Wednesday, 2 February 2022

IWSG February 2022

Rolling into February and it's time once again for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, the monthly event where we get to share fears and insecurities in a judgement-free zone. Hosted as always by Alex J. Cavanaugh, today's co-hosts are Joylene Nowell ButlerJacqui MurraySandra Cox and Lee Lowery.

This month's optional IWSG question is: Is there someone who supported or influenced you that perhaps isn't around anymore? Anyone you miss?

Ahh, this could get emotional, so I'll keep it brief. I have two nominees. One is my stepson Andrew, who many of you will remember. He had an infectious enthusiasm for life and a fearless willingness to take on anything, despite the challenges he faced, and I try to keep that spirit with me at all times. Many members of this group kindly contributed to the anthology of stories I published as part of the drive to send Andrew to a specialist college - perhaps you were among them.


My second nominee is the late great Terry Pratchett, an incalculable influence on my own writing. I started reading his work at the age of eight and never looked back! Pratchett's strength lay in reflecting the full gamut of human experience and emotions, even when the characters weren't human and lived on another world. All delivered with a mischievous twinkle in the eye. He was also a master of the mash-up, breaking boundaries and combining genres such as sci-fi, fantasy, thriller and mythology. I could go on and on, but I'll finish by encouraging you to pick up one or two of his books. There are dozens to choose from, and you can't go wrong.

So what else is happening? I'm continuing to query, and trying to send submissions to a few more agents and publishers each week. I've hit 10,000 words on my new WIP, which feels like it's starting to get into its stride now, and I'll shortly start prepping the final part of my trilogy for release. So plenty to keep me going.

I'll finish on a musical recommendation, which I don't often give, but this week I've been really enjoying Cult Leader Tactics, the new album by Paul Draper (former frontman of Mansun, who were another big influence on me, just in terms of creativity). Any fan of 80s electropop with a modern twist should love this album. It's packed with his trademark dry wit and tongue-in-cheek humour, but the song in the video strikes a more emotive note, with a powerful chorus about being unable to reach someone during lockdown. It feature Steven Wilson (the guy in the little handheld device), a name that prog rock fans might know. Check it out!


And of course, don't forget to check out the other IWSG entrants here!

21 comments:

Patsy said...

My grandparents never saw any of my work published, but they always encouraged me and I know they'd have been proud.

Good luck with the queries.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nick - I remember Andrew and was inspired by him and his story - as to you and the family for encouraging him along. The blogging group are the people who keep encouraging me with their comments - I can't see me doing anything but write blog posts ... who knows though? Good luck with the querying you're doing and all the best for the coming year - cheers Hilary

Liza said...

I remember reading about Andrew...and know the loss was unspeakable. Wishing you query success. Trying to challenge myself to send out more...stopped all activity over the holidays and have yet to pick it back up. Best to you, Nick.

Natalie Aguirre said...

That's great your stepson was such an inspiration to you. His loss must be really hard to deal with.

It's great that you're continuing to query and make progress on your manuscript.

Sandra Cox said...

I'm so sorry for your loss and happy that you have special memories of your stepson.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I certainly remember Andrew and the book you made for him.
Keep writing and querying.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Goodluck with your querying process Nick. Fingers crossed for you.

Patricia Josephine aka Patricia Lynne said...

I didn't know about your stepson. That must have happened before I met you. Sorry to hear about him, though.

Melissa said...

My heart aches for you. You must miss Andrew so much.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'm so sorry about Andrew. Keep his spirit alive.

cleemckenzie said...

Terry Pratchett must have been a tremendous influence. His writing is amazing.

Thanks for the music. It may be a departure for you, but it was great.

kjmckendry said...

Nick, I remember the day we sent balloons into the sky around the world for Andrew!

Liz A. said...

Sad that your stepson isn't around any more. A very nice tribute to him.

Mark said...

I always feel that those who have left us have also really never left us, and I use my writing as a way to stay in touch :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

It's so inspiring how you hold Andrew's spirit close and put it into your drive to write. You sound very busy with your writing.

J Lenni Dorner said...

Hope you had a good IWSG day! An anthology is a great way to honor someone.
I was under the weather earlier this week (not the C👾vid, don't worry), but I'm much improved now.
I've been scheduling debut author interviews at Operation Awesome. If you know one, please tell them to reach out to me.
Over at the a-to-z challenge, plans are hatching for April 2022, including a big event this month (starts Feb 4).
Plus, WEP has the "All You Need is Love" flash fiction challenge on February 16 - 18. I hope I can come up with something.
Quote for February: “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” -John Bunyan

Damyanti Biswas said...

Hi Nick, I certainly remember Andrew, and was inspired by his story.

If you think I can help with the query, please email me. I have done a bunch of them last year, and managed to land several offers of rep.

Take care of you!

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Terry Pratchett's writing is fabulous. I especially love his lesser known Trucker series.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I was among the contributors. I remember Andrew. He was an inspiration. Hugs.

Sandra Cox said...

Congrats on hitting 10K and good luck with the send outs:)

Sherry Ellis said...

I remember Andrew and the anthology you wrote. So hard to lose someone so special. Hugs!