Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Insecure Writer's Support Group - November Edition


Good morning! Welcome to the November edition of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Our mission is to offer support, advice, cheer-leading, and general inspiration to writers throughout the blog-sphere. Click HERE to learn more or to join in!

Our co-hosts for this month are: Joylene Nowell Butler, Mary Aalgaard, Lisa Buie-Collard, Tamara Narayan,Tyrean Martinson, Christine Rains, and *GASP* ME! Yes, folks, I bit the bullet, volunteered, and LO! Here I be a-co-hostin'. I'm a total newb at this so I hope I uphold my station as co-host with honor and do it justice. I'll admit, that's one HUGE insecurity I have this month!

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October was crazy. Did anyone else feel like the universe was cosmically against them last month? Between an unexpected hurricane evacuation, an herb conference for work and a family reunion I was out of town half the month! I'm ready to curl up on my own sofa, read a good book and drink at 
least a half bottle of wine!

November has me feeling a little uncertain. I submitted a story to the Insecure Writer's Support Group Anthology Contest (*WHAT?!?*) and I'm working on an essay to submit to another publication in December. I have a baby novel just learning to walk and there's several short stories and one lifestyle publication on my desk begging to be edited and brought to life. On the other hand, I have my very first HORROR PUBLICATION BY-LINE!

*confetti!*

er...

BLOOD!

Our local record shop, Graveface Records and Curiosities, sent out a call for any and all things Halloween back in September. I didn't have time to concoct a story a mere 500 words or less (anyone who can do that has my utmost admiration and jealousy) so my very first horror by-line isn't a story. It isn't a novella. Heck, it isn't even a horror movie review. No, kids, it's a recipe for chocolate chip oatmeal cream pies!!!



In my defense, they are scary good ;)

I suppose the point in all this gibberish is this: life throws us craziness at times. We can have everything planned out, outlined, categorized and summarized and then *WHAM!* a hurricane threatens to tear our home to shreds and blow our beloved city off the map! But we have dreams, we have goals and we have to push ourselves to see those goals through to completion. It would have been so easy for me to not submit my story to the Anthology competition, so easy to say, "Well, things got weird in October and I didn't have time to trim those extra 150 words off the 6000 word limit I went over." And I almost did but I knew I'd never forgive myself for not at least trying.

No matter what life hands you, you must put your goals in front of you and hold true to them. They are important. YOU are important. Your dreams will never become realities until you decide to make them a priority. Do the very best you can and let those stories go out into the world. You have no control beyond your best. And who knows? You might get a cookie recipe published in a magazine called The Corpse Reviver.

Hey. stranger things have happened :D

photo credit

***
Question of the Month: What is your favorite aspect of being a writer?
Writing is one of those professions that chooses the person, not the other way around. People say they want to be writers and never write. I hate to tell them but they aren't writers. Being a writer is like breathing and you have to write or you're miserable. That said, my favorite aspect of being a writer is knowing that I have the power to tell stories. Any story I want. If there's a story I want to read, I can write it. I can inhabit any world, any profession, any place. I can invent words and worlds. It's a powerful, humbling, and marvelous thing to be a writer. And I'm thankful to whomever came up with this question for reminding me :)

What about you? What's YOUR favorite aspect of being a writer?

Have a marvelous day! OH! Best of luck to all of you WriMo's! May your 50,000 words come swiftly and smoothly. Get those stories out there! Go on. You've GOT this!!

I promise.
xo

102 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Jen! Hey, that cookie recipe will get read more than anything else.
    Glad you submitted to the anthology.
    And thanks for co-hosting today. Have fun with it!

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    1. Thanks so much, Alex! And thanks for letting me co-host. It's been so much fun already! I think I've read 30 blogs so far!

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  2. I agree, if people say they want to write but don't actually do it then they're not writers.

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    1. That's so true. I know it's hard but when it's always in front of you, you just HAVE to do it!

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  3. Thanks for co-hosting! I did it a few months ago and it was a lot of fun discovering new blogs. I hope you guys fared okay with Hurricane Matthew. We were quite worried he was going to make landfall near us, but thankfully he passed us by. Good luck on the anthology contest :-) Cheers - Ellen

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    1. Thanks, Ellen. We were spared except for a bunch of debris and a big branch on the roof of our carport. The city fared better than we expected but there's still a lot of work to be done!

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  4. Yay, Jen! Way to volunteer. LOL. Scary good cookies... I agree that Flash Fiction is a special kind of magic, but developing to the point where we can ax extra words without guilt...heck, where we can identify those extra words, that's definitely something worth working toward.

    Here's wishing you a full couch-comfy November!

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    1. Thanks, Crystal! Oh it is a special kind of magic and one that I'd like to try if it wasn't for all those pesky novel ideas...grr...

