Wednesday, March 1, 2023

IWSG and What's Coming in March?

It's IWSG time! This is one of my favorite days of the month, since it's not only a chance to write about writing, but it reminds me to step back from the hectic of the every day and check in on all those authors and writers I've gotten to know over the years. Yep, IWSG is a super group of people, and I can't express enough how lucky I feel to have come across them years ago.

The IWSG was founded by the amazing Alex J. Cavanaugh as a place for like-minded to come together, vent, celebrate, ask for advice, give some tips, or whatever else might need to be done to ease the world of writing dreams. It's grown by leaps and bounds, and is worth checking out if you don't know about it already. Just click on the image, and you can learn more.

I'm excited to co-host this month along with Diedre Knight, Bish Denham, Olga Godim, and JQ Rose.
Go ahead and pay them a visit, too, because you won't regret it.

This month's question caught me a little bit by surprise.

Have you ever read a line in novel or a clever plot twist that caused you to have author envy?

I'd never thought about this before. So, I sat down and...well, thought...and considered...and contemplated...

I have to honestly say no. I've never envied another author for something they've written. 

I have been amazed at what other authors produce. There have been phrases, descriptions, thoughts, and plots, which have blown me away and left me thinking for days. I even have a few, which I'll never forget and have inspired my views on life. But envy? Nope.

Do I sometimes wish I had a huge list of best sellers under my belt? Sure. Do I wonder whether I have even a smidgen of talent? Constantly. Do I dream of coming up with something amazing, too? Of course.

But I don't want someone else's words, their stories, nor their talent. My writing comes from me, whether good or bad or somewhere in between. If I had someone else's abilities, it would no longer be mine. And what fun would that be?

Also, I finally met a huge writing goal yesterday! I've found myself in a writer's hole for a few years, plugging away at stories, here and there, without ever really getting anywhere. The last three days, I sat down and made myself write a 4,000-word, complete short story. Beginning to end. My inner-editor wasn't allowed to say a peep the entire time. Is this 1st draft great? Not even close, but it's done and that's all I wanted. (Twenty runs through the editing machine do wonders.)

Now, that I've figured out how to keep that inner-editor tied down, I'm off to finish more!

What about you? Suffer from author envy, at times? Do you have an over-zealous inner-editor, too? Ready to take on the world with your next manuscript? Or are you still story dreaming?


Welcome to March, and what a crazy month this might be! The publishing world is tipsy-turvy-all-over-the-place. Honestly, scheduling seems to have become a huge juggling act as release dates slide around constantly or mail services do their own weird things (what's up with that, anyway?). I wish I could show you guys how scribbled, scratched, and rewritten my February calendar was...and I've already had to reorganize March already 3 times! So, this 'glimpse' I give every month is really just a possible peek into what I might dive into. But I'm all about keeping life a surprise.

Like last month, genres run in very diverse directions—dystopian, contemporary, humor, history, fantasy, holiday, languages, paranormal...yep, it's going to be a colorful. So, let's just take a deep breath and see what might be coming up next.


This one will be for those emotional fans out there. It centers around a girl's attempts to deal with her mother's life threatening health issues, while staying at her grandparents. It involves raising baby birds and finding friends. So, it's a tissue box read, I'm guessing. We'll find out, though, on the 2nd.

Middle Grade Contemporary


This is the last novel in the trilogy...and guess what? I've actually read the first two books! It's been a little while since the 2nd came out, but if I remember right, this one reminded a tiny bit of The City of Ember but with a more Divergent atmosphere. I'm looking forward to closing this tale off and will be sharing my thoughts on its release day, the 6th.

Young Adult Dystopian


This is the, at least, I'm pretty sure it a set of books about superheroes. And guess what? I've actually read them! So far, I've found these to be a fun mix. When I discovered a new one is hitting the shelves soon, of course I was thrilled to get in an early peek. Find out more with me on the 9th.

Picture Book

Space fans are, hopefully, in for a treat with this new series. It centers around a boy, who's been accepted into a (fictional) NASA program to prepare for traveling to the moon. The child who finishes the best will win the chance to be aboard the next launch. There is supposedly quite a few obstacles to overcome, unexpected twists and turns, and a touching ending. We'll find out on the 11th.

Middle Grade Science Fiction


I'm not exactly sure what to expect with this one. It's about a mouse, a pencil, and the adventures that leads to. I'm betting this one will harbor humor, creativity and, mostly, fun. Take a peek with me on the 13th.

Picture Book


Not only did I find the cover inviting, but the blurb had me more than curious. A girl find something floating in her drink and just wants an apology from the company, but the entire thing soon explodes in unexpected if the rest of her life wasn't difficult enough already. I'm expecting an original read with lots of fun twists. find out if it does just that with me on the 17th.

Young Adult Contemporary


This is 1 of 4 board books in a series, whose purpose it is to help begin teaching children the basics of the Tiwa language, an Indigenous unwritten language from the Tiwa culture. Obviously, this is a pretty specific topic, but my curiosity was peaked, and I wanted to see what this entails. Join me on the 20th to find out more.

Board Book Nonfiction

Isn't the cover gorgeous? That's not the only thing which caught my attention. The author is pretty well-known, and this is her latest edition to her already impressive list. The quick blurb: This is a gender-swapped Sleeping Beauty in a society on the verge of collapse. It appears to hold tons of mystery, dangerous secrets, and a high-tension, ticking countdown. Join me on the 25th to learn more.

Young Adult Fantasy


This one struck my interest not only because it's a mystery (I do love a good mystery for younger readers!), but it's also a Level 3 reader and that in graphic novel form, too. So, this one could pack tons of interesting aspects to keep especially reluctant readers in the pages. Let's find out if it's as grabbing as I hope it will be on the 29th!

