Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Insecure Writers Support Group: Stretching My Creative Muscles, Dr. Bob Rich's Free Book Edit Contest

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IWSG Blog Hop---the first Wednesday of every Month.

Hello and welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group Blog Hop! It's my pleasure to share co-hosting duties this month with these awesome bloggers. 






Click on the co-host's name to take you to her site. Please like, comment and/or share.

What is the Insecure Writer's Support Group?


Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter. To find out more, click this link: 
 Insecure Writer’s Support Group



The purpose of the group is 
* to share and encourage. 
* Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. 
* Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. 
*It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! 

You're invited to become a member of this supportive group. Click here to sign-up to join.





November 7 question (optional)
How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?

I was in a pretty creative job before I started my writing career--floral designer. My husband and I owned and operated our full-service flower shop, greenhouse, and garden center business for almost 20 years. When I got home after work, I had not one ounce of creativity left in me. 

I didn't start writing seriously until we sold the shop. Seriously--meaning writing for money. I wrote freelance articles using mycreativity to develop a story from the facts. But after several years of "just the facts, ma'am" I yearned to stretch my non-fiction muscles into writing fun, made-up stories with quirky characters and situations.

Luckily, I have enjoyed publishing fiction for readers through a traditional publisher as well as continuing to write non-fiction eBooks as an indie author. The self-publishing side has led me to formatting eBooks and creating book covers. (You know, the best advice is to have a professional design the book cover and I agree. But I do have fun playing around with making them too.) 

I enjoy using canva to use my photos and royalty free photos and videos from Pixabay and Pexels to design graphics for my blog and social media. I can spend hours fussing over the right color, the right font, the right mood. I re-discovered the fun of Photofunia just recently. Not too much creativity needed for that, just silly fooling around. Loved the Halloween selections. Here are a couple of "fun photos" they offer.
Autumn bookmark

Happy Halloween greeting--used for my author FB photo
Do you enjoy taking photos? Please leave a comment below. Thank you.

Now I look forward to visiting other participating bloggers. I'm sure there are a lot of creative blog posts in this group. 

Use the list below to meet new bloggers and re-connect with old friends


GOOD NEWS: Dr. Bob Rich is offering a FREE BOOK EDIT for the winner in his current contest. I'm thrilled to discover my entry, Looking Through Rose-colored Glasses, made the short list! You can read the 1000 word submission along with the other entries at his blog, Bobbing Around. Click here to see the 10 entries. Vote for 3 of your favorites. Deadline for voting is December 23.

COMING UP on the Focused on Story Blog

The Five W's Guest Author Event
You're invited to share the who, what, where, when and why of your story on this blog.
Contact me for more information.


November 14--Guest author Sandy Carlson shares the Five W's in her MG tale, The Tales of the Lost Schooner.

Tales of the Lost Schooner by Sandy Carlson

90 comments:

  1. A flower designer! That is creative. I can see how--tweaked--that would be a great addition to your writing. I love Canva, use it for a lot of marketing pieces in my writing. They help even us non-creatives look good.

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    1. Hi Jacqui..Yep, canva takes a bit of practice, but I seem to learn something new about it all the time.

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  2. You have had a lot of life creativity. Congrats on all your successes :)

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  3. Happy IWSG Day. Thanks for co-hosting with us. Blessings!

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  4. Happy IWSG Day. Thanks for co-hosting with us. Blessings!

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  5. Friends of ours owns a greenhouse, and it looks like loads of work. I'm glad you've been able to put all your energy into new creativity as to your writing and creating, formatting books!!

    Thank you for co-hosting.

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    1. Catharina--owning a greenhouse business IS a lot of work and responsibility. It's like being a farmer who has livestock. Have to be there so the plants don't die in our case! LOL.

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  6. Some of those sites sound amazing! I do love taking photos. I wish I had more time to play around with them.

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    1. Jennifer--I feel the same. So many photo opps, but so little time.

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  7. I'm not good at keeping plants alive -- though I do have an amazing compost heap :-) Sounds like you had an exciting career before taking on even more excitement in the writing world!

