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, April 7, 2021

IWSG, Wild Swans, 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:  PK Hrezo, Pat Garcia, SE White, Lisa Buie Collard, and Diane Burton! 

This month's question isAre you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work?

I've been working on and off on a book for almost 20 years that is radically different from anything I've ever thought about writing. I mean...writing an historical fantasy about Tibet on the eve of the Chinese invasion is pretty different from my usual tropical settings. I've done tons of research and I'm still very attached to the story, and those few who have read it think it's a good story. But will it ever get published? I don't know... I'm currently stalled out with edits and revising. 

I hope everyone had a blessed and happy Easter!

April already... Where did March go? a new roof put on because of damage done to it during the hellacious hail storm of May 2020. 
Got my first COVID vaccine shot - Moderna. 
My sister turned 75, which is just weird... 
And, we lost two greats, Larry McMurtry and Beverly Cleary. But aren't we blessed to have the books they left behind?
Also in March I read Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China...

...the heart-wrenching and horrifying biography by Jung Chang about her, her mother and grandmother who lived through Japanese occupation, WWII, the Chinese civil war, Moa's rise to power and the Cultural Revolution. BLOWN AWAY. I learned a whole lot about what was going on there. I think this is a book high school juniors and/or seniors should read as part of their history classes. I think it's a book everyone should read because how in hot f**k does a leader brainwash and indoctrinate a country of (at the time) nine hundred million people and get them to do the horrific things they did to each other? Because, you see, it wasn't a military force that terrorized the people. It was the people who terrorized the people. It was children who terrorized adults.

"An engrossing record of Mao’s impact on China, an unusual window on the female experience in the modern world, and an inspiring tale of courage and love, Jung Chang describes the extraordinary lives and experiences of her family members: her grandmother, a warlord’s concubine; her mother’s struggles as a young idealistic Communist; and her parents’ experience as members of the Communist elite and their ordeal during the Cultural Revolution. Chang was a Red Guard briefly at the age of fourteen, then worked as a peasant, a “barefoot doctor,” a steelworker, and an electrician. As the story of each generation unfolds, Chang captures in gripping, moving—and ultimately uplifting—detail the cycles of violent drama visited on her own family and millions of others caught in the whirlwind of history."
Being Thankful
Today I'm thankful that I didn't grow up in China in the 1960s. Yes, the 60s were tumultuous and unsettling here in US (three assassinations, riots all over the place...) but I'll take that any day over what was happening in China. 
Today I'm also thankful for the rain we had in March. 
Not a lot, not enough, but at least some.
It's dry here, folks.

What are you thankful for? Every take a risk with your writing? Have you read Wild Swans? Do you have favorite McMurtry of Cleary book?


  1. So, you reminded me that even before Larry McMurtry died I've been wanting to read Lonesome Dove, and perhaps others. And oh, dear Ramona! Glad you got a new roof and it sounds like I better put Wild Swans on my reading list.

  2. Beverly Cleary brings back lots of childhood memories!

  3. I'm thankful I don't live in China now!

    I hope you can one day get that old story where you want it.

  4. The fantasy that you're working on sounds interesting. So glad you got your first vaccine. I got my second one on Saturday. I'm so thankful for that.

  5. Fantasy and Tibet - you have me hooked!

  6. Happy IWSG day, Bish. Wild Swans sounds heart-wrenching. Twenty years, eh? I just found a publisher for a book I first started in 1991. Maybe this is our year? Best of success.

  7. You've got an excellent story. Hope you're sending it out for acquisition, Bish. It's a winner.

  8. Aww, losing Beverly Cleary was a big blow. So many memories of reading her books as a child that I'm not sure I can pick a favorite.

    A fantasy set in Tibet sounds amazing!

  9. It may not be usual, but a historical fantasy about Tibet on the eve of the Chinese invasion sounds interesting to me. :)

    Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China sounds like a fascinating history story. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  10. Keep playing with your Tibet fantasy. Don't give up.

  11. Your WIP sounds really intriguing! Wild Swans sounds amazing. I've been devouring a lot of books about China since I read Red Scarf Girl last year. I was also struck by how the people could so easily turn on each other.

  12. Hi Bish - interesting post ... I must read Wild Swans - not sure if it's here, but if not I'll get it out of the library. I'm glad I was born here ... and I've been fortunate to be able to do what I've done throughout my life.
    Good luck with finishing off your book - it sounds really interesting.
    I've got 1421 The Year China Discovered the World by Gavin Menzies here ... which I must read.
    IWSG is a great group - so much information comes forth which I love - all the best - Hilary

  13. One of my fav movies is Inn of Sixth Happiness (Ingrid Bergman, Curt Jurgens) that takes place in China just prior to WWII, Japanese invasion. I hope you are able to finish your story. It sounds so interesting. Congrats on getting your covid shot. Today is my 2nd week after the 2nd shot. Yay!

  14. I am one of the lucky few that have read a draft of your Tibetan Tale. I loved it then, I love it now and I wish you all the best in getting it finished and out there for others to enjoy!


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!