Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

IWSG, In the Spotlight, Being Thankful

Posting the First Wednesday of every month, the Insecure
Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.

Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.

Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts: Jacqui Murray, Lisa Buie-Collard, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, and Shannon Lawrence!

This month's question is: Other than the obvious holiday traditions, have you ever included any personal or family traditions/customs in your stories?

Not that I can recall.

Now on to other things. 

I am the featured In the Spotlight author on the IWSG Anthology Blog and I'm sharing here, what I wrote for the blog.
When I saw what the theme for this anthology was going to be and that it was for middle graders, I knew immediately the story I needed to tell.

Because my family has lived between Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands for over hundred years and because I was raised in the VI, most of my stories have a strong Caribbean flavor. For research purposes I have a small collection of books about the islands. One of those books, by Isidor Paiewonsky, is Eyewitness Accounts of Slavery in the Danish West Indies also Graphic Tales of Other Slave Happenings on Ships and Plantations. It was in this book that I read excerpts from the journal of a twelve-year-old boy named Jacques B. Romaigne.

Jacques’ story haunted me for years. He lingered behind a near opaque curtain which he pulled aside from time to time, casting ghostly shadows across my mind, reminding me he was still there and that he wanted his story told. Finally I gave in and wrote, “The Blind Ship.”

I tried peddling it around to various children’s magazines, but no one was interested. I knew my writing wasn’t the problem so my guess is that it was too dark and serious. Whatever the reason, his story has languished in my files for a good 15 years, yet in all that time, Jacques has never left me.

Now, at last, he has come out of from behind the curtains, and his story can be told.

At last we are on our way, He wrote a few days later. Le Rôdeur is 200 tons and we now have on board 160 Negro slaves.

Jacques reread his words. He had already commented on the fair weather carrying him toward the Caribbean. He tried not to think about what lay in the close dank, dark quarters of the hold. It was enough that he could hear their muffled moans and cries through the decking.

He took up his quill and continued writing.

I know you will miss me while you tarry in France, but Father needs me on the plantation. Besides, I long to see the green hills of Guadeloupe and the blue waters of the bays. Take heart, Mother, soon you will follow and we will be together once again.

At dinner a few days later, M. Gagne and Captain Boucher spoke of shipboard issues. Jacques, as a paying passenger, ate with the men. They talked over his head, as if he wasn’t there.

“The slaves have brought ophthalmia on board with them,” said M. Gagne.

“Ophthalmia?” asked Jacques. “What is that?”

“An eye disease that causes blindness.” said M. Gagne. “At worst the blindness is permanent. Most often, if treated properly, vision will return, though in some cases one’s sight will be permanently impaired.”

“How bad?” asked Captain Boucher.

“It is spreading at a frightful rate. There are already more than I can manage.”
The release date for VOYAGERS: The Third Ghost 
is May 5, 2020,
but purchase links are available,
and you can preorder a copy now.

Print 9781939844729 $13.95
EBook 9781939844736 $4.99
Juvenile Fiction - Historical / Action & Adventure / Fantasy & Magic
Dancing Lemur Press/Freedom Fox Press

Amazon - Print

Barnes & Noble -

ITunes -

Kobo -

You can check out an interview with me on C. Lee McKenzie's blog HERE.

Being Thankful

Today I'm thankful for the rain we got.

What are you thankful for? Have you ever included family traditions or customs in any of your stories? If you haven't checked out the other anthology authors who have been featured on In the Spotlight, drop what you're doing and go over there RIGHT NOW! 


  1. That's great that your story was able to find a home in the anthology!

  2. I'm so glad to know that your Jacques came out of hiding. Congratulations again for being included in the anthology.

  3. 15 years was long enough for him to hide.

    1. Yes it is. It seems both of us were patient enough to wait for the perfect time.

  4. Congratulations.

  5. Congrats! Your IWSG post is so short. :D

    1. LOL! I usually try to make them much shorter.

  6. Awesome, Congratulations! I can't wait to read the rest of the story. I love how you followed through on a story you knew had to be told, even as it took a while to find a home! Gives hope to all those stories that languish without a home, all writers have them!

    1. I agree. There are always stories that get put on hold but that you know are worthy of being published.

  7. I love the tease. I think your writing is fabulous and can't wait to read more. Congratulations, Bish. And thanks for inspiring me.

  8. I'm glad we had the perfect theme for your story!

  9. I loved The Blind Ship. It was one of my favourites.

  10. One of the greatest things about being a writer is the chance we have of telling other people's stories when they can't. Great job, Bish!

  11. I'm glad you found a home for Jacques’ story.

  12. So glad your story got told. I'm excited for the anthology.

  13. Nice concise answer, Bish. Well done!

  14. I love the excerpt, Bish. This will be a great anthology.

    1. Yes, I think it will, Carol. Can't go wrong with kitlit.

  15. that was scary and well done. thanks for sharing it, and congrats on being in the anthology!

    also wanted to say thanks for stopping by my Beast World campaign at Alex’s

    Tara Tyler Talks

  16. *scary in how it’s reminiscent of past historic atrocities, as well as the virus going around!


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!