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  5. "Being a writer is like breathing and you have to write or you're miserable."
    Yep, that's it - bang on.
    Hope you enjoy co-hosting, I did it for the first time last month & it was great. Just like you say - I could've thought 'oh well, maybe next time' but I didn't & had a richer experience for it.
    Good luck with your competition entry :)

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    1. Thanks, Angela! So far I'm having a blast AND I'm still in my jim-jams. Ahh, the writer's life!

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  6. Congratulations on the by-line and good luck on the submissions! Life is unpredictable for sure, but that means it's never boring!

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    1. Thanks, Megan. That's so true! I could do with a little less hurricane action but boredom is never fun :)

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  7. I must be a writer then, because whenever long stretches of no writing drag out, I am a monster.

    I had to cut 3000K to get my short story down to submission level for the IWSG anthology contest. It was a great exercise in choosing each word with care. Hope I didn't decimate the thing.

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    1. Whew! That's an amazing load to cut out but I'm sure it worked out. I had so much experience with that in college. I just knew I'd never, ever get the word count down but somehow I would and it was always better. Strange...

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  8. Good luck with all your submissions! I do love having the power to create stories. I can be anyone and go anywhere. It's wonderful. It's a pleasure co-hosting with you this month. :)

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    1. Thanks, Christine and thank you for helping us along with the co-hosting. I'm having so much fun with it!!

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  9. Good luck on your submissions! I have a baby novel going too - I'm participating in NaNoWriMo this year, so I hope to finish it (at least the bad first draft) by the end of this month.

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    1. Thank you Loren! Have fun with NaNo. That's the best advice I received and the best I can give. It's a wonderful experience! Cheers!

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  10. Although I didn't get as much writing done in October as I would have liked, it was a good month for me. It almost always is, since I love the fall, love Halloween, and that's when my birthday is.

    Thanks for co-hosting this month's IWSG!

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    1. Thanks, Ken! Glad October was good for you! All wonderful reasons to enjoy the month. Next year, I'm setting October aside to just ENJOY the month...I might have to do an anti-hurricane dance but I'm down with that! Could do it around a bonfire on the beach!

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  11. whew... I got tired reading your post. I hate it when I have to be away from home a lot. Hopefully, hurricanes are done for the year and congrats on the recipe.

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    1. Thanks, Susan! It was a tiring month but things are back to normal now. And hurricane season is over for another year. Here's to a quieter November!!

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  12. I love that your horror byline was a cookie recipe. :)

    And good for you for writing and subbing through everything you had going on last month! Hopefully November will be a bit more peaceful and on track for you.

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    1. Thanks so much, Madeline! It makes me laugh still when I think about it :D

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  13. Awesome freaking post. I feel inspired! You're right- my dreams are important! And I've always said that writing is more of an addiction than anything else.

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth! Thanks for the cheerleading :D Enjoy your day!

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  14. Goodness, ain't it the truth! ;) Congrats on your by-line! And hey, I'll take a recipe! Your name's on it! hehe

    Thank you for co-hosting!

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    1. Thanks, Deb! It's a fun recipe and I just love that it's in a horror magazine. Maybe I'll try a raspberry drizzle or something to make it a bit spookier!

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  15. Good luck with the anthology! I also like this power of telling a story. Now that I'm understanding story structure better, I've found freedom in adding the details I want. For years I was focused on how to write a book, and now I can have more fun with the story elements.

    Here's my IWSG post for November: YA Author Stephanie Scott

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    1. Thanks, Stephanie! I've found that freedom too. For so long I focused on the "how's" and "how nots" and now I'm just enjoying the process. All those rules can come during the editing!

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  16. It is very empowering to know you can write down a story that others will read. Thanks for the great job of co-hosting today.

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    1. Thanks so much! Yes, it's a wonderful feeling to connect with others over words. It's having an adventure together with your readers that makes writing so worth while!

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  17. Excellent point that writing chooses the person. I know so many people who say that want to write...or could write a book, as if it's so easy...and then never do.

    Congratulations on your horror publication!!!

    Good luck with your anthology submission!

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  18. Well put, Jen. I love the contrast of life. But leaning a bit closer to the pro side, of course. Thanks for visiting my blog. And thanks for co-hosting!

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  19. October was crazy for me, yes. Agreed.

    Thanks for co-hosting!

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  20. Concocting a story of 500 words or less is my FAVORITE writing activity! I'm a flash fiction junkie! LOL
    Even though you had a crazy October, I'm glad you found the time to submit to the anthology.
    Congrats on the horror by-line recipe!
    Thank you for co-hosting the IWSG this month.
    Happy IWSG Day!

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    1. And I admire your talent! It's such a stressful process for me to write short but I learn alot every time I do it! Thank you!

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  22. Hi Jen, I'm glad that your baby novel has started learning to walk, I hope it starts running soon. I agree with you that writing chooses the person and not the other way around.