    Ronel visiting on IWSG day: Lessons in Writing from Sewing

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    1. Ronel--having an amazing compost heap is a good thing! Happy IWSG Day!

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  8. I can understand why your writing didn't take off until after the flower business ended. It's hard to focus on more than one major thing at a time.
    Thanks for co-hosting today!

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    1. Thanks, Alex. The other major thing, besides working 40+ hours a week, was taking care of 2 little girls. They grew up and are amazing women. Don't know how that happened!! LOL

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  9. I've actually done the reverse to you - since taking up writing, my gardening skills have gone seriously downhill.

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    1. Angela, I can understand that. But pulling weeds and watering allows some time to dream up new story ideas too.

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  10. Love the design and Window theme of your blog. The text rolling over the photo is awesome. When I was regularly blogging, I wanted to design my site in a similar style. You've inspired me to redesign my site.

    Lynn La Vita blog: Writers Supporting Writers

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    1. Why thank you, Lynn. I can't take credit for the design. It's all from Blogger! Have fun with your redesign!

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  11. I do enjoy taking photos. I'd love to be in the tropical place where your blog background photo was taken!

    Having your own floral business is all consuming to be sure. It's hard to have any energy left, let alone the creative kind.

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    1. Thank you, Joey. We are lucky to be snowbirds and enjoy being in Florida in winter. I didn't take this background photo, but I have several photos of palm trees. I love them. I chose this background from Blogger because my last mystery is set in Florida. Thanks for stopping in.

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  12. I love flowers! I can't grow them to save my life, but I enjoy looking at them. And to be able to design arrangements and bouquets? How amazing to bring beauty to people! But I can see how you'd be exhausted! :)

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    1. Madeline--Sorry you can't grow your flowers, but you can always pick up a bunch at the store or flower shop. Then you can make a "plunket" arrangement. Just gather the bunch in your hand and take a knife and chop the stems off all at once so they're even, then plunk the bunch in the vase. Enjoy!

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  13. Running a flower shop sounds really cool! There's so many ways to be creative. And yes, I love taking pictures!

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    1. Thanks, Megan. It was fun working with (and smelling) the flowers. My WIP, my memoir, is all about our first year in the business and has quite the insight into running a flower shop.

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  14. Thanks for co-hosting this month.
    Floral design sounds nice, but with my allergies, I couldn't pull it off.
    I too enjoy taking photos. Sometimes I end up being the unofficial historian for special events because I'm always taking pictures.

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    1. Hi Toi--Good for you using your photo taking talent to help out at the special events. Being asked is a compliment. Enjoy.

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  15. I love to take pictures of my family, especially my granddaughter, does that count? I don't like to be in the pictures though :)

    Thank you for co-hosting!

    Elsie

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    1. Oh Elsie. I think the main reason to have a camera is to take pics of the family. The kids grow up so fast. At least you have captured the memory with your camera. Very precious.

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  16. I can relate to getting home after a long day at work and not feeling like doing much else. I've been out of the work force for 10 years now and create more, but I wouldn't mind working again so I could have more money. I probably should have been more creative about my financial planning.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Hi Arlee--you made me laugh about being more creative with your financial planning. Now you have to be creative about spending! Thank goodness, in retirement, we don't need as much "stuff."

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  17. I feel the same way about parenting. After dealing with all the drama and homework and fights over bedtime and internet (over-useage), I can't imagine trying to work after they go to bed. So I write while they are at school.

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    1. Yep, Tamara. Been there. Done that. Enjoy your kids while you can.

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  18. I'm just starting to learn how to use Canva. I can see how addicting this could become! Wishing you happy writing in November.

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    1. Addicting is the correct word when working with canva. So much fun, but sometimes frustrating too. Happy writing back at ya', Rhonda. Thank you.

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  19. I loved learning about you in your answer. I like Canva too. Your blog has really evolve this last year. Great job. HUGS Juneta

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  20. Being a floral designer had to be have been rewarding. All those beautiful arrangements and great smells--my favorite part of entering a florist shop!

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    1. Right, Clee. Rewarding work being part of such big events in people's lives--weddings, reunions, dances, new baby, and of course funerals. I never get tired of sniffing those floral fragrances.

