#IWSG November

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

November Question

November 2’s optional question – November is National Novel Writing Month. Have you ever participated? If not, why not?

The awesome co-hosts for the November 2 posting of the IWSG are Diedre Knight, Douglas Thomas Greening, Nick Wilford, and Diane Burton!

I love NANOWRIMO! It stands for National Novel Writing Month and the goal is to write a 50,000 word project by the end of the month. A better way to think about it is 1700 wordsa day.

There is such a community feeling that is special when November rolls around. The great thing is that there are many people that are offering different perspectives on the challenge. Nancy Stohlman hosts a Flash NANO. She is one of the queens of flash fiction so this makes sense. Caroline Donahue is also hosting a new challenge this year based on her own experience and publishing prompts.

The first few years I did NANO I completed novels. Now that short fiction is more part of my life I have no desire to write a novel. Partly, this is because I know I can do it because I have done it before. I modify the challenge for myself most years and write a short story each day. I have been playing with the idea to write a collection with a common thread through them for the month.

I do another writing challenge in May, and often in September, where I write a flash piece every day. I write poems daily in April and October often as well. I love a good 30 day challenge.

This year I am rewriting my novel length piece from scratch but I am not limiting my writing to just that project.

I do want to get more involved with the events through NANO this year. Through my region I found some other writers who live in the same town so hopefully there can be some writer connections there.

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Halloween Eve Sunday #WeekendCoffeeShare

I invite you to join me for a cup of coffee and a conversation. Tomorrow is Halloween which means different things to different people. There is magic in the air!

Thanks to Natalie the Explorer who provides space to link and celebrate Weekend Coffee Share posts!

If We Were Having Coffee

I would tell you it is Scorpio Season! I have been learning more about the moon and how it connects to astrology and what that means for writing and business. Many of you know I follow the moon closely, but noticing what sign the moon is in is a new learning for me.

I would tell you the last few weeks have been full of travel for me. We had fall break so we traveled to Florida for my soon to be in laws’ 63rd wedding anniversary! Then we went camping in the Northlands of Minnesota and we picked up a canoe from Piragis. I love to travel and it is fueling for my writing, but it messes up my schedules! There is always a need for flexibility there and I can write anywhere. I can also join writing classes from the truck while we are driving! I have been struggling with my public and private writing and how much I truly want to share. With my writing craft, I am on the brink of a transition for leveling up and the awareness of what I am doing well and not doing well is assisting in the transition. I have been getting some feedback which is helping me see through a new lens.

I would ask you if you caught my hint in the last paragraph…Yes! I have amazing news to share! I am engaged and getting married! I am so happy and there has been a great tangle of life to get here. It makes me appreciate all the abundance in my life. Chris proposed in front of the campfire with a gorgeous ring. I am a lucky woman and happier than I have ever been.

I would tell you my inbox fills up when I am not working on it every day. It inspires me to unsubscribe from newsletters I do not read often. I have to do a binge unsubscribing every couple of months it seems. I do not feel that I am subscribing to more things either. It is a weird spider web of connections.

Do you need a refill? Would you like some ice water?

I would tell you I have been part of some exciting classes these past few weeks! I love the variety of classes I can take. One class was Amber Sparks’ about Gothic Fiction last Saturday which was full of info and resources. Another was with Francine Witte.

I would tell you I have a more expanded role at the Sarah Selecky Writing School. I am excited to add this layer to my work starting tomorrow. My Intensive class is amazing as well. We are on a rest week and recharging for the work ahead.

I would tell you I did get a walk in today just before it rained. It was wonderful to hike the trails in Minnesota but there is some wonderful color in the dying leaves here. There were some tiny squirrels there too who are likely to show up in one of my short stories. Look at his eyes!!

I would tell you my PUSH group is looking for new members! We meet on Mondays (usually) and always share wins, write together and then have a conversation related to writing. For more info you can check out the details here.

I hope your Sunday and the coming week are filled with rest, growth, great food, and what you need.

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat. I hope to see you next weekend!

Colorful Sunday #WeekendCoffeeShare

I invite you to join me for a cup of coffee and a conversation. Today is full of writing and fire for me.

Thanks to Natalie the Explorer who provides space to link and celebrate Weekend Coffee Share posts!

If We Were Having Coffee

I would ask you, “Where are you in the world? What is your weather – internal or external?”

