Can't Sleep? Start Plotting: AN IWSG Post

OPTIONAL IWSG Day Question: How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?

A major life event was the sole impetus prompting me start writing a novel. 2006 was a bad year. My family's normally steady life was turned upside down. It felt like the universe decided we'd been having too good of a run on good luck and it was time to bring on the bad. It started with my father-in-law being diagnosed with leukemia. Then my brother-in-law was diagnosed with chronic pneumonia that was scarring his lungs beyond repair (he was developmentally challenged, so he didn't swallow well and kept getting inhalation pneumonia). 
I suppose it wasn't enough for bad luck to smack down on my husband's family, by that spring, my father was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma and then within months, my big brother was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer that doctors predicted would be lethal in under six months. 
It felt like the punches weren't ever going to stop coming. I hated to look too far into the future. Who might be gone? I could look to the past, but that was a kick in the gut too. Looking back in misery with longing and grief is well, miserable. 
So what do you do when the past, present, and the future all cause your heart to hurt so bad it makes it hard to breathe?
You make crap up. You create a world that isn't tied to the problems of this one. It worked like a charm. No more obsessing about all the circumstances in which you have zero control. A good therapist might say I took a situation in which my life was completely out of control and created one I was the boss of. Call it escapism, call it denial. I call it a life saver. 

*I'm thankful for this question this month. As a writer, we start to focus more on the business end of writing, which ALWAYS leads me down the road to insecurity and unhappiness. But pausing a moment to remember that writing isn't just about dollars,cents, and satisfying the truly is a magical way to navigate a less-than-perfect world. 

Are you ready? The IWSG is taking submissions for the next anthology! Dancing Lemur is a class act publisher to work with. I had a short story in the Hero's Lost anthology and it was a wonderful, educational experience. 


A Masquerade can be a false show or pretense, someone pretending to be someone they aren't. It can be a ball, a fancy dress party, it can be a mask. Open to interpretation.

Submissions accepted: September 5 - November 4, 2018

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (Double spaced, no page numbers), previously unpublished story to admin @ before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter IWSG group.

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges who will be announced September 5.

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title.

The IWSG is a monthly online gathering of writers to share their hopes, their fears, or to whine a little over just how damned hard it is to live the dream. Thanks to our leader, Alex Cavanaugh and this month's Co-Hosts:  Dolorah @ Book Lover, Christopher D. Votey, Tanya Miranda, and Chemist Ken!

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