IWSG and What’s Up Wednesday

My Horny Hump Day post is here.


It’s time for the monthly meeting of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, where writers share insecurities, doubts, and concerns.

It’s been awhile since I’ve entered any contests, and have even let a number of potentially good ones slip by. In the past, I frequently entered contests, often making sure to get the entry perfect before submitting or stressing out that the deadline was coming. That’s not to say that I’ll never take part in a contest again, just that I think my energies should be focused elsewhere. It was obvious I was always in a tiny minority of contestants writing historical, and in a rather small minority using third-person and with more complex, slower-paced, character-driven plots.

It would be awesome if I did find an agent, but based on the types of things I write, and my own personality and creative style, a small publisher or e-publishing seems the best match. Given my age (already 34, if you count my recent Hebrew birthday over my upcoming English birthday), how long I’ve been writing, and how many people have praised my strong writing ability and captivating stories and characters, it doesn’t seem fruitful to play the rat race game of hoping to win approval from above.

I don’t write to trends. I write in a style I’m used to reading—long, slower-paced, third-person omniscient, character-based instead of plot-centric, literary, big casts of characters, more about growth, change, and experiencing life than built around some three-act structure. I was born out of my time, and don’t wish to conform to modern tastes when they’re not my natural style. The mechanics of my writing have changed and matured a great deal, but the underlying style and voice are still the same at heart.


What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly hop/meme with four simple headings. Anyone can write a post and add the link to Jaime’s blog.

What I’m Writing

I’ve finished up the last major work for this semester, and now only have a two-page speaker summary and final citation and quote on modern academic librarianship to type up. I have upcoming studying for the math GRE to do, but I’ll have significantly more time freed up for fiction writing until the new semester starts in late January. The last paper I’ve gotten back earned a 95. When the professor was mentioning things that stuck out from our papers, he said it was very powerful and graphic how my intro paragraph said the academic research library shouldn’t be declared as dead as foot-binding or twilight sleep.

I’m up to 533,800 words in my WIP, still Chapter 68, and really hoping I can finish up without going over 600K. Must of the rest of Part III is going to be pretty history-heavy, so writing will need commingled with research. Over the summer, I found three timeline coffeetable books for $9.98 each at Barnes and Noble—one on the Third Reich, one on the European Theatre, and one on the Pacific Theatre. I also have much-thicker coffeetable encyclopedia on WWII and the Shoah for historical consultation.

My two Marines have just left for basic training in San Diego in April 1942. For awhile, I’ve been looking up information on amputation, adjusting to life as an amputee, etc., in preparation for writing future chapters where one of my Marines loses his right arm at Saipan and needs to adjust to this traumatic, unalterable event. I’ve already got much of the chapter “Semper Fi” memorised in my head, when my Marines come home in Autumn 1944 after their injuries. In the case of this chapter, the Semper Fi refers to how their wives and young children are forever faithful.

What I’m Reading

Still no time to read much else but articles for classes.

What Inspires Me

Friday, 29 November, was George Harrison’s 12th Jahrzeit. I listened to his music all day. He had such a beautiful, pure, sincere heart and soul. His final words say it all about what type of person he was, what he valued most: “Everything else can wait, but the search for God cannot wait, and love one another.”

What Else I’m Up To



I set off the smoke detector five times while making these latkes from a mix in a box that was about three years old. They were quite edible, if a bit crumbly at times.


Tabouleh from a boxed mix that was even older than the latkes. I took a number of photos of each step of making it, and some close-ups of the texture. All you do is add water, allow to sit for 25-30 minutes, add tomatoes, lemon or lime juice, and olive oil, and then refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. It’s amazing how much this little bag produced!


The chocolate chanukiyah from a chocolate-themed Chanukah party I went to on Sunday afternoon. I take so many pictures of my Chanukah candles, in various angles and states of burning, that it’s almost obsessive. I might save some of the best ones for a separate future post.

Once I have an 8-by-8 pan and some peanut butter cups, I’m going to whip up this divine no-bake chocolate peanut butter fudge recipe, substituting my vegan butter and vanilla almond milk. I’ve certainly never starved without meat and after severely limiting my dairy intake! If Hanukkah Harry brings me a blender, I’ll be able to start making my own hummus, tahini, smoothies, nut butters, nut cheeses, and all sorts of other vegan goodies from my cookbooks.


7 thoughts on “IWSG and What’s Up Wednesday

  1. I know what you mean about the agent search, I felt the same way and as I was already in my 40s when I started I didn’t think I had the time or perseverance to keep trying with that. I’ve had a great experience with my small press so far. Good luck with whatever route you decide to take! Great to meet you through the IWSG.


  2. Happy Chanukah!

    Congratulations on the amazing grade! You deserve it after all the hard work you put in.

    I found trying to write solely to find an agent completely stifled me. Write for you first, and everything else comes later.

    Have a great week!


  3. It’s great that you’re comfortable with how you write, because some people change their style and it comes off as artificial. You will find that publisher one day.

    That food looks yummy.


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