Wednesday, October 4, 2017

IWSG: October 2017



It’s time for another group posting of the IWSG: Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month and encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

Be sure to link to IWSG and display the badge in your post.


IWSG is the brainchild of our noble Ninja Captain and leader Alex J. Cavanaugh

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG


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.




IWSG's awesome co-hosts for October 4 are Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Jennifer Hawes, and Tamara Narayan!


Please stop by and thank them for their time. 


After 5 months, I'm so glad to be back at IWSG. It's been a whirlwind year. For the last three days I've sat staring at this screen, though, wondering, now that I'm back what I could possible say to encourage anyone. The 90s and first 8 years of the new millennium were challenging, so I assume when life changed for the better at the end of 2008, I had survived because I was meant to help others by sharing what I'd learned. It was the reason I joined IWSG. Not once did I see that life wasn't finished teaching me difficult lessons. 

On a positive note: the sense of hopelessness that's hung around my neck all these months is finally gone. What took its place, I've yet to determine. 
  

Question: Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?

I've gone to great lengths to never reveal anything personal into my characters. To do so would feel like a betrayal. Betrayal to whom, beats me; thoughts for another post, I suppose. I do know I'm incapable of not influencing my characters. After all, my stories come from me, and I'm a product of my existential judgements. 

While I purposely avoid using personal data from my life,  I did write a Vietnam War thriller after studying for months with a Crew Chief who served on a Huey during the war. He helped me understand exactly what the day in the life of a grunt was like, right down to the rotten crotch, bed bugs and the razor-sharp elephant leaves. I'll never be able to thank him enough for taking the time to help me, a young mother from small town Canada, write such authentic scenes. Little did either of us know that one day, many years later, my youngest son would serve in Afghanistan. I can still see the relief on his face when he understood that I was never going to ask him to explain what his days were like. 


59 comments :

  1. Thank you for your honest post today Joylene. I am happy you are back :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I always love reading your stories and posts. They are filled with nuggets of wisdom served with a dash of humor and unexpected twists and turns. Wonderful to have you back.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hope life has calmed down for you now. Sorry it's been so rough the past few months. :-/

    With Love,
    Mandy

    ReplyDelete
  4. "...my stories come from me, and I'm a product of my existential judgements." That resonated for me. Even when we try to keep ourselves out of our characters, I can't help but think that that subconscious plants ourselves deeply inside every character we write. Whether we can see that or not is another matter. Thanks for the post. Glad things are on the upswing for you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great to have you back!
    My father talks some about Vietnam, but I know never to ask. I'm sure your son is relieved.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It is so good to see you back!

    I'm also from a military family and that understanding is huge. Just being there, being present, is all you can do sometimes. Thank you for your son's service.


    Elsie

    ReplyDelete
  7. It must be terrifying knowing your son is in the army, in danger, and you're helplessly waiting for news half a world away. The military mothers have my deepest admiration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He's been in for almost 2 decades, so I'm constantly grateful. I know so many mothers who are suffering. Breaks my heart. Thanks, Olga.

      Delete
  8. Your son's service is greatly appreciated. So grateful for those who serve, and for their families as well. It is indeed a sacrifice. Hope you have a great rest of the week, Joylene! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hope would be better than hopelessness.

    Between photos and IM, I know what my cousin's time was like in Iran. Enough that I'll never need to ask him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it's a difference world now. Thanks, Diane.

      Delete
  10. I'm glad that feeling of hopelessness has left you, because man, can it be a heavy weight to carry.

    Wow, it must've been hard to listen to those stories and know what your son must also have gone through. You are an amazing woman, Joylene. I'm sure that Crew Chief appreciated you shedding some light on his experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Murees. It was a privilege to work with him.

      Delete
  11. I am glad to hear you are feeling better. Life sure has a way of taking our feet from under us.

    That is great you found such a good recourse for you stories. Sometimes all we need is that authentic tidbit for our musings to make something great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is so true, Brandon. Thanks for visiting. Happy IWSG.

