Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Bad Guys, Bad Guys . . . What you gonna do?

Today's simmering into 87F. Thank goodness, it's movie day, where the air conditioning is cranked up really high, and I'll smell that buttery popcorn while sitting in the dark, watching a movie. Tuesday is our excuse to go out, dinner and a movie, though the choices in movies isn't that great this summer:  Bikeriders? Thelma? Ghost Light? Well, that last one is a takeoff on Romeo and Juliet, so we'll see.

Update on Unleashed Pursuit. Each day begins with writing, though the challenge this week seems to be really understanding my villain. I can see his face, maybe hear a little dialogue, but I still don't understand how he became a bad guy, someone who runs a sleazy nightclub and trafficks young girls. 

A little research online led to a fascinating article from Psychology Today that points me right to nurture vs. nature. In short, those early childhood years have a profound influence on how someone's ethics, morality, and behavior develop. So, if I throw abandonment and outright abuse into the mix, I just might have my bad guy.

The article by Dr. Joseph H. Baskin points out that poor impulse control, an inability to delay gratification, and an unwillingness to actually see the possible consequences of an action -- all lead to trouble. One final point by Dr. Baskin suggests I should be looking at a psychopath, someone so damaged by his childhood that he cannot feel for another (empathy) and who is driven entirely by self-interest. If someone says no . . . does he fly into a rage?

Interesting. If someone tells me, "No, I don't think you can write another book," (for example), I do feel an almost immediate inner sense of stubbornness and recommitment to my goals. But I'm not a bad guy. Not even when I worked at the bank so many decades ago and was told by one of my bosses to hide several hundred thousand dollars, without telling anyone. For about 5 seconds, I did think of a trip far, far away. Instead, I took the unmarked envelope to my friend in Operations and told him to put it in the vault without looking. 

What I'm reading this week: I'm fascinated by Joan Kopczynski's Spies, Lies & Psychosis: A Personal Journal of Adult Schizoaffective Illness Triggered by Traumatic Events of Love, Espionage, and Betrayal. This entertaining and intense memoir dives into the emotional costs of a high-stress life and is nearly impossible to put down. Currently only available as a paperback, I found my copy at the library.

May you stay cool in the coming week of heat waves.

And what do you think about creating a fictional villain? Any suggestions?

Saturday, June 08, 2024

IWSG June: . . . "I'm late, I'm late . . . "

 Like Alice down the rabbit hole, I'm late. It's Saturday night. My post for the Insecure Writers' Support Group's June question was suppposed to be ready to read on the first Wednesday of the month. Ouch. The truth is that real life distracted me from my writing life.

So, in an effort to catch up, here's my response to this month's question (see more about IWSG below).

IWSG June 5 Question: In this constantly evolving industry, what kind of offering/service do you think the IWSG should consider offering to members?

Although I haven't taken advantage of the other services that IWSG does offer, I'd begin by saying that this online community already does much for writers at every level. Their website HERE offers links to writing and marketing tips, with separate links for resources for writers who self-publish and those who are interested in traditional publishing. We can sign up for a newsletter, participate in pitches, buy IWSG swag or anthologies with short stories by members, and more.

For me, what's most important is the community we create by participating each month -- which involves visiting and reading posts by other members each month. Over time, I've come to know many writers here and appreciate their insights into all aspects of the writing life. 

So, what more should IWSG consider? Only two ideas occur: 1) Online workshops on topics most of interest to members, perhaps taught by members, the topics based on a survey of said members. 2) Perhaps some way members could collaborate -- in joint promotions thru a kind of clearinghouse, for example, or find beta readers or arc readers who are interested in a particular genre. 

UPDATE ON MY OWN WRITING: Despite all else, I'm making steady progress on Unleashed Pursuit, now up to 52K. I'm not quite sure how long this police procedural will be. My writing friend says don't worry about length, just tell the story you love. But I still wonder and am working to finish by the end of 2024.

That means I can pick up Book 2 in my art crime mystery series starting in 2025, right? 

Spring is starting to turn to summer very quickly now with temps in the low 80s. May your own writing go well, as always, and please consider visiting our hosts for this month's IWSG -- Liza at Middle Passages, Shannon Lawrence, Melissa Maygrove, and Olga Godim -- as well as just a few of the 103 writers who participate each month by clicking HERE!

Read on for more about the Insecure Writers' Support Group!

Insecure Writer's Support Group

A database resource site and support group for writers and authors. Featuring weekly guests and tips, a monthly blogfest gathering, a Facebook group, a book club, and thousands of links – all to benefit writers! #IWSG

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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!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.
The awesome co-hosts for the June 5 posting of the IWSG are Liza at Middle Passages, Shannon Lawrence, Melissa Maygrove, and Olga Godim!

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. 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. Remember, the question is optional. 

June 5 question - In this constantly evolving industry, what kind of offering/service do you think the IWSG should consider offering to members?