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  21. You are so much better at canva than I am. It's great that you've found your creativity in writing and can enjoy it. Thanks for co-hosting.

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    1. Aw, shucks, Diane, just like in learning to play tennis or writing, practice makes perfect!

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  22. The flower shop must have been fun. Lots of work, no doubt, especially when you're the boss, but a joyful job.
    Thanks for co-hosting IWSG this month!
    Mary at Play off the Page

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    1. Joyful job, yes. If we just didn't have deadlines to worry about. I mean, you've got to get those flowers delivered to the church on time for the wedding!

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  23. A flower shop - how fun! I didn't get creative with writing again until I was no longer working full time.

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    1. Full time jobs are enough to worry about, I'd say. I admire those who can write with a full time job or have little ones at home.

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  24. Congrats on being short listed! Very please for you. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  25. I love taking photos, too.
    Congratulations on getting short-listed!

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    1. Tyrean, I think photography is also an outlet for our creativity. I should've put something about that in my post. Thanks for your congratulations.

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  26. Most of my photos these days are of my granddaughter. I took a short class on using Canva but I can't say I'm comfortable with it.

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    1. Aw, Susan. No better subject to photograph than grandkids! You have to keep working on canva to make it easier.

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  27. I love photography! A former online friend once commented how much she liked my photos, since unlike a lot of other people, I overwhelmingly take photos of things besides myself. I very rarely appeared in any of the photos on my old website, something which continues.

    Congratulations on making the short list!

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    1. LOL Carrie-Anne--I cannot take a decent selfie. I just laugh at my pic and hit delete! Thanks for your congrats.

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  28. Wow are you a busy lady! Thanks for the links and info on playing with your blog. Someday I'll get around to changing mine up a bit! Thanks so much for co-hosting this month!

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    1. Lisa, I'm glad to know the blog post was helpful to you. YW. Love co-hosting and meeting so many wonderful bloggers.

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  29. Such an interesting past! Clearly creativity has always been your guiding light. Congratulations on the making the "short list" Happy November!

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    1. Diedre--I hate to admit I never planned to be a floral designer. My husband made me do it.LOL. He's the one that wanted the greenhouse business and the shop came with it. That chapter in my memoir is filled with angst about doing the job. Thank you.

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  30. I love Canva too! There's a bit of a learning curve, but after that it's nice and easy. Thanks so much for co-hosting today!

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    1. For sure, S.E. The learning curve is difficult, but it's like learning to play the piano. Keep at it and you'll get it.

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  31. I've always loved photography. I'd love to take a class someday in an attempt to improve my skills there. I love your Halloween picture!

    My mother-in-law used to do floral design, too. She did such beautiful work.

    Congrats on making the short list—and thank you for co-hosting today!

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    1. MJ--I wonder if there are youtube videos on photography. There's gotta be. Everything else is on there! Photofunia is fun to play with hence the cool Halloween pic. Thanks and my pleasure to be a co-host.

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  32. Canva. Something new to explore. You've done an impressive amount of work!

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    1. Try it, CV. Eventually it gets easier to use canva. Thank you!

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  33. I know exactly what it's like to come home from a demanding job with not one ounce of creativity left over, JQ. I'm glad that you can successfully explore writing now. Do I enjoy taking photos? I can hear the groans from anyone who knows me ~ LOL! I have a camera permanently attached to my right hand. Thanks for co-hosting today! Love your carved pumpkins and you!

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    1. Yes, Fundy! Good to know we understand how the job sucks the creativity out of us.My daughter is like you. Her family is good for 2 pics, then groans ensue if she wants more! LOL

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  34. I think creativity is a gift. Like perfect pitch: some people have it; others don't. And for those who do, it comes out in a variety of ways. Floral design or writing or book cover creation - they are all just various outlets for our creativity. I also create book covers, although I could never draw. I use Pixabay as my source of imagery, and then play with the images in Paint.net. It's a free image-manipulating software, and it allows me a lot of creative freedom. Not as much as Photoshop does, but a lot. I don't know Canva at all. Maybe I should start learning it.

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    1. Ok, Olga. You explore canva and I'll try paint.net. Thanks for the tip!