      Delete
  12. so glad you're back and things are feeling and looking better. I feel like my writing is mostly separate from the real me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I understand that; I'd like to think I can separate my personal life too. Thanks, Susan.

      Delete
  13. Hi Joylene,

    Apologies for the delay in my eagerly anticipated comment!

    I'm heartened to see the return of your good self, Joylene. Always a delight when "IWSG" aka "I Was Seeking Gary", gets a mention.

    You have faced many a challenge with gritty determination that inspires. When you share it shows you care. Help each other, we help ourselves.

    I know that Penny has gone to great lengths to not share anything pawsonal in her writing escapades.

    Thank you for your candid post. A peaceful, positive Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones.

    Gary

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm glad you're back. :) And I'm glad your hopeless feelings are gone. May they never return!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi, Joylene! The words "I'm back" are encouraging! You've fought through so many setbacks, and yet here you are, and I'm glad to see you!. I can't imagine how hard it must have been for you to have a son serving in Afghanistan. Several teachers in my school had sons serving, and it was so hard for them. I think that those who choose to serve in the forces are the best in our countries. Take care my friend!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Joylene!
    I'm so glad to hear you are in a better place!
    Thanks for your openness and honesty.
    Take care!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Joylene, welcome back and I'm glad things are looking up for you :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Welcome back to IWSG. You've been missed :-)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Welcome back!!!! I believe we all share your feelings at one time or another. I'm glad you're in a good place.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Glad you're back and seem to be in a better place. It's great when you get the chance to interview someone directly for use in a story. It adds a level of realism.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, and makes you care about the authenticity of your research, just because you know there are real people out there doing these jobs.

      Delete
  21. I'd like to interview people for research some day soon. The internet has tons of info, but I don't know if it can beat first-hand accounts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the emotional connection you gain from doing the interview that's irreplaceable. Thanks, Tamara.

      Delete
  22. Glad the hopelessness is gone. Hopefully you can fill it with some good old fashioned writing enthusiasm.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh girl, I so get you. I have had challenges and I came into the good years I thought 2011 when semi-retired early to move to Florida 2011-2013 then things fell apart in all areas of life. Its been a constant struggle since and just when I think I am doing better BAM. This has been the longest period of hardship I have struggled through and it is getting to me. Its changed me, my outlook and viewpoint. I struggle with depression off and on and different levels. So I so get what you mean when you say you thought the hardest challenges were behind you-- surprise they sometimes just begin.

    You have been an inspiration to me. Thank you. You still are.
    You've had a rough year but you are my hero. Thank you for sharing. This was such great post and so honest. Love it. HUGS Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

    ReplyDelete
  24. Welcome 'home', Joylene. Researching first-hand always feels better than reading stuff online. Circumstances have changed that for me - most of the research for my debut novel were done outdoors in fields. Now it's by email or phone. I'm sure that you are very proud of your son's service to make the world safer. Blessings to all.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Let's hope life will never be finished teaching us lessons.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'm glad the hopelessness has gone.

    ReplyDelete
  27. So happy that the feeling of hopelessness you have been carrying is gone. What a relief. Less to weigh you down.

    I don't intentionally put myself in my characters, but I think parts of me show up in little bits here and there that I don't see until later.

    Have a great weekend!
    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete
  28. Welcome back, Joylene! Hope you get a break from the bad stuff from here on out.

    Though I'm sure our challenges are very different, I can relate to that feeling of having suffered enough. 2016 was brutal, and I had so much hope this year would be a new start, but in some ways it's been the most challenging yet.

    Thanks for your kind words of encouragement on my blog. Sometimes it helps to know one isn't alone. xo

    ReplyDelete
  29. Everything that helps people finding and living their writing talents!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi, Joylene! Are you okay? Thinking of you and hoping that you are improving day by day ~ in your health and writing! Sending you hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Doing well. In transition. Will be in Bucerias Saturday evening.

      Delete

Thank you for visiting my blog. Please come in and sit for while. We will talk about writing. We will share our dreams. Then I will serve tea and cookies. Home made and Gluten Free.