IWSG – August 2022 – Haunted

Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh created IWSG — because Alex understands we need a place to congregate, insecurity is part of our creative nature, and together we’re stronger.

On the first Wednesday of each month, you can write on any subject related to your writing journey or adopt the option of answering the month’s question. Either way, you’re in safe territory.

If this sounds good to you, sign up here.

IWSG’s Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and the hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, a specific question is offered, which may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or a story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you struggle with something to say.

Remember, the question is optional!

August 3 question – When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original, or do you try to give readers what they want?

The awesome co-hosts for the August 3 posting of the IWSG are Tara Tyler, Lisa Buie Collard, Loni Townsend, and Lee Lowery!

My characters are the catalyst behind my first draft. (What!) Okay, that’s not entirely true. It’s more about me being haunted by these “characters.”  I was going to write “forces,” but that’s too eerie, and I’m not delusional. I know they aren’t real. (truly). They’re figments of my imagination. The reason I write the book.

While we’re on the subject: I was tested and I am a Pantser. A haunted Pantser. But also someone who spends a lot of time with her characters before ever writing a word. Freud would have had so much fun with me.

I’m mentioning all this because I can’t remember ever being this busy; (this is ludicrous — I raised five boys) consequently, I believe I may be rambling. A lot.

I’ve been working all summer on the landscape surrounding our RV, helping with our utility hookups, and to top that off, I’m preparing for a giant garage sale.

Why? (I keep asking myself)

Because we moved from a 2700 sq ft home five years ago and placed the remainder of our belongings into two 40′ c-cans on our property across the road, where we are now. And there is no way I’m getting much more than the basics inside an RV.

This is “not” why I’m adopting a minimalist lifestyle. Have you read The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning?
Our new abode:
Our old abode:

The work never seems to be done. We plan to construct a 12′ deck (4′ extending past the awning) for as much outdoor living as possible. I wouldn’t be surprised if we screen in the deck at some point and maybe a surrounding deck.

A month ago we were surrounded by dirt.

What does all this have to do with this month’s question?


As soon as I catch my breath, I will finish my WIP so my protagonist will leave me be.

Comments 11

  1. I was hoping you’d have a property update! Your place looks amazing, and I’m impressed at that level of downsizing. Whenever we move, we say we’re going to downsize, but we hardly ever really do. I’d love to know what motivated you to take this step–maybe fodder for a future post when you have more time?

  2. I love the honesty and freshness you bring to your IWSG answers. I certainly understand you a bit better.

    You guys are making great progress with you new RV nest. My golly, the massive work that went into converting two 40′ c-cans into huge storage units.

    We are in the process of de-cluttering our condo so I fully understand why you asked if we had read, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning. I just downloaded it to Audio Books. Now to listen and take action.

  3. I’m always in awe of your downsizing, Joylene. It’s such a cool and brave thing to do. I also totally understand your approach to writing. It’s far more in sync with my outlook on writing than to tailor one’s creativity to fit whatever trend is trending!

  4. Haunted by characters! YES! That is exactly what they do. All that moaning and whining and yammering at the most inconvenient times. But I love it when I’m in their world.

    I did a major clean out three years ago. It is amazing how much easier it is to breathe without all that “stuff” taking up oxygen.

  5. Wow! You’re making great progress with your home work… (Ha! Get it?)

    I’m like you with characters inhabiting my brain for a long time. Derek–my red-haired main character–has been paying word rent for the past twenty-five years. And he still has three more books I need to write after I finish the one I’ve been working on for a decade.

    Hope your home building continues to go well!

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