I would tell you it is a full moon today! Full moons are a great time to reset and make new goals for the next cycle. One of the ways I will celebrate is with drinks in front of the fire with my man this evening!

I would tell you I made my errands this week into a writing adventure. I turned my 5 stops into a writing crawl. Similar to the bar crawl or the progressive dinners of yesteryear. If you would like to read the details you can find that article here.

I would tell you we had family visiting this past week from Florida which was fun. I was able to make some good meals and some pumpkin bread! The pumpkin bread recipe came from a friend’s mom in high school and I haven’t made it in almost 10 years. The guys were able to get some work done too which was great. The weather was cool this time!

I would tell you I had to drive to Wisconsin again this week. Paperwork needed to be signed and my ties to the badger state should be about over now. This should be the last hurdle. There are some pending approvals but that is out of my control. I am thankful I am almost through this transition.

I would tell you I continue the #last100daysproject2022. I post a word and then a random sentence each day on Instagram. You can check them out here.

Do you need a refill? Would you like some ice water?

I would tell you my PUSH group is looking for new members! We meet on Mondays (usually) and always share wins, write together and then have a conversation related to writing. For more info you can check out the details here.

I would tell you my writing has been fueled by life and reading but I messed up my own schedule this week so I feel behind where I normally am in the writing week. I did have a one-on-one session this week that has me changing my approach to the Jack project. I am excited but need a chunk of time to get the work done.

I would tell you I spent Saturday with my son and we had a great time. We laughed and planned his Halloween costume. We ventured to the mall which I haven’t been to in quite awhile. Overall it was a great visit. I always enjoy spending time with him.

I hope your Sunday and the coming week are filled with rest and what you need.

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat. I hope to see you next weekend!

#IWSG October

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

October Question

The awesome co-hosts for the October 5 posting of the IWSG are Tonja Drecker, Victoria Marie Lees, Mary Aalgaard, and Sandra Cox!

This month’s question:
What do you consider the best characteristics of your favorite genre?

My favorite genre is magical realism. The definitions for this genre are not concrete and opinions vary. I define it as stories that have elements of magic, but are not fantasy or sci fi.

I am fascinated by magic in all forms. I chose MAGIC as my word for the year. All the threads of my writing life (my community, my newsletter, the blog) have an element of magic within them. There is magic in reading itself. There are sentences and ways ideas are expressed that feel sparkly and magical to me.

Magical realism is special to me because it can be a surprise. I love the idea of reading a story and then finding something impossible is happening but it is written well so it doesn’t throw you out of the story.

It is also fun. Sometimes it can lean to the absurd or downright weird and that is fun to read and then use for your own writing!

This genre reminds us there is magic in the every day as long as we are looking for it. As writers, we enhance it. As readers, we enjoy it.

October Sunday #WeekendCoffeeShare

It has been an exciting week! Let’s dive in!

Thanks to Natalie the Explorer who provides space to link and celebrate Weekend Coffee Share posts!

If We Were Having Coffee

I would ask you, “Do you know anyone in Florida?” If you do, I hope they are all right. We have family there and luckily there was minimal damage to the houses and everyone escaped harm. We monitored the storm all this week and was thankful our family escaped the worst of the storm.

I would tell you we went on a yellow backpack adventure this weekend! Saturday we went to the Feast of the Hunters Moon which was super fun. There were lots of artisans to watch. I was able to pick up some wax seals and a cool spoon. (I am currently obsessed with spoons). They shot the cannon. Chris got pulled into a conversation with a tin man and was accused of being a professor at the university. We bought homemade root beer in cool glass bottles he will reuse. The weather was perfect too! Then on Sunday we went to this amazing used bookstore on the Purdue campus. We had lattes in a delightful cafe and then walked around a bit looking at the buildings. It was the perfect romantic weekend!

Traveling is always a learning experience. These are robots that will deliver food to you! They wait to cross the street and move around people. I was fascinated.

This is my creme brulee latte which was super yummy.

The decor of the coffee shop was delightful!

This is just one of the aisles in the basement of the bookstore. Chris might have purchased several books for me.

The shooting of the cannon over the Wabash River

I would tell you my Story Intensive group had our first call this past Wednesday and it was amazing! I am so honored to be their teacher. We did a writing exercise together around a Naomi Shihab Nye poem and the conversation was dynamic. Next meeting I think we are going to end on a little writing exercise to keep that energy up. I have to remember to consciously end a meeting rather than a “time’s up!” button click.

