IWSG Q&A

7:07 AM Elizabeth Seckman 53 Comments

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Wouldn't it be wonderful if all of this virus insanity was a prank, or better yet a bad story plot we could pick apart as being unrealistic? One with insanely hot men flexing unrealistically large muscles in every scene. Add in a happy ending where a fresh, young lab assistant who hides her beauty behind her glasses and her humble ponytail finds the cure and in an end-scene make-over she receives the Noble Prize, the hottest doc, and a spot on the cover of Glamour.

Unfortunately, it's not a bad movie. It's out current reality. So, for this month's insecurity, I'm going to hop directly to the question.

How are things in your world?
For now, they are fine. I live in a small town in a rural community and so far, my state has not been hit that hard with the virus. But I'm realizing that could change and as the numbers slowly creep up, it feels inevitable that we won't be able to escape this flu without some sort of vaccine or cure as a fire break in the transmission.

We're in our third week of stay-at-home orders. My only outings have been to the grocery store and walks with my dog. Being a writer, that's really not that far from my normal activity, so once again, I am blessed by a boring/sedentary nature. My bigger worries come from  the fall-out of it all. The economy. Our stocks took a serious hit and that's where our kids' college money/retirement/emergency fund is tied up. I'm also out of a paying job with the schools closed. (This is where we all agree that book sales will not be enough to keep me in chocolate...)

But we're alive and well, so as a wise man once told me, nothing that can be bought is eternal. If these changes to our way of life and commerce can save someone a loved one, I'm happy to stay home now and rebuild later. I know full well what even a common flu can do to the fragile among us. My mother died of the flu a few years ago. We both caught the same bug. I called her that Friday and told her it was a wicked illness- that she should most certainly go to the hospital.

She refused. A recent bout with pneumonia left her on life support for a week and a half and she swore she'd never do that again. She had COPD and half a lung ruined from a pulmonary embolism in midlife. She told me she had her decongestant. would stay hydrated, but she would not be going to the hospital. She appeared to be on the mend over the weekend, but passed away in her sleep Sunday night.

When I am out getting groceries, I'll see elderly people out and I'll think- go home, damn it. Someone could bring you your groceries, but then I imagine they're as spirited (bullheaded) as my own mom. Or maybe they don't have people who would go shopping for them. Or maybe after a life time of caring for themselves, they don't need a whippersnapper telling them what to do. Instead of saying anything, I hold my breath as I pass (in case I'm a silent carrier) and try to maintain the max social distance. Hopefully, they're not assuming I think they smell...

Thanks to this month's awesome co-hosts! Diane Burton, JH Moncrieff, Anna @ Emaginette, Karen @ Reprobate Typewriter, Erika Beebe, and Lisa Buie-Collard!




Now, for the really good stuff...
Congratulations to David Powers King! He has a new book out!




A princess. A dragon. Their quest.

Terrible things happen whenever Princess Celesia falls in love—she blacks out and attacks her suitors, which makes an alliance with a more powerful nation impossible. Believing that she’s cursed, Celesia is given two choices: marry without love, or be responsible for her kingdom’s demise. Instead, she sneaks off in search of a remedy.

She doesn’t make it far when she encounters a dragon who bears a curse of his own—he is a prince, desperate to reclaim his humanity before the dragon takes over. He's heard of a stone that can lift both of their curses, but neither of them can find it alone, and they’re not the only ones after it. An evil alchemist is intent on using it to steal the land’s magic and dominate the realm. Only together, with the help of an even greater magic, can Celesia and the dragon stop this evil, or be bound forever by their curses.

Praise for The Dragon Heart:

“King has gifted us an immersive world, filled with memorable characters. What an adventure! All fantasy novels should have this kind of momentum.”
                               - Carrie Butler, author of the award-winning Mark of Nexus series 


About the author:

David was born in beautiful downtown Burbank, California where his love for film inspired him to write. His works include the internationally published YA Fantasy Woven and The Undead Road: My Zombie Summer. An avid fan of science fiction and fantasy, David also has a soft spot for zombies and the paranormal. He now lives in the mountain West with his wife and four children.








For the 2020 IWSG Anthology Contest:


IWSG folks, get ready! We're gearing up for the next anthology contest. I can't tell you the theme or the specifics, those will be coming soon, but we do have our judges ready to go. A huge thank you to these talented industry folks who will be helping us choose the very best stories for the next anthology. 

