Well, anything we write.

I know; I’m brilliant. hehehe

What’s the point

I’m suggesting we be brave. Try new things. Don’t feel like writing your next chapter. Pick something you’ve been meaning to try and put it in a short. It may come in handy when you get back to your project.

As Writers We Are Life Long Learners

Surprise yourself and knock it out of the park with a mix of new and old that fill your toolbox. It’s not just emotion or blood we put into our work. It’s our love of it all.

Now your question

What have you learned that bumped up your skill set and where did you find it?

Shannon Lawrence’s Happy Ghoulidays II launch!

Congrats Shannon! Thanks for visiting.

All About Happy Ghoulidays II

Title: Happy Ghoulidays II
Release Date: March 17, 2023
 
The holidays elicit a mixture of emotions, from joy and revelry to despair and rage. In these stories, we examine the dark side of the holidays with a twisted Easter egg hunt, a desperate St. Patrick’s Day curse, a monster that’s only visible in the light of fireworks, a mother’s guilt on Halloween, and more in this follow up to Happy Ghoulidays that embraces the underlying shadows of our favorite holidays.

Guest Post: What draws you to write horror?

 
Horror is an exploration of the human condition. It addresses how people respond in dire situations. I’ve always been interested in psychology, and of all the genres I’ve read, horror is the one that deals with that the most. It often focuses on how someone deals with something awful without having time to plan for it. It can bring out the best or worst in someone. It can also end happily or badly.
 
It’s also long been an escape for me. When I’m reading, watching, or writing horror, I’m focusing on a fictional problem while getting a break from real life issues. Fiction of all genres is about escapism, and for whatever reason, horror is where I find that the most (that and comedy–I especially love the two mixed together.) There are typically solutions at the end of horror stories, though it’s a genre that doesn’t require everything be perfectly tied up. Real life issues don’t always have perfect solutions either, and I can appreciate that in fiction, because it’s more accurate and genuine.

Where to get it:

Available for pre-order on Kindle, Nook, Apple, Scribd, and Smashwords. E-book pre-order link (universal): https://books2read.com/u/bzKnrq
 
Paperback link coming soon.

All About Shannon

A fan of all things fantastical and frightening, Shannon Lawrence writes primarily horror and fantasy. Her stories can be found in over forty anthologies and magazines, and her three solo horror short story collections and her nonfiction title are available now, with her fourth collection releasing March 2023. You can also find her as a co-host of the podcast Mysteries, Monsters, & Mayhem. When she’s not writing, she’s hiking through the wilds of Colorado and photographing her magnificent surroundings, where, coincidentally, there’s always a place to hide a body or birth a monster.

Where to find Shannon Lawrence

Blog | Podcasts

IWSG 102: Best Lines + Twists


~~~oOo~~~

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.

 

CO-HOSTS

Diedre KnightTonya DreckerBish Denham | Olga GodimJQ Rose

OPTIONAL IWSG DAY QUESTION:

Have you ever read a line in novel or a clever plot twist that caused you to have author envy?

~~~oOo~~~

A quick note: I’ll be busy watching ProWritingAid’s Fantasy Week Webinars from Feb 27th to March 2nd. If you’d like to check it out too, here’s the schedule page.

It’s Free!

Please excuse my slow responses this month.

~~~oOo~~~

Now back to the the question

The short answer is maybe a little.

First lines

I’m sticking with first lines to keep it simple. The fact is if you google best first lines in fiction, you’ll get a list. Here’s mine:

“We slept in what had once been the gymnasium.” Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

“It was a pleasure to burn.” –Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”  George Orwell, 1984

“All children, except one, grow up.” M. Barrie, Peter Pan

“I am an invisible man.” Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

“The moment one learns English, complications set in.” Felipe Alfau, Chromos

“It was the day my grandmother exploded.” Iain M. Banks, The Crow Road

When I do a deep dive for inspiration—and always do when I’m searching for my first line—I remind myself that each gem has been treasured throughout history. Whether I laugh, or gasp, or pause, their creators left their mark.

And this I respect, deeply, and profoundly.

Twists On the other hand

I love them all and when I’m surprised, I cheer. I don’t feel envy, only admiration. I understand the work involved.

Why?

Because I’ve tried it myself.

Because I read a lot of mysteries and am on full alert. It takes a lot to surprise me, or scare me. I’m a hard case, I guess. So when I’ve been caught unawares by a twist, I’m delighted. I can’t help but admire the genius behind it.

I guess that was the long answer. Let me add, I’m proud to be part of such a community and happier still because I share it with you.

NOW, A QUESTION FOR YOU

What is your favorite line—first or not?