Wednesday, September 2, 2020

IWSG September 2020


Hello and good morning (afternoon, evening, dead of night, whatever). How are things in your corner of this brave new world? I woke up with a pit of dread in my gut. My kids are scheduled to enter their school building in two weeks. Yikes.

Image: The Wizard

But before that, they'll start online learning and my youngest has picked the basement as her home school spot and, boy, oh boy, have I got a mess to straighten up down there. You've seen hoarding shows? And my oldest has decided a complete closet makeover including finding the smallest desk possible with drawers, reordering the shelving, and gosh, redoing the lighting would be spiffy and can I please help her get that done by next Thursday. It will be so cool! Uh . . . Sure! No problem. Gulp. 

Step one in these mighty projects? Blog, obviously. 

Thank you, to Alex Cavanaugh for hosting this monthy blog hop where writers can spew forth whatever is one their mind, be it fair or foul. And a big shout out to the co-hosts PJ Colando, J Lenni Dorner, Deniz Bevan, Kim Lajevardi, Natalie Aguirre, and Louise - Fundy Blue!

This month's optional question: If you could choose one author, living or dead, to be your beta partner, who would it be and why?

Picking a dead beta partner would be like querying agents. Getting any sort of feedback would be nothing short of a miracle. Ba-dun-duh. 

Okay, that was a cheap shot. I'd be very tempted to pick Stephen King, just to read his novels waaay before they were ever available to the general public. I'd also be curious to see what his work looks like before his seriously-awesome editor steps in.

King, Stephen - Wolves of the Calla (2004 TPB)
Image: sdobie
What I'm currently rereading.

But that would mean he would see my stuff. Oh, the mediocrity! Well, hopefully not, but it would not be an equal partnership. 

What are the qualities of a great beta partner for you? Do you want someone whose writing skills seem near your level or would you prefer to work with a master-of-the-art?


  1. When my daughter was in high school, she created a desk in a folding door closet (it was deeper than most and had nice reset lights in it). As we are selling in a plan to move, it was suggested we keep that closet that way to show possibilities if the prospective buyer had children. Good luck with the project. I've been telling people I'd like Robert Caro to be a writing partner, but wouldn't want to take him away from finishing his life-work on LJB. Another might be Rick Bragg. I'm sure he has good taste in bourbon.

  2. You would get to see his stuff early though.

    Did you tell your kids that's a lot of work for just a couple weeks?

  3. I don't read his books, but I do wonder what his books would look like before his editor gets to them.

  4. King is a popular choice today.
    Hopefully your schools can stay the course and the kids can go back.

  5. You are not the only one who picked Stephen King. Good luck with school. I would feel nervous about school this year too if my daughter were younger.

  6. You made me giggle with your agent quip. I like Stephen King, he does give great advice (On Writing).

    My kids start online day after labor day and the school district will assess weekly when they'll bring the kids back in. I never considered setting up a desk for my kids, but we have a giant wood-topped ottoman where they keep their laptops so I guess my husband and I figured they're already used to working there so go ahead and keep it that way. Hopefully it doesn't lead to other distractions...

  7. "Picking a dead beta partner would be like querying agents." - LOL. That was a good one.
    Good luck with your kids.
    As for picking Stephen King as your beta - I'd say go for it. He definitely has a lot to teach all of us.

  8. What you ended with made me think of something an art teacher told me one time, that when his father found out his son could sell paintings and was serious about it...the father found him a teacher and said "You learn everything you can in 6 months and at the end of six months I will get you a different teacher." The idea was to maximize his exposure to styles of painting. Most of us as readers have probably done this, but boy it would be cool to 'pick brains' of more than one style of author.

    1. So true. I can think of at least half a dozen I would love to work with.

  9. I imagine you'd learn a lot with King as a beta reader.
    Best of luck getting the kids ready for #school2020.

  10. My heart goes out to you as you deal with your kiddos going back to school. What a mess everything is! Knowing teachers very well, I'm sure they are doing everything within their power to make sure your kiddos are okay. Isn't it fun how different two kiddos in the family can be? Well, maybe not in the middle of things. I picked King. I wouldn't pass up a chance to work with a master!

  11. Oh! I hadn't thought of the opposite -- that I could be a beta reader for the author I chose. I'd love to be able to beta read for Stephen King!

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  13. I can't think of one. But, I prefer someone with master-of-the-art. Appliance Repair Sherwood Park


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