Our official judges:

Dan Koboldt, author and #SFFpit founder
Dan Koboldt is the author of the Gateways to Alissia trilogy (Harper Voyager), the editor of Putting the Science in Fiction (Writers Digest, 2018), and the creator of the sci-fi adventure serial The Triangle (Serial Box, 2019). As a genetics researcher, he has co-authored more than 80 publications in Nature, Science, The New England Journal of Medicine, and other scientific journals. He is represented by Paul Stevens of Donald Maass Literary Agency.

Lynda R. Young, author
Lynda R. Young is an Aussie writing fantasy novels as Elle Cardy. Wielder’s Prize is her debut YA epic fantasy. She is also an editor, game developer, 3D artist, graphic designer, photographer, gamer and more.

Colleen Oefelein, agent, The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency
Colleen Oefelein is an author of YA, picture books, and author promotion guides, a devourer of books, and the owner of the book review site North of Normal. Formerly an associate agent and PR manager with Inklings Literary Agency, Colleen has hosted numerous “Pitch Perfect” and “Rejection Correction” workshops on Facebook and at conferences nationwide, and she’s mentored several authors one-on-one through online pitch contests such as Pitch Wars.

Damien Larkin, author
Damien Larkin is an Irish science fiction author and co-founder of the British and Irish Writing Community. His debut novel Big Red was published by Dancing Lemur Press and went on to be longlisted for the BSFA award for Best Novel. He currently lives in Dublin, Ireland and is working on his next novel Blood Red Sand.

Ion Newcombe, eidtor and publisher
is the editor and publisher of AntipodeanSF, Australia's longest running online speculative fiction magazine, regularly issued since January 1998. His qualifications and employment range from horticulture through electronics into literature and communications.

Julie Gwinn, agent, The Seymour Agency
Julie Gwinn most recently served as Marketing Manager for the Christian Living line at Abingdon Press and before that served as Trade Book Marketing Manager and then Fiction Publisher for the Pure Enjoyment line at B&H Publishing Group, a Division of LifeWay Christian Resources. Recently, she was awarded Editor of the Year from the American Christian Fiction Writers and won B&H’s first Christy award for Ginny Yttrup’s debut novel Words.

David Powers King, author
David's works include Woven, The Undead Road,, and Full Dark: An Anthology. He currently resides in the Mountain West with his wife and 4 children.

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Dancing Lemur Press' imprint 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.


We’re excited to see the creativity and enthusiasm that’s such a part of this group put into action. So don your creative caps and start writing. And spread the word!


53 comments:

  1. Aw, so sorry about your mom. Can see how what's happening in the world right now would bring back those memories and make you worry for those around you. Also sorry to hear about your job--that's beyond tough. :(

    Hope you and your loved ones continue to be safe and well during these stressful times! <3

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    1. The upside is that I'm not alone in my worries. There is strength in numbers, right?

      You guys stay safe too. Hugs!

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  2. I know how you feel about those stocks.
    I'm grateful my parents are staying in. I think they are enjoying restaurant delivery.
    Big congratulations to David!

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    1. Kinda makes me wish I'd just spent the money. My husband would never agree, of course.

      That's great that your parents are listening. Saves you a lot of worry.

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  3. Hi,
    It is hard to be dependent upon others when you have been doing things yourself or making your own decisions. So I understand those two older people shopping for themselves. Besides that, there is, in my opinion, a bit of wrong thinking toward the elderly. It is downright disrespectful. At least it is here in Germany where I live as an ExPat. I see it all the time and wonder how people can raise their children to be totally disrespectful to older the people.
    However,, I am happy to hear you are okay. Nothing is eternal and even deeper, nothing that we acquire exempts us from being hit by this virus. I believe people are beginning to see that what they have is not theirs and life is a gift, and not something they can purchase.
    Wishing you all the best.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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    1. Pat, your comment makes me feel much better. I have regretted for years that I didn't bully my mom into a different decision, but I was raised to respect and follow the authority of my elders. Arguing with my mom would get me in a world of trouble, so I would always yield (sometimes, okay a lot of times) with a bit of attitude, but still- I most always did as I was told. The elderly have made it to their age evidently by making wise-enough choices to have survived all the younger stages of life.

