The Insecure Writer’s Support Group ~ No#119

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time.

The awesome co-hosts for the February posting of the IWSG are: Joylene Nowell Butler, Jacqui Murray, Sandra Cox, and Lee Lowery!

Don’t forget to visit them and thank them for co-hosting!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.
Remember, the question is optional!

February 02nd Question: Is there someone who supported or influenced you that perhaps isn’t around any more? Anyone you miss? 

Here is a list of bloggers/writers who I met online, either through the IWSG or through the A to Z Blogging platform. These are people who date back from 2012. Yikes that’s a decade! I’m still in contact with some of these fine folk while others have disappeared. 

Joy Campbell – an ex-IWSG admin and still a good friend who was one of the first to suggest I publish my flash fiction pieces (which I still haven’t done)

Tara Tyler Robinson – one of my earliest blogging buddies who, at the beginning, was the only one visiting my blog! 

Robyn Campbell – an amazing and bubbly-spirited individual who passed on in 2018 – it was too sudden… a loss of a beautiful soul …we had a future date to meet in Italy, sit on the sidewalk with our scarves blowing in the breeze, sipping on cappuccino… sadly that will not materialize.

Julie Kemp Pick – another supportive blogger with an amazing sense of humour! From time to time, we still visit each other.

PK Hrezo – my sister from another mister! We’ve re-connected.

Lexa Cain – remember she also hosted the Celebrate The Small Things bloghop – not sure what happened to her – I know her hubby fell ill and she had serious domestic challenges and legal battles… then she just went silent.

Elise Fallson – a supportive and good friend who doesn’t blog anymore but I’m still in touch with her via other social media platforms.

Shelly Arkon – with her delightful fur babies Sir Poops-A-Lot and Hairball! She had medical challenges.

Medeia Sharif – a middle grade author who doesn’t blog anymore. I’ve seen her around on other social media platforms.

The Golden Eagle – whatever happened to her? I’m not sure.

Mina Burrows – she blogs sporadically… I pop by her place now and again.

A special shout out to Jeremy Hawkins who we lost on January 03rd – the artist behind the IWSG T-shirt and other IWSG swag.
Do you remember these people? Have I left out anybody?

*        *       *        *        *        *        *

From 2013, I’ve done the Goodreads challenge.
It’s a great accountability tool which helps to sustain a healthy reading habit. I pledged 12 books in the 2022 Goodreads challenge. Not as many as previous years, but the important thing is reading on a regular basis. Are you on Goodreads?


Today I have Shannon Lawrence in the hot seat to answer some questions on her book, which was released yesterday! Congratulations, Shannon!

What draws you to short stories?

We all start with shorter works in school and I loved writing them from the beginning. It wasn’t long before I learned a short story could pack a punch bigger than its word count. Reading stories like “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson or “The Tell-Tale Heart,” by Edgar Allan Poe transported and horrified me. And what about “The Monkey’s Paw,” by W.W. Jacobs, which has been shared in classrooms and online.

What made you write this book?

I wanted to share what I’ve learned, sometimes the hard way, throughout the years and to help others find success with short stories. Also, I wanted to make sure that people who might steer away from short stories thinking they aren’t viable or that they’re too much work aren’t being turned from something they enjoy doing or would enjoy if they tried them.

What are the takeaways you’d like someone to have after reading The Business of Short Stories?

I have a few and will probably think of more after I send you my answer: I want them to know that they can do this. I want them to write what they love, whatever that might be. And I want them to see that there are multiple of ways of doing things and different paths that can be taken.

Shannon’s book, The Business of Short Stories: Writing, Submitting, Publishing, and Marketing releases February 1 (yesterday) in digital and paperback! 

I have to ask: who’s been captured by Wordle? I’m hooked! Every day, I need my fix. It’s highly addictive.

Happy IWSG Day everybody!



  1. joylene on February 2, 2022 at 2:43 pm

    You have an impressive list, Michelle. I bet you’re on a few.

    • Liza on February 2, 2022 at 3:57 pm

      I miss Robin. Such a kind soul in the blogging world. I didn’t know Jeremy but have read so much about his kindness today. I have a list of past blogger friends who have moved on to other things, many of whom I miss to this day.

  2. Patricia Anne Pierce-garcia Schaack on February 2, 2022 at 2:47 pm

    I remember Joy. She was the IWSG Admin when I came on board. I didn’t know Jeremy but I do have my IWSG Tee Shirt. I used to wear it regularly on IWSG Days only. I stop doing that but for no special reason. Got to start doing it again. And yes, I remember Lexa Cain.I participated once or twice in Celebrate the Small Things but life got very busy and I stopped. I don’t know what happened to her.
    Thanks for highlighting Shannon’s book. I preordered and got my copy today.
    Wishing you a great day.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

    • Shannon Lawrence on February 3, 2022 at 1:21 am

      Thank you, Pat! I’ve been thinking about Lexa and hoping she’s okay. There was so much craziness occurring in her life.

  3. Jemi Fraser on February 2, 2022 at 3:03 pm

    Congrats to Shannon! I’ve always focused on longer stories, but the shorts definitely intrigue me!

    I know several of the names on your list, Michelle, and I miss them as well.