I would tell you I continue the #last100daysproject2022. I post a word and then a random sentence each day on Instagram. You can check them out here.

Do you need a refill? Would you like some ice water?

I would tell you

I would tell you my PUSH group is looking for new members! We meet on Mondays (usually) and always share wins, write together and then have a conversation related to writing. For more info you can check out the detailed info here.

I would tell you my writing has been fueled by life and readings and is going strong. More submissions are out and work on revision is happening. I also won an honorable mention in a contest!

I hope your Sunday and the week are filled with fall fun, pumpkins, deep love, and great coffee.

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat. I hope to see you next weekend!

It’s Fall Sunday #WeekendCoffeeShare

Let’s have several cups of coffee today.

Thanks to Natalie the Explorer who provides space to link and celebrate Weekend Coffee Share posts!

If We Were Having Coffee

I would ask you, “How was your September? Did you learn anything? Did something big change for you?”

I would tell you my Mastermind session with Nancy Stohlman opened up some things for me in my Jack manuscript. I am happy I have dedicated this space to help me work on the story and that progress is being made.

I would tell you my Story Intensive is such a great group and I am so honored to be their teacher. We will be getting together on a Zoom call this week and I am excited to see the dynamic of the group together.

I would tell you I am in the beginning stages of the #last100daysproject2022. I post a word and then a random sentence each day on Instagram. You can check them out here.

I would tell you the schedule this past week was wonky. Several late nights but it all worked out well and I was able to get a lot of writing done! The conversations in the vehicle back and forth for Chris and I are always fueling. We process well together on all subjects. I had several writer calls this week which were also fueling. It has been nice to get together with writer friends for write in times and check in chats. I am still pondering in-person writing get-togethers and how I feel about that right now.

I would tell you I am recommending a podcast called TK with James Scott: A Writing, Reading, & Books Podcast. The first episode is with Laura van den Berg who he met at Emerson. He had moved and missed his writing community. He began the podcast in order to never lose his community and writing conversations again. There are many many episodes for me to enjoy!

Do you need a refill? Would you like some ice water?

I would tell you happy new moon! I am so happy it is autumn now. As I write this, I sit in front of a fire in a sweatshirt. The weather is so much more agreeable in the fall! It is the gateway to my favorite season: WINTER! I do love the concept of Hygge (higgy is Chris’ pronunciation!) We have already had soup and fires. I even made cinnamon scones yesterday. YUM!!! These are all great celebrations for fall!

I would tell you my PUSH group is looking for new members! We meet on Mondays (usually) and always share wins, write together and then have a conversation related to writing. For more info you can check out the detailed info here.

I would tell you my writing has been fueled by myths and origin stories lately which are fun to research and then twist into a new story. I pulled out my Tarot of the Divine deck which is based on myths from all around the world. I also am reading more and began this novel this week:

I would ask you, “What authors would you recommend to me? Are there stories you think I should read?”

I would tell you I have rejuvenated my yoga practice which has felt good. Life is good all around and feeling better in my body is a good step too. Cooler weather makes it easier for me to workout at this point in my life it seems.

I hope your Sunday and the week are filled with cooler temperatures, great words, big love, and great coffee!

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat. I hope to see you next weekend!

September Sunday #WeekendCoffeeShare

Let’s have a cup of coffee today…or several. I am quite sleepy today so I may have more than usual. We are back from breakfast but more coffee never hurts me! I do want to know why it is not colder! I am ready for fall/winter temperatures!

Thanks to Natalie the Explorer who provides space to link and celebrate Weekend Coffee Share posts!

If We Were Having Coffee

I would tell you my Mastermind with Nancy Stohlman is in full swing. I am having a session this week with her to go over some pages and am excited to talk about this project and get it moving in the right direction. The whole group had a chat on Friday about writing which was interesting. I found out about a place in Italy that will take anyone’s old journals, not just famous people.

I would tell you The Story Intensive officially begins tomorrow. I am so excited for my students to begin! The classroom space is all ready for their arrival. I know my student’s names, but they are getting their emails tonight or tomorrow morning to get into the learning area. It is going to be a great community. I already had 2 prep calls this week for the Intensive which were great fun.

I would tell you I heard Venita Blackburn speak yesterday through an event with SmokeLong and then I was in her breakout session! It was amazing. She shared about having her flash fiction piece in the New Yorker, getting her agent, and teaching at writing conferences. Her writing is pretty freaking amazing and she was such a great speaker and teacher. I highly recommend checking out her writing.