      Funny how tragedy gives you a whole new angle on life.

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  4. This - "I am blessed by a boring/sedentary nature." - is so me! I never considered it a blessing before but I do now. :)

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    1. We are blessed! I could do a 90 day quarantine with my eyes closed. And pen and notebooks or a library.

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  5. I'm sorry about your mom, but I can understand how she felt, because I'm equally as bull-headed. But I'm not taking this virus lightly. Not at all. Take care of yourself, sweet lady.

    David's book sounds like a great escape. It's been a long time since I read a fantasy, but I'm gonna have to buy this one. We can all use a little escape these days.

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    1. I need to read it too. I should buy it before I head to bed.

      I will take care. And I'm so glad you're taking all the necessary precautions. You're a shiny star in my dark nights!

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  6. I'm sorry about your mother. I hope they aren't all that stubborn.

    I'm hoping stocks and the economy recover after this. But then again, we can't take it with us, right?

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    1. I'm a capitalist at heart. I have full faith in our bounce back ability, but you're right, it could take a while.

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  7. Some of the older folks sure are stubborn. My grandmother is one, she keeps saying she is going to escape, not yet lol

    I don't think the economy is going to bounce back fast, but hopefully it does.

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    1. My mother might have stayed home through this...they did close the casinos. :)

      Fingers crossed for a strong come back!

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  8. Congrats to David!

    I know what you mean about stubborn older family members. I have a few of them.

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  9. I can understand about your stocks. I hope thinks improve for all of us. The economy will take a long time to bounce back. Stay safe.

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    1. Or maybe, hopefully, we'll all be so tired of being locked up that will go out and give businesses a Christmas in June.

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  10. Thanks for the shout out, Liz! Glad you're doing your part, hope the economy does "bounce back" like I keep hearing it will. Stay safe out there! :)

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    1. Happy to help! Fingers crossed it comes back with a roar.

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  11. People who live in less densely populated area seem to run less risk for catching this virus, so you're lucky. Keep safe and think summer.

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    1. Yes, we're kind of already socially distanced by geography.

      Love summer. That's a great thought.

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  12. What a wonderful post, Elizabeth. You must miss your mom so much. I don't blame her for not wanting to go back in the hospital. I'm not sure I'd want to be on life support.
    David's book sounds awesome. I'm very intrigued.

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    1. She said it was the scariest experience ever. She spoke with my cousin, who had suffered a brain injury and was unconscious for days, about what it was like. She never told me anything beyond never doing it again. I'll have to ask my cousin one day what she told her.

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  13. Oh, wow, I didn't realize that was how your mom had passed. I worry about older people who are out and about as well. Fortunately, my mother is in isolation in her retirement community and gets her meals, groceries etc. delivered. She's going a bit stir crazy, but at least she's as safe as she can be.

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    1. Stir crazy now, here for Christmas later. Tell her it will be worth it. :)

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  14. Congrats to David.
    We really should learn from the bunnies. Bring snacks always.
    Love ya.

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  15. So sorry how you lost your mom. My late husband had serious respiratory problems and no amount of isolation would have protected him from this horrible virus. My mom has to stay in her apartment at her independent living facility but thankfully no one got sick.

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    1. A little off topic, but I love those independent living facilities. My mom wanted to live in one after she convalesced at a nursing home and enjoyed the constant company. But there were none in our area. I'm glad your mom is somewhere safe

      It is sad about your husband. Far too young to go, I'm sure. My mom truly had gotten to the point where the next bad thing was going to be her undoing. Knowing that doesn't make the missing any easier.

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  16. My sister and I are both at risk retirees so I get the worry (and the bullheadedness) that goes along with resisting Shelter at Home. As I writer, I'm thrilled not to have to go out but my sister is jones-ing for the malls and grocery store escape. Not on my watch! Stay safe out there!

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    1. I worry about my bog sister too. She also bores easily and will not stay at home at all. Good luck keeping yours in the house!

      Delete
  17. So sorry for the loss of your mom. Hubs has a compromised immune system, so I'm extra sensitive to exposure right now. My own mother is not really taking this as seriously as she should, because she's "healthy."

    Congrats to David on his new release! The book sounds amazing and it's nice to have something positive on the horizon.

