Wednesday, December 6, 2023

IWSG & Reviews

 The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.

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Purpose: 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!  


December 6 question: Book reviews are for the readers. When you leave a book reviews do you review for the Reader or the Author? Is it about what you liked and enjoyed about your reading experience, or do you critique the author?

Before I became an author, I never reviewed a book (or anything else). I had no idea how important those reviews could be.

Now, I always review books I enjoy. Life is short, and if I'm not enjoying a book, I don't finish it, and don't see any point in reviewing. Just because I didn't enjoy a book, doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it - it's just not for me.

I leave reviews for the author first, but also for the reader. I talk about the things I enjoyed in the book, hoping that those reviews will help both the author and new readers.

How about you? Do you leave reviews? Do you read reviews to help you decide what to read?

Monday, December 4, 2023


Lora stared at her computer screen and sighed. Her English teacher was an old crackpot and this assignment was the worst.

Imagine you are your grandparent’s age. What is your favourite movie? Why?

Lora was sixteen. How was she supposed to imagine herself as an old lady?

Lora had never known her parents and the great people who’d adopted her hadn’t had any living relatives. And they’d been killed by a jerk texting and driving. Now she was stuck in a group foster home and supposed to think like grandparents she never knew anything about.

But she needed top grades if she was going to get scholarships. Foster kids didn’t have money for college and she wanted to get a degree. She wanted to make sure she always had a job and a home. Ditching even one assignment could jeopardize that.

At least she had the internet. Most people probably had favorite movies from when they were kids. She searched popular movies from the sixties and seventies, hoping something there wouldn’t be incredibly lame.

A couple of the movies surprised her. She hadn’t realized Jaws and Star Wars and Grease were so ancient. Would an older lady like one of them?

Lora had seen Star Wars before and she liked it. Her adopted dad had been a huge sci-fi fan and she’d seen the whole series of movies at least once.

The foster home had some streaming so she pulled up the original movie and watched it again. She hated crying, but couldn’t stop the tears as she remembered sitting with Jane and Rick watching the movie. Jane used to tease him that he wanted to be a swashbuckler like Han Solo. He’d tease right back saying Jane was strong enough to be a leader like Leia.

Right now, Lora felt a little like Luke who was also an orphan and then he’d lost his aunt and uncle too.

As she watched, Lora kept notes for what the movie was about. For what an older person might like.

The underdog winning.

Dealing with losing your family.

Wanting to have a bigger life.

Wanting to be the best.

Wanting to help your friends and your people.


Good versus evil.

Accepting people for who they were, not what species they were from.

Would an older lady like all that? Would she still remember the movie?

Lora wished she had some experience with older people. Crackpot should have thought of that before making the assignment. Not everyone had access to generations of family.

Eventually, she wiped her tears and started to write her essay.

The knock on the door startled her. The lady in charge of the night shift at the home opened her bedroom door with a smile. “Hey Lora. It’s late. You okay?”

She wiped her face again before turning around. Eesha was always nice to everyone and she didn’t want her to think anything was wrong. “I’m okay. Just finishing up an essay.”

Eesha laughed softly. “You always work so hard, Lora. I can’t wait to see what you accomplish in the future. No matter what you choose, you’re going to be a star. Keep an eye on the time, it’s a school day tomorrow.”

Lora nodded and looked back at her screen, at her final line.

Star Wars might be an old movie, but it’s one that people might still be watching in another fifty years. We always want to see the little guys win.

Lora saved her work and turned off the computer. When she crawled into bed, she decided she was going to be one of those little guys who won.


Tagline: Everyone loves an underdog


I've loved Star Wars from the first moment I watched it in the theatre. Because of its setting and its message, it doesn't surprise me that the franchise continues to grow and thrive. George Lucas created an amazing view of the past with these stories.

If you've come from the WEP site, you already know that this will be the last WEP Challenge.

It's been an honour to work with the team over the past couple of years. Denise, Renée, Nila, Laura, Olga, and Sonia are amazing people with a passion for stories. Thank you to every one of you for everything you've done for this writing community.

To our challenge participants, it's been a privilege to read your stories for these challenges. I've learned a lot from all of you and I thank you for sharing your words with us. I look forward to reading your words in the future too.


Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season with warmth and love and family and magic. Take care of yourselves and each other!