I would tell you I have not been consistent with my newsletter and I am wondering how it fits into my writing life now. I write consistently but more has been for private consumption and submitting rather than public reading. It could just be a phase I am in now or I may stop doing the newsletter altogether. We will see what purpose it holds.

Do you need a refill? Would you like some ice water?

I would tell you I have been reading more this week which has been fueling my brain and my writing. I got Blue Pastures by Mary Oliver. I have been using my library and my library apps. I have been reading poetry by Kelli Agodon and the Cloud Cuckoo Land novel by Anthony Doerr. I reread an essay by Zadie Smith. I have been reading The Paris Review and World of Wonders. I have also started to read some flash pieces and unpack them for craft purposes. I created a spreadsheet with the questions I ask myself when I am revising a story.

I would tell you my PUSH group is looking for new members! We meet on Mondays (usually) and always share wins, write together and then have a conversation related to writing. For more info you can check out the detailed info here.

I would tell you our family went back to Florida yesterday morning. It was so great to have them here all week. There was lots of talking and drinking coffee and eating and laughing – the essential ingredients for a great visit! We went out to dinner Friday night which was lovely. I was still able to get work done during the day which was good. This coming week I will prepare for the beginning of Fall! WHOO HOO!

I would tell you I had 2 classes with Kathy Fish this week. With both classes, I was able to begin 5 drafts.

I would tell you I am loving my life and am thankful this is the life I am living. I am loved and taken care of. I am able to focus on my writing work (all the tentacles of that!) and not worry about what other people are thinking about it. I am focused on taking care of Chris, our home, and all that entails and loving every. single. minute of it. Abundance in all the right areas is a good thing. I am not worried all the time about “what might happen” and that is such a relief. (Insert a big sigh and a big smile here)

I hope your Sunday and the week are filled with reading, perfect temperatures, new ideas, a fun project, and great coffee!

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat. I hope to see you next weekend!

Sunday #WeekendCoffeeShare

Thank you for joining me for coffee today! Shall I pour you a cup? Let’s settle in! It is a rainy Sunday today here and I am feeling content but moving at a slower pace.

I link my blog at Natalie the Explorer to celebrate Weekend Coffee Share posts!

If we were having coffee I would tell you I finished a class with Nancy Stohlman this week and it was amazing! The prompts were centered around Pop Culture and it took me in a different direction with my writing that I wasn’t expecting. I am happy with all 5 drafts and I will be sending them out after a few rounds of revision. I joined Nancy’s mastermind for the next several months to get the revisions completed for the Jack Project. This is a hard deadline for me. It is exciting!

If we were having coffee I would tell you the Sarah Selecky Story Intensive starts for me this week with teacher meetings. I am excited for this semester! I have been thinking about the type of blocked schedule for myself for the next several months. I will be able to tell more after next week of what I need to do and how much time needs to be allotted. What I know for sure is this writer’s life is really my life and I adore it.

If we were having coffee I would tell you family is coming to visit and I am excited! I will get to cook for many people this week. Chris is always appreciative of the dinners we get to enjoy. I get to spread the good smells and tastes this week!

Do you need a refill? Would you like some ice water?

If we were having coffee I would tell you I wrote every day and I was able to get some submissions sent off. The SmokeLong Fitness program continues. My writing circle began today with Jane Brunette. It is an amazing group of writers and we meet once a month. It is all freewriting and sharing. Some magical things happen when this group writes together.

If we were having coffee I would tell you my PUSH group is looking for new members! We meet on Mondays and always share wins, write together and then have a conversation related to writing. For more info you can check out the detailed info here.

Here are what some members are saying:

Julia

Push for push: “Push gets me writing. Tammy has a way of making me look at things from a different lens and perspective. She has me stretching my mind and I feel I am growing as a writer and learning a lot about myself and my craft. It’s a weekly mind workout. Push is like yoga for your mind. As a teacher I teach the craft of writing, but seldom did I make time to practice my own writing. Push ensures that I take time for myself to enjoy writing.”

Leslie

Even though it’s just one hour a week, I try never to miss a week with Tammy’s PUSH group. This small and intimate group is like writing therapy. We talk about our successes over the week. Then, Tammy chooses the perfect prompts and we write for somewhere between 5-8 minutes. Everyone is given a chance to talk about what they wrote and no one declines. It’s such a safe place. Somehow everything I write during this hour with Tammy comes from a deeper and more honest place than in sprints with other groups.