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  35. Thanks for co-hosting this month and for the post I can completely relate to. I wanted to be a journalist in college but the fiction bug was too strong. Glad we both gave in. Canva is on my computer speed dial.

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    1. Nancy, I wanted to go to college for journalism, but girls could only be teachers, secretaries, or nurses at the time. I didn't think I'd ever get a job writing. Thank goodness times have changed. If I were starting over, I'd like to be a photojournalist.

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  36. I've felt the same about working in a creative environment. I work for clients ghost writing and video editing. It zaps me. Thank you for co-hosting!

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    1. Yes, you are flexing your creative muscles daily.

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  37. I like taking photos, too! Especially on sunrises or sunsets. Sometimes they look so eerie! Thank you for co-hosting!

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    1. I love sun rise and sunset too. And the timing has to be right. I don't how that sun can disappear so quickly into Lake Michigan!

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  38. I'm not big on taking pictures. I'm trying to do better, especially during family moments, but mostly I leave it to my wife to remind me. Otherwise I'd never remember until after the event is over!

    Thanks for being this month's IWSG co-host!

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    1. I know how quickly the time goes with family. I have a hard time remembering to grab the camera too, but later, I'm always glad I did. Happy to be a co-host!

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  39. I thought about freelancing to compensate the writing money, but my son cautioned me that could be a creative drain. Maybe it does. I'd hate to lose the love of story writing. It's my happy place!

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    1. I agree with your son. But you meet a lot of interesting folks when doing interviews or business interviews. Plenty of fodder for deveoping fictional characters!

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  40. I love your Hallowe'en photos! I can imagine working in the garden centre used up a lot of creativity. So glad you still have a channel for it. I love your creative posts!

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    1. Thanks, Helena. I enjoyed making flower arrangements. But during Christmas time or Valentines Day. one gets tired of red carnations, red roses and white flowers. Thanks for stopping by.

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  41. You take or make great photos, JQ. Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG question this month. Bravo to you to have so much creativity and publishing contracts and indie publishing. Seriously, I envy you! And so cool that you and your husband owned a florist shop/garden center. Bravo again!
    http://victoriamarielees.blogspot.com

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  42. Thank you, Victoria. Really appreciate your kind words!

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  43. I love your Photofunia picture. Thank you for sharing such a fun tool. I will use it in the future. I'm thankful it doesn't need a ton of creativity because I often lack it. :)

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  44. It's understandable that you had no creativity left after your day job. Good for you, for selling the business and pursuing other talents and interests.

    Yes, I love taking photos, but, since I've been a full-time traveler for almost my whole life, my archives run in the tens of thousands of amazing shots and memories. Unfortunately, I have no time to play around with them. Photography, writing, traveling, translating to make money... all hard to combine when living in a camper van. :-) Thanks for co-hosting!

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  45. Love your Halloween author photo. I've been playing around with Canva as well for marketing images. It's so easy to use - great tool for people who aren't tech savvy like me.

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  46. Making beautiful arrangements with flowers is creative, and I can see how it would be tiring. Writing is creative too, and you do a nice job of it. Taking pictures is one of my favorite things to do. When I take a walk, my camera goes with me. Butterflies, birds, clouds, and other nature are some of my favorite subjects. The camera is creative there.
    Thanks for Co-hosting this month. Have a happy holiday.

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  47. Looks like fun! I like taking and making pictures too, just don't have much time for it. Someday though. Thanks for co-hosting!

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  48. That photo of you made using photofunia looks great. I'm going to try it out too - thanks for the tip. I love taking photographs and have enjoyed reading your blog post with the many tips and teasers for writers.

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  49. That program looks fun! I also enjoy photography, though I drifted away from it for a while there. It's good you're having such a great time with different aspects of your writing!

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  50. Oh the stories I bet you could tell us about your time in the floral industry! Thank you for co-hosting this month. :)

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  51. Hey, JQ. Love the excerpt of your Memoir. Really looking forward to reading it. I tried to vote and my computer wouldn't let because it wasn't a secure site. Really weird, you know. I did share, so hopefully others will be able to. Good luck.

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