    Thankyou for co-hosting IWSG.

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  23. I love that sentiment, Jen--If there's a story I want to read, I can write it. What a great way to put it.

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    1. That's how I have to look at it, Jacqui! I can't remember who first used that quote but I hope they don't mind me borrowing it :)

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  24. I remember reading your story and I'm glad you didn't make an excuse!

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    1. Thank you so much, Diane. That means a lot! <3

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  25. My favorite thing is unloading my emotional baggage onto my characters. It's no wonder they all need therapy... and I don't. hehehe


    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. Haha! I love this outlook. Yes, I can definitely see where the whole "writing as therapy" thing could come into play here.

      Cheers,
      Jen

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  26. Life certainly does throw us a lot of crazy sometimes. The trick is to recenter yourself around your writing when the crazy goes away.

    Thanks for co-hosting this month's IWSG.

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    1. This is so true! I've been able to keep my writing ahead of me this past month simply because I knew I had an actual deadline! That prodded me on :)

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  27. Congrats on all the success so far. Having submitted anything is a step above anything I have done, so I seriously commend you. You inspire me. I did co-host IWSG once, it's a lot of work. Especially when you try to get to everyone in your list, and everyone who has left you a comment. For me, it took several days. But it can be done, and I know you can do it!

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    1. Thank you so much, Jeffrey. I've enjoyed co-hosting. My next task is to finish visiting all the lovely people who have stopped by here! That WILL take a few more days to accomplish :)

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  28. Sounds like you earned a day curled up with a good book. Congrats on all your success, and thanks for co-hosting this month.

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  29. Those cookies do look scary good! Now I'm hungry. I'm supposed to co-host next month and I'm nervous too. You did a fine job:) I do feel like this past month was a crazy train wreck of a ride. Here's to a new month and hopefully 50k.

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    1. Thanks so much! You'll do just fine! I was nervous but I've had so much fun co-hosting. Once you dive in, the energy will carry you :)

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  30. Thank you for co-hosting!

    I loved Stranger Things. Such a great surprise.

    We were hit by hurricane too. Another not-so-great surprise. We weren't supposed to be hit all. Caught everyone off guard. We were okay but many weren't. Heartbreaking.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Elsie! Oh, I hope you and your family are OK after the hurricane. It's going to still take time for Savannah to get back to normal with all the clean up but we'll make it. I know your city will too. <3

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  31. I agree - writing gives one an incredible amount of power. My worlds are places populated with people and ideas of my own choosing, and at least until an editor with a contract shows up, I have final say on all. Thanks for co-hosting today.

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    1. We do wield some incredible power as writers but that makes me all the more aware of the responsibility we also have. A delicate balance indeed!

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  32. Too cool on your recipe being published, and I love that name Corpse Reviver. Someone really put some thought into that one! Congratulations! I love the stories. The best part for me is when the "characters" take over and start telling me what they want to do! That means I'm in the "flow"...

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    1. Thanks, Lisa! Yes. I LOVE when the characters take over. That's when I know I"m on the right track and I sit back, type as fast as I can and enjoy the ride!

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  34. I can't think of anything better than a recipe for chocolate chip oatmeal cream pies. Yum and congrats.
    Sounds like you're in the Carolinas. North or South?
    I'm in central NC.

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    1. Thank you, Sandra! Actually, I'm in Savannah, GA. I just visited Black Mountain, NC. Such a beautiful area!

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  35. I love how you said writing chooses us, and I believe it too. Good luck with all your writing endeavors. :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Erika! Best of luck to you as well.

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  36. Great job getting all that done despite the month of craziness! I don't believe I got any writing done when I was evacuated during a wildfire here, so I give you credit there, for sure. And yum, cookies.

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    1. Thanks so much, Shannon. I did have the rough draft completed before we were evacuated but the whole editing business hung over my head throughout the entire month!

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  37. Thanks for co-hosting, Jen. Congrats on your publication! I agree with your statement that writing chooses us. Stories just pop up in our heads, whether we want them or not. Writing them down is just a technicality. Good luck with all your writing projects.

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  38. Thank you for co-hosting IWSG. Nice way to meet and greet readers and writers of all stripes. I agree, writing chooses us. Then it's our choice to develop our talent or let it go.

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  39. Corpse Reviver? LOL Thanks for co-hosting this month. "I wish I could write a book. I have so many ideas." Wishing doesn't make a writer. Writing does.

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  40. I totally felt that the universe was against me last month. I'm glad I'm wasn't the only one. (not because I wish ill will, but to confirm my sanity) My favorite aspect of being a writer is self healing. Some people talk it out, I write it out. I can isolate and write myself out of problems both mental and physical. Last month was a beast! Thank you for co-hosting!