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    1. My kids tease that I over worry, but I'd rather overdo and be wrong than take risks and either catch it or worse- be a carrier wandering around infecting people.

      You poor woman. Good luck with your mom. If she's anything like mine, she'll tell you to hush- she used to change your diapers. That was my mom;s trump card.

      Delete
  18. So sorry you lost your mom. I live in an active senior community in FL for the winter with all kinds of organizations, games and of course, pickle ball. So I know how stubborn oldsters can be. I've decided the more stubborn you are, the longer you live!!! I imagine when the hurt from this epidemic is healed, many rich stories and movies will come from the experience. I do love your plot already!
    JQ Rose

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    1. One of those communities would be fun. What a great way to stay active and entertained. You may be onto something...stubborn people are great at beating the odds.

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  19. My parents live next to a grocery store, so there's no keeping my mom from shopping. At least their church went to online activities and her shoulder-replacement kept her out of her gym before things went bad. It will be tough not visiting though.

    My life isn't drastically changed other than having the kids and husband home from their schools all the time. It's like every day is Saturday, which has its plusses and minuses.

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    1. Your mom sounds like a dynamic sort of lady! Good luck trying to keep her at home.

      Every day as a Saturday. Perfectly said!

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  20. Glad you are safe and sound. Yes, the hits aren't done yet, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed, and sending prayers out to the universe to hopefully take care of us fragile beings. Our planet is proving it doesn't need us as it rebounds from our pollution. I hope we, as a people, learn from this and make the changes we need to. One can always hope.

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    1. I think there will definitely be pressure to make some drastic changes across the planet.

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  21. Congrats to David!
    I'm sorry about how you lost your mom. My parents did really well for the first two weeks of stay-at-home encouragement in Washington (before it became ordered), but then they went a little stir crazy. They do wear masks when they go grocery shopping, and they only go once a week, but if they need to go more, I insist on going for them. I try, anyway, but ... yeah.
    I live in Washington, so we've gone from small gatherings being okay to stay at home orders in the last thirty days. My husband can work from home. I can do most of my part-time work from home, but some property management stuff has to be done on site (mowing the lawn, getting bird's nests out of dryer vents). We're doing okay. Like you, I worry a bit about the younger generation and how this affecting them.

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    1. You guys have been at this the longest. I can imagine people, parents included, are starting to get restless. I'm glad to hear things are going well and you guys can still work.

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  22. I totally understand how the effects of your mum dying were forced to the forefront during this difficult time. I've been thinking a lot about my parents and my sister. I'm so sorry for your loss, Elizabeth. World is a beautiful but painful place sometimes. Glad you're okay. Hope your State stays clear of the numbers.

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    1. I have been worried about my sister. Don'e tell her I said this, but she's over 60 and thinks she's invulnerable. I keep telling her to stay put, but of course, she is our mother's daughter. I will most certainly be happy when this is all over!

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  23. So sorry about your mom. You did all you could short of stuffing her in a car and taking her to the hospital, and if she didn't live close you couldn't even do that. We're fortunate that our kids are near by and checking up on us as is our neighbor. I'm doing the online grocery shopping rather than venture into stores. I hope you continue to stay safe.

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    1. She lived near me. She just didn't want to spend any more time in hospitals. She'd been on the hospital long term twice that year and did two recoveries in a nursing home. She was resolved to stay in her own space.

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  24. My parents have been gone many years. I was a late in life baby so they would be 98 and 94 now. I'm gad they don't have see this. I am sorry about your mom. Doesn't matter when happens never easy and always hard.

    All good here. Stay well and stay safe. Belated IWSG.

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    1. I was blessed to get to have my parents as long as I did. I can't imagine what it would have been like without them, especially in my teens and early adulthood. They were my safety net. Heck, I'm in my fifties and get worried that I have no safety net. Hugs, Juneta.

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  25. I'm so sorry about your mom. Stay safe.

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  26. Anxious to see your flowers.
    Stay safe. Stay healthy.
    Elbow bumps.

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    1. I forgot to take the pictures! I had so many beautiful tulips, I had to share them (from a distance) with my neighbor. She sent me over a pie, I sent her flowers. Fair trade!

      Delete
  27. Ooh. A flower / pie trade off. Purrfect.
    Stay safe. Stay healthy.
    Elbow bump.

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