I hope your Sunday and the week are filled with reading, deep love, slow moving mornings, and great coffee!

Do you have any burning questions for me? I would love to answer them next week in the coffee share! Put them in the comments or message me through the blog and I will answer them all!

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat. I hope to see you next weekend!

#IWSG SEPTEMBER

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

September Question

The awesome co-hosts for the September 7 posting of the IWSG are Kim Lajevardi, Cathrina Constantine, Natalie Aguirre, Olga Godim, Michelle Wallace, and Louise – Fundy Blue!

This month’s question:
What genre would be the worst one for you to tackle and why?

The genre that would be the worst for me to tackle is romance. It just has never been my preferred genre to read or write. Could I? Yes, I could. I have played with it for flash pieces and when it has been assigned to me for NYCMidnight contests. It was effective as an exercise but I didn’t enjoy writing it.

Even when I do not intend the story to move to the dark side, it typically meanders there. There is a layer of hope in my stories but there is also a lot of death and grief. Romance is not death friendly. There is always a happy ending! It doesn’t even count as romance if there is no happily ever after.

This is why there are so many genres! There are people to write them and people to read them. It is part of what makes reading and writing so fun!

Which genres do you prefer?

Which genres do you shy away from?

I would love to hear your answers.

September Sunday #WeekendCoffeeShare

Thank you for joining me for coffee today! Shall I pour you a cup? I made extra today.

I link my blog with others at Natalie the Explorer to celebrate Weekend Coffee Share posts!

If we were having coffee I would tell you we went to a wedding last night. It has been a while since I have been to such a social gathering. It was an interesting ceremony with thunder, a beer toast, and rainbows. The reception was nice and we danced! (Just a little bit!) I also saw several people from my past teaching life I have not seen forever. They weren’t long conversations but just long enough to catch up a bit. Plus! Chris and I were finally able to get a picture together that we both looked like ourselves! LOL

If we were having coffee I would tell you I did an Instagram live with Sarah Selecky about the Story Intensive. We talked about flash fiction and magic and writing. You can check it out here.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I had dinner with all my kids last Tuesday which was fun. We wanted to go to a special Mexican restaurant but it closed at 7pm which was the time we were going! Oops. We ended up at BW3 which still had some connection for the family.

Do you need a refill? Would you like some ice water?

If we were having coffee I would tell you I wrote every day and I was able to get some submissions sent off. It was a great writing week. I am participating in the SmokeLong Fitness program and the first prompt goes live tomorrow. I am also taking a Nancy Stohlman writing class which I am excited about too.

If we were having coffee I would tell you the Sarah Selecky Intensive that I teach for is open for registration. Follow this link for more information. This course changed my writing life and taught me craft I didn’t have access to before. It is a great course for digging in deep within a supportive and guided environment.

If we were having coffee I would tell you my PUSH group is looking for new members! We meet on Mondays and always share wins, write together and then have a conversation related to writing. For more info you can check out the detailed info here.

Here are what some members are saying:

Julia

Push for push: “Push gets me writing. Tammy has a way of making me look at things from a different lens and perspective. She has me stretching my mind and I feel I am growing as a writer and learning a lot about myself and my craft. It’s a weekly mind workout. Push is like yoga for your mind. As a teacher I teach the craft of writing, but seldom did I make time to practice my own writing. Push ensures that I take time for myself to enjoy writing.”

Leslie

Even though it’s just one hour a week, I try never to miss a week with Tammy’s PUSH group. This small and intimate group is like writing therapy. We talk about our successes over the week. Then, Tammy chooses the perfect prompts and we write for somewhere between 5-8 minutes. Everyone is given a chance to talk about what they wrote and no one declines. It’s such a safe place. Somehow everything I write during this hour with Tammy comes from a deeper and more honest place than in sprints with other groups.

If we were having coffee I would tell you a name change is coming for me. I have been switching over most of my accounts to “Writer Tammy” so look out for that. Stay tuned for other news about that too.

I hope your Sunday and the week are filled with passion, fun questions, great food, a good read, and deep love!

Do you have any burning questions for me? I would love to answer them next week in the coffee share! Put them in the comments or message me through the blog and I will answer them all!

Thank you for joining me for a coffee chat. I hope to see you next weekend!