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    1. Oh I'm so sorry you had a rough month too. Here's to a much, much kinder November! Thank you :)

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  41. So sorry to hear about the hurricane evacuation. I also hope November is kinder to you. Thanks for co-hosting IWSG this month. All best to you. I've joined your blog!

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  42. Thanks for co-hosing this month, Jen! You've had quite a month, and I hope that you arrived home from your evacuation to find everything was okay.
    I was really nervous the first time I volunteered, and I had a blast! I hope you do too!

    Congratulations on entering the anthology contest. I did too, and I think anyone who entered is a winner for tackling the contest. I had to laugh when I read about your extra words. I sweated buckets cutting, adding, cutting, adding, cutting ~ I shared your pain! May you have an easier November!

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    1. Thanks so much! Congratulations on getting your entry in. Best of luck to you in the Anthology!

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  43. Congrats on the recipe! You're right about doing your best - that's all we have control over. Good luck on the submission!

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  44. October was a bit of a hotch potch for me too and I am not feeling 100% going into November. But as you have said, we will continue to work hard towards our goals and fight through those insecurities. Love the recipe! Good luck with your fantasy story. All the best.

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    1. Thank you so much, Nicola! Here's to a quieter November for both of us :)

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  45. I admire your work ethic and determination to write. You are so right that writing chooses us. I can't NOT write. Best wishes with all your projects!
    JQ Rose

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    1. Thank you, JQ! Oh, I'm miserable when I don't write. Even when I took my mini-sabbatical from writing this past summer I was still working on cleaning out and organizing my writing files. I was never too far away from it!

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  46. Congratulations on all your writing and submitting to publications. Congrats on the recipe! Sounds wonderful. I know you were in a whirlwind of experiences last month. And, yes, I think this season (because of the election?) has been filled with oddities and tragedies.
    Thanks for co-hosting IWSG! It's a flood of blog hopping and commenting! It will take me a week to catch up and return visits.
    Mary at Play off the Page

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes, I'll be playing catch-up for a while but it's been so much fun! I hope you've enjoyed yourself :)

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  47. Congratulations on submitting to the Anthology and also on your by-line. I too believe that writing chooses the person. The writer's journey is so difficult that only the best are chosen.
    Thanks for co-hosting.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat

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    1. Thank you, Pat. I like that: "the writer's journey is so difficult that only the best are chosen". I may just write that down and pin it to my wall :)

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  48. Congrats on the byline and your submission. Wishing you all the luck for that. I love what you said about your favorite part of writing. I started writing because I could never find the stories I wanted to read :-)

    www.smpace.com/blog

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  49. You're right. The most difficult part of being a writer, and the part that matters, is putting words on paper. You’ve got this, Jen! Congrats on your submissions!

    I live in Salem, Massachusetts, and Halloween is celebrated the entire month of October, so it’s never a productive time for me. That said, I’ve started November with my keyboard on fire. Of course I’m wearing PJs because not dressing for work is my favorite thing about being a writer. ;)

    Thank you for cohosting!

    VR Barkowski

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    1. Thank you so much, VR! I have always wanted to visit Salem, Mass during Halloween. It seems like such a FUN place to be and celebrate :)

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  50. And I thought I had a busy life! Having lived and sailed on our small catamaran for eight years, I know what hurricane season can be like. So glad nothing serious happened to you and yours and the house. On our boat, we learned not to make plans. I guess it is similar on shore sometimes. Life has a way of throwing curve balls at us. They make us stronger, they make us prioritize and you got it! Congrats on submitting your story to the IWSG anthology and being on top of all your other ideas and stories. Chapeau!

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    1. Thank you so much, Liesbet! Wow! I'll be living on a catamaran did make hurricane season interesting. You're right: it's best to stay flexible. We never know quite what life may hurl our way :) The key is to stay positive, hopeful, and keep moving forward toward our goals.

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  51. Thanks for co-hosting this month!"Your dreams will never become realities until you decide to make them a priority. Do the very best you can and let those stories go out into the world," definitely words to live by. Chaos is a part of life, just depends on how you can manage/deal when a wrench is thrown your way. Give up or push on. The former is not in your vocabulary so celebration and congrats is in order.
    As for me, my favorite aspect of writing is diving into new worlds, made extra special since now I'm both the creator and spectator.

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    1. Thank you, Lidy and thank you for the encouragement :). I love the fact that when I write I get to create this entire new world and, like you said, become a spectator to all that goes on in it!

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    2. Hi, Jen,

      Terrific post! Life is certainly full of ups and downs for sure... but as you said..."A writer MUST write...."

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  52. Thanks for co-hosting this month.
    I totaly felt like the universe was against me last month, and that's saying a lot since I celebrated a birthday.
    You're right about sticking with goals. It does make all the difference.
    I like your favorite thing about being a writer.

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