Chapter Book Mystery / Graphic Novel


This isn't my first time hitting a work from this author, and it's always been a treat. This book is the first in a new series, which is sold as Sailor Moon meets Cinder. So, I had to take a peek. I have very high expectations for this that a good thing? We'll find out on the 28th!

Young Adult Fantasy

Every month, I have more books on my TB-reviewed stack then my schedule allows. Since the publishing world is an unpredictable realm, I end up changing my plans, scooting reads around, or simply have dates suddenly open up. That's when I grab one of these stacked books, and, of course, it's one which I really hope to get to, no matter what. I just can't tell anyone when that might be.


This one greets from...I want to say Sweden, but I'm not quite sure where. Anyway, the original title is Nattkorpen (which almost sounds Dutch to me), and the mystery series has become quite popular. Not only is this, now, the English translation, but the film rights were just purchased last September. So, I'm more than a little curious about this one and am expecting quite the read!

Middle Grade Mystery


Sonia dogra said...

Hello! Thank you for co-hosting.I am on the same page as you. Envy.. no, inspiration and admiration .. tons!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Well done! You finished a story.
I don't really have envy either.
Thanks for co-hosting today.

Liza said...

Congratulations on getting your short story drafted! I agree. Envy is too strong a word. I am delighted when I read a book that surprises me. I have respect for the author and I admire them. With luck, I learn from them. Thank you for co-hosting IWSG this month.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

You need to dig out of that hole because I guarantee Music Boxes was not a one-and-done or a fluke.

Adrienne Reiter said...

Congrats on reaching such an impressive writing goal! I don't think envy is the right word for it, but I appreciate the work of others. Thank you for co-hosting!

Pat Garcia said...

I am right with you. I don't envy other authors. In fact, some of those authors help me get out of a writer's blockage when I am experiencing one. I can read one of their books and the blockage goes away.
Thank you for co-hosting.
Shalom shalom

Nancy Gideon said...

You're right. Envy isn't the right word. It's admire.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Congrats on your short story! Keep it up!

I haven't been writing much because my life has suddenly gotten extremely busy. I hope to get back to my WIP some day.

Thank you for co-hosting!

Beth Camp said...

I appreciate your digging into this month's IWSG question in a way that leads to affirming who you are as a writer -- unique, talented, and persevering in your own style. Yes, we can admire and be inspired by others, and we are. Your take shows the journey we're all on. Congrats on getting that internal editor to quieten, so you can write!

Natalie Aguirre said...

That's great you got so much writing done these last few days. I never thought of envying other writers either. I appreciate their talent.

cleemckenzie said...

Congrats on the story, Tonja! And great co-host post today.

Computer Tutor said...

Good answer and I definitely see your point. This IWSG question seems to have as many on both sides--a tad unusual for the question. I love that.

Loni Townsend said...

Grats on the short story! That's awesome!

And thanks for co-hosting!

diedre Knight said...

Wow! Awesome post. And I really appreciate the list of children's literature.
Congratulations on finishing your draft.
Rather than envy, I like to think in terms of being inspired or positively influenced.

Bish Denham said...

Yeah! On the short story. I know how it is to be in a writing slump. Love the selection of books. Wrote down a few I'm going to have to look into. Thanks for co-hosting.

Sherry Ellis said...

Congratulations on writing the story! That's a big accomplishment and I'm so happy for you!

S.E. White Books said...

That's a good way to explain it. I didn't think of it as 'envy' either. More like pure appreciation. It was an interesting question this month! Thanks for co-hosting and keeping us all on track.

Jemima Pett said...

Well done on finishing the story! And thanks for co-hosting today - I forgot to thank Diedre, so must pass that on, too.
I'd not picked up on the 'envy' part of the question in such detail. I never have a problem admiring someone's work to the extent of 'I wish I'd come up with that one'. If that's envy, then yes, but not in the possessive approach you've highlighted - which is very true of most situations of envy.


Olga Godim said...

I love your phrase: "I don't want someone else's words, their stories..." That's how I feel too. I want my own words and my own stories, even if they are not as good.
Finishing a short story is always rewarding. Big kudos to you. Keep going.

Victoria Marie Lees said...

You have the right attitude here, Tonja. And you are correct in all you offer. You have separated envy from wishing for things. Bravo! And thanks for co-hosting this month's question. All best to you!

Diane Burton said...

I agree--amazed is better than envied. You bring up a good point--it's your talent, your writing, what makes you you. Great way to look at it. Thanks for cohosting this month.

Jemi Fraser said...

Congrats - love when we can just let the words flow!!
What a great list of books to explore!

Toi Thomas said...

Thanks for co-hosting this month and sharing your thoughts on author envy. I love all the book recs too!

Fundy Blue said...

Thanks for co-hosting today, Tonja! And thanks for your reviews. "I definitely would have added "Taos Pueblo Winter" to my classroom library. My writing comes from me too. I write my own stories. Well done on the writing progress you've made this past month!

PJ Colando said...

Bully for you - no author's line envy!

Thanks for co-hosting this month

Shannon Lawrence said...

Congratulations on getting that short story written!

Arlee Bird said...

Your sentiments about author envy pretty well match my own. I write me.


Rebecca M. Douglass said...

Congratulations on smacking down that inner editor! Definitely have to get her out of my way to write drafts--then bring her back, apologize, and let her get to work on the revisions.

You've got some intriguing books on the list of those coming up--I'll have to check out some of them.

Janet Alcorn said...

I love your attitude toward the work of other authors. I'll admit to being envious on occasion, but, like you, I want to be the best me I can be rather than trying to be someone else.

Congrats on the short story draft! It's amazing what we can do when we free ourselves from our inner editors.