IWSG - Wednesday - The Craft

Happy August!

Thanks for stopping by. I'm excited to co-host this month's IWSG blog hop, along with Cathrina Constantine, PJ Colando, Kim Lajevardi, Sandra Cox. Make sure to stop by and say hello to them, and check out all the writers sharing their fave craft book today.

Just click on the pic to get to HQ for more awesomeness!

I took a little hiatus over the last two months during a busy summer, so it's good to be back and resuming my routine.

I have a ton of favorite writing craft books, and I'll get to my top go-to in just a moment.

To be candid, I'm waffling over whether or not to shut down all social media except for Facebook and this site. Only reason I'd keep Facebook is because I need it for my VR time. The reason? I feel like this info era we're in is doing more harm than good. Namely, with social media. Sure, some fruitful discussions have been had, and no doubt special connections have been made (especially thru this avenue of other blogging writers) but what I see the most of is divisive, hypocritical, unproductive rhetoric. And I can't see how it's helping our current state of consciousness.

My 14yo daughter and I were discussing this yesterday at lunch. I was amazed at how wise and perceptive she sounded with regards to her experience and exposure to social media vitriol. On one hand, I was impressed and proud of her ability to separate herself and broaden her perspective. On the other hand, I was sad that at 14 she's been exposed to so many different opinions, political sides, religious and anti-religious views, vulgarity, anger, hatred, resentment, etc. and having to learn to juggle it.

You know what she said to me? "Mom, I'm jealous you got to grow up at a time when there was no social media."


That poor sweet mind and soul is still growing and shouldn't have to figure out such things. Of course, that's where parents come in, but how many parents aren't stepping in to moderate? Admittedly, I've had trouble myself--even at my ripe old middle age of 47--in moderating and separating. I've left Twitter in tears a number of times, simply as an outsider looking in, so I can't even imagine how overwhelming it all must feel for teens. I think this is why our youth is experiencing mental health challenges in extreme numbers like never before. Our human brains weren't meant to juggle so many opinions and sensitivities at once.

It reminds me of the show The Social Dilemma on Netflix. It's a must-see if you haven't watched it. I took a bunch of notes and I will share them here over the next few weeks.

I'll spare you my additional thoughts on impending government agencies rooting out "offensive" language as a concern as well. Not that I'd ever intentionally be offensive, but that's the point--who gets to say what's offensive and what's not?

I just wonder if anyone else is experiencing this state of concern, and if anyone has shut down all their social media except for one? If so, I'd love to open up a dialog and chat with you about it. Feel free to message or email me.

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled program ...



Over the last eleven years in the pursuit of bettering my craft as a writer, I've read dozens of craft books. I get something from each one. But there is one I have re-read multiple times and will likely read again soon.

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott really speaks to me on a creative and emotional level. And when I think about what our job as writers is, it's that in a nutshell. There are a ton of techniques and processes to get the job done, but if our work isn't evoking an emotional response from readers, it falls short.

Why I believe Lamott's book is so successful in conveying this is because she does it by showing, not telling. It isn't until you're halfway through it that you realize she's evoking this kind of writer's spirit that makes you itch to put your fingers to the keys and weave your words into a tapestry of art.

That's why I write. That's what Bird by Bird makes me want to do--get in there and write.

If you're looking for inspiration, this is the book for you.

As runners up, I'd say other top important reads for actual fiction craft:

Writing 21st Century Fiction -- by Don Maass

Story Genius -- Lisa Cron

Of course there are dozens more but these would be my top suggestions. Tell me yours in the comments!

Okay, midyear update:

GOALS- revise and self-pub Fiona Wood and A Wicked Thought. Revise teleplay, Immortals Anonymous from 60min dramedy to 30min sitcom--see which works better. Convert script into potential comic book series (figure out how to do that and do a search for artists). Start script for Butterman Time Travel, Inc. teleplay.


Anyone have experience with comic book design and/or authoring?

But more importantly, my main question for you is this: how can I help support YOUR creative endeavors? I'm not currently able to read, BUT my email is always open for brainstorming, as well as my Zoom. I'd be more than happy to meet with you one on one to help encourage your creative endeavors, brainstorm story ideas/plot. etc. Don't hesitate to ask! In the scriptwriting world we do this regularly and I can't tell you how helpful it's been with face-to-face contact in real time, in listening to pitches, giving feedback, etc.

Thank you so much to Alex and the IWSG team for letting me host today. And thank you so much to my cohosts--please visit them as well. What a great op this day is for collecting recommended writing guides!!

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