Monday, February 24, 2014

Interview with Alex J. Cavanaugh

As a writer, do you have bouts of insecurity? You're not alone! Alex J. Cavanaugh joins us today to share about the Insecure Writer's Support Group. 

Welcome Alex! What is the IWSG? How did it originate?

Thanks, Karen! It's great to be here. The Insecure Writer’s Support Group started with a comment I made in an email exchange with another author. I told Rusty he needed such a group and then it hit me – why not start one? I announced it in August 2011, opened a sign-up, and on September 1, we had our first group posting. It was a huge success and began to grow.

The IWSG is now three things! It’s the original blogging group that posts the first Wednesday every month, with around three hundred members. Right after the group hit the two-year mark, we opened the IWSG Facebook group, which is over five hundred members strong. We also launched the IWSG site, which is a database of sites, resources, and other databases for writers. There is something for everyone now!

Sounds great. How does the group work?

The blogging IWSG posts the first Wednesday of every month. Writers sign up on the list, grab the badge, and on that day post either about their insecurities or words of encouragement for others. Then they visit other members of the group.

The Facebook IWSG is open for anyone who wants to join and has four themed days – Motivational Mondays, Wow It’s Wednesday, Fun Fridays, and Saturday News and Promo. Members can ask questions and get support from others.

Can any writer participate? If so, how do they go about it? 

Any writer with a blog can join the main IWSG that posts monthly. (It has to be a blog site where others can leave comments.) They can go here to get details and sign up –

Any writer on Facebook can join the Facebook IWSG. It’s a closed group, so just request to join. (That’s just to keep spammers out.) Then you are free to comment and interact. (Ironically, I am not on Facebook, but I have several awesome IWSG site co-administrators who run it.) The Facebook group is here -
What is your favorite aspect of the IWSG?
The way everyone comes together to support and encourage one another. Since I can’t visit everyone on the list, it’s nice to know members are reaching out to others. The comments and emails from writers who are so thankful for the IWSG fill me with joy. For many, it’s the group that keeps them going. The IWSG has been such an amazing blessing. 

It is wonderful to have a great support system - ones who understand the challenges of writing. Thanks for joining us today, Alex! Appreciate the info and the support you and the group provide for writers. :) 

You are welcome, Karen. Happy to share with other writers!

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He is experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The author of Amazon bestsellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm, he lives in the Carolinas with his wife.

For more info visit:

The IWSG Site

How do you handle your writing insecurities? 

Happy writing,


Monday, February 17, 2014

Coming Attractions

It's hard to believe that February is almost over. I was just getting used to January when February hit. How about you? :)

March marks my 5th Blogoversary. The theme is Good Friends Old and New, and it will feature interviews, a guest post or two, and a giveaway that will include chocolate. Because what is a Blogoversary celebration without chocolate, right?

And if that's not enough to look forward to, author Alex J. Cavanaugh stops by next Monday to discuss the Insecure Writer's Support Group. What is the IWSG? Join us and find out!

Are you celebrating any special occasions in the coming weeks?

Have a great week!

Happy writing,


Photo credit: Stock Exchange

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Book Review - The Dancing Master

The Dancing Master 

By Julie Klassen

Unfortunate circumstances prompt dancing master Alex Valcourt to move from London to Beaworthy in the fall of 1816. After moving, Alex learns there is a ban on dancing in the small village. To support his mother and sister, he reluctantly secures a position as clerk for Lady Amelia Midwinter.

Julia Midwinter is restless. She prefers horseback riding and flirting with young men to fitting into polite society. Lady Amelia has high expectations for her, as Julia is the sole heir to the Midwinter estate.

Alex’s and Julia’s paths intersect more than Lady Amelia would like.  As they both wrestle with new discoveries, Alex learns his past may affect his future. Julia finds her heritage contains unexpected fragments.

The Dancing Master is a tale of friendships and secrets that held my attention from the start. I found myself nestled within the story, enjoying the characters while trying to solve the mysteries within. 

This story is a masterful example, in my opinion, of what good historical fiction should be. From a reader’s standpoint, I enjoyed it tremendously. From a writer’s perspective, I learned from and appreciated the depth of characters and the flow and layers of the plot.

Klassen’s flair for realistic characters, engaging storyline, and rich detail rests on every page. The Dancing Master is a dance, an exquisite, perfectly timed tale of mystery, love, redemption, and forgiveness. It is one of the few books that I’d consider reading again someday.

For more info on The Dancing Master, click here.

Disclaimer: I received this review copy free from Bethany House. The opinions expressed are my honest assessment.

What are you reading this weekend?


Monday, February 10, 2014

Got Creativity?

Where's your creativity level at these days? Do chilly winter days or warmer seasons inspire you? Or do the ideas flow 365 days a year?

No matter when, where, and how those ideas roll, we all hit a lull once in a while. It's times like these that resources from the My Creative Team can help. Their blog THINKing offers inspiration for writers, artists, and well, everyone. Here are a few examples:

  • Find apps and links to get creative juices flowing in 11 Creativity Tools to Kickstart Your 2014. These interesting and fun ideas encourage us to think outside the box. I don't know about you, but sometimes I think inside the box too much.

  • How about insight that reaches beyond the writing desk? For example, in 27 Ways to Be More Creative #17 tells us to "Take a Nap". I'm in! How about you?

  • Modification can solve problems. But you already knew that, right? Creativity can get a boost, as illustrated in this post, Modify It For Creativity. I'm thinking many an inventor from years gone by learned this principle. What do you think?

What stirs your creativity?

Happy writing,


Photo credit: Stock Exchange

Monday, February 3, 2014

One Step at a Time




"The elevator to success is out of order. 

You’ll have to use the stairs…one step at a time."


Joe Girard



No matter where we are on the writing journey, 

we all move forward this way. 

I like that. 

It's encouraging, especially during 

those times when nothing appears to be 

happening or progress is, 

as my Mom used to say, 

"Slow as molasses in January." 


 Take heart my writer friends. 

We're all getting exactly where we need to be. 

One step at a time.


What steps have you taken this month?


Happy writing,



P.S. Visiting author Jen Cudmore on her blog. 

If you wanted to hop over, click here.



Photo credit: Stock Exchange