    • Shannon Lawrence on February 3, 2022 at 1:22 am

      Thank you, Jemi! You’re great at the long form. We should all enjoy what we’re good at!

  4. Alex J. Cavanaugh on February 2, 2022 at 3:41 pm

    Congratulations, Shannon!
    Some of those people have indeed vanished.
    We also lost Tina Downey many years ago. I still miss her.

    • Shannon Lawrence on February 3, 2022 at 1:23 am

      I miss Tina, too. I’m sad we were never able to work out an in-person get together.

  5. Annalisa Crawford on February 2, 2022 at 5:38 pm

    How wonderful to see your list of blogger friends, many I recognise myself. It’s sad if people disappear and we never really know why.

    It’s fantastic to see Shannon’s book flying around the blogosphere!

    • Shannon Lawrence on February 3, 2022 at 1:24 am

      Thank you!

      It’s definitely sad when they disappear and we have no real way of finding out what happened.

  6. L. Diane Wolfe on February 2, 2022 at 5:40 pm

    Lexa’s husband died and she was struggling due to her own limitations. Sadly, I’ve not heard a word from her in 4+ years.

  7. Loni A Townsend on February 2, 2022 at 5:51 pm

    I’ve wondered about Lexa too after she disappeared. I do hope she’s alright.

    Grats to Shannon and the new release!

    • Shannon Lawrence on February 3, 2022 at 1:25 am

      Thank you!

      It’s sad to see no one has an update on Lexa. The last I knew, she was struggling with her husband’s family over her rights in Egypt. I hope that got resolved.

  8. Natalie Aguirre on February 2, 2022 at 6:04 pm

    Loved seeing the bloggers who have supported you over the years. I’ve known many of them too and others who I’m sad to have lost contact with after they stopped blogging.

  9. Cheryl McKenzie on February 2, 2022 at 6:52 pm

    I loved your list of supportive people!

    Shannon’s book will be very well received by the writing community. I have no doubt about that.

  10. Anna on February 2, 2022 at 7:16 pm

    The book looks great, Can’t wait to get it.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  11. Mary Aalgaard on February 2, 2022 at 8:49 pm

    I also had a connection with Robyn Campbell. We sent each other virtual chocolate. You have a great list there, and are a wonderful supportive blogger friend to me!

  12. Carol Kilgore on February 2, 2022 at 8:54 pm

    I love meeting people in the blogging community. Almost everyone is supportive in one way or another. I have a lot of friends here. Shannon’s book sounds interesting. When I decided to get serious about writing fiction, I started with short mystery stories. The first story I published won an award, and I was hooked.

    • Shannon Lawrence on February 3, 2022 at 1:34 am

      Thanks! That’s definitely a great start. Of course, I enjoy your books, but I’ve never had the opportunity to read one of your short stories.

  13. Shannon Lawrence on February 3, 2022 at 1:36 am

    Thank you for having me today, Michelle! This post is bittersweet, with so many people that have disappeared. I’m glad we can be in contact with some of them via Facebook.

  14. Damyanti Biswas on February 3, 2022 at 4:55 am

    So many on your list are such familiar names, Michelle. J L Campbell or Joy w s on one of my first blogging friends, as are you. I have been in touch with some of the others, but not all. So sad not to have an update on Lexa, hope she’s well wherever she is. Same goes for Golden Eagle.

    I’m so pleased we’re still in touch, Michelle, and are featuring another of my oldest blogging friends, Shannon! Congratulations, Shannon, I’m off to get me the book, and to recommend it to absolutely everyone!

  15. Louise (Fundy Blue) on February 3, 2022 at 9:29 am

    Seeing the names of all the IWSG and A-Z people who impacted you, Michelle, was heartwarming! I need to get Shannon’s book! I hope you had a fun IWSG Day. Take care.

  16. Hilary Melton-Butcher on February 3, 2022 at 9:41 am

    Hi Michelle – thanks for listing so many we’ve lost or have just disappeared … I remember Tina sadly, as too Jo … and then Robin … blogging friends keep us going. Shannon’s new book looks to be really interesting and I’m sure will peak many an author’s thoughts to learn and understand more about short story writing. All the best to you for this coming year – cheers Hilary

  17. M.J. Fifield on February 3, 2022 at 4:08 pm

    I’ve never had much success writing short stories. They alway seem to expand into much longer works.

    Congratulations to Shannon on her new book!

    • Shannon Lawrence on February 3, 2022 at 11:59 pm

      Thank you, M.J.! A lot of people run into that issue.

  18. H. R. Sinclair on February 3, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    I remember many of those you mentioned and I miss them too.

    Congratulations to Shannon.

  19. Patricia Josephine on February 3, 2022 at 9:54 pm

    I now a few of those people on your list. Lexa I’ve often wondered about as well.

  20. Heidi Angell on February 4, 2022 at 8:53 pm

    That is a great list. It is always sad to lose touch with folks, but I’ve noticed a lot of people kind of come and go in writing circles as they try to find what works for them. Some leave writing entirely, others leave and come back (guilty!) and some leave us for a better place, as Jeremy did.

    But for the time we are here, let’s work to lift each other up and keep growing together.

  21. Michelle Wallace on February 12, 2022 at 2:43 pm

    Thank you to everybody who visited and left a comment!

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