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06 September 2017

Interstellar Voyages With Simon The Time Traveling Cat | IWSG



The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is a place to share and encourage, where writers can express their doubts and concerns without appearing foolish or weak. It's a great place to mingle with like minded people each month during IWSG day.

Every month there's an optional question which may prompt folks to share advice, insights, a personal experience or story. Some folks answer the question in their IWSG blog post or let it inspire them if they're struggling with what to say.

This month's question is:


"Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? For example, trying a new genre you didn't think you'd be comfortable in?"

Check out how people have answered this month's question, as well as the other insecurities and writing topics they may have shared by visiting the IWSG sign-up list here. If you want to see how I answered the question, have a look below.

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"Jeez, lady, get a move on already," growled Simon the Time Traveling Cat. He swished his gray tail back and forth angrily. "We don't have all day."

"Simon, just hold your horses for a minute," I snapped. "I've got so much to do to get our sailboat ready for Hurricane Irma. She's headed our way in just a few days."

Simon jumped onto my lap and glared at me with those weird eyes of his, the ones that look like miniature clock faces.

"Enough hurricane talk. It's all you've been going on about lately. Irma this, Irma that." He reached up and swatted my nose with his paw, claws fully extended. "You even forgot to give me a saucer of milk this morning because you were busy looking at the weather forecasts."

"Ouch!" I screamed. "Why'd you go and do that?"

"Because you need to focus. You need to answer month's IWSG question, instead of worrying about that stupid Irma," Simon said. "Now, look into my eyes and count to ten. We're going to travel through time to another universe."

I felt myself drift off as he blinked his eyes slowly ten times.

"Wake up, lady. We're here."

"Here, where's here?" It felt like I had woken up from a deep sleep. I looked around and pointed at a woman sitting at a desk typing on a computer, completely unaware of us. "Wait a minute, that woman looks just like me." Her resemblance to me was uncanny, even down to the birthmark on her arm.

As I was freaking out a little about finding out that I have an identical twin that my mother completely forgot to tell me about, I looked out the window. That's when I noticed that there were two suns in the sky, instead of the normal single, solitary sun that I'm used to.

"Um, Simon. What's going on here? Why are there two suns?" I asked. There might have been a touch of hysteria in my voice. Just a touch, mind you. Not a complete nervous breakdown or anything. "And why does she seem completely oblivious to us? Are we dead? Are we ghosts or something?"

"Give me a break, lady. Not every planet just has one sun." Simon paused for a moment to wash space dust off of his tail with his pink tongue. "This isn't your universe, dummy. It's a parallel universe. And that isn't you exactly. It's a parallel you."

He paused again to clean behind his ears with his paws. "And she can't see us because of some laws of physics or something. Too complicated to explain. Plus I could care less. If it doesn't involve cat treats and belly rubs, I'm not interested."

"What's she typing, anyway?" I asked as I peered over her shoulder to look at her computer.

"Duh. The answer to this month's IWSG question."

I stared at Simon blankly.

"What? You didn't think they'd have IWSG in parallel universes? Jeez, lady, you're stupider than you look. And that isn't saying much." Simon nudged me with his nose. "Go on, read what she's typing. Then you can put that down as your answer and get back to that stupid Irma stuff. Plus, get me a saucer of milk."

Fair enough. I was short of time given all the hurricane prep we needed to do. It couldn't really hurt to copy down her answer, could it? After all, she's me. Or am I her? Who knows. In any event, here's the answer:

"Writing a fantasy short story for the IWSG anthology last year was a real surprise. Although, I love reading sci-fi and fantasy, the thought of writing something in that genre seemed really daunting. I was focused on writing a cozy mystery, which seems easier given that the genre has a certain formula and rules. But when it comes to sci-fi and fantasy, the rules seem less clear. But I went for it and made up my own rules. Who knows, maybe in a parallel universe somewhere, there's a parallel me who just writes sci-fi and fantasy and surprised herself by writing a cozy mystery for an anthology contest."

If you had a chance to travel to another planet, would you go? Do you think there's life on other planets? What writing or other insecurities have you been working through? Are you busy prepping for Hurricane Irma?


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40 comments:

  1. And your short story made it into the anthology!
    The IWSG is everywhere...

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    1. I was surprised to find an active branch of IWSG in another universe, but it does make sense. After all, it's a great group. Why wouldn't you find it everywhere:-)

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  2. Fun post!

    It made me think of an episode of The Big Bang Theory where Sheldon says that in one parallel universe he believes he's a clown made of candy. :)

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  3. Hey, I was talking about alternate universes in my post today! Great minds:) No prepping for any hurricanes. The Midwest is pretty calm right now.

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  4. You write so very well. Most entertaining.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  5. With Irma on its way, ask Simon if you can stay there until it passes.

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  6. Take care and stay safe. Simon always makes me laugh. But I don't think I'd be traveling to other worlds unless I was certain it was safe!

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    1. Me too. I want a guarantee that all aliens are friendly and that nothing evil happens in other universes.

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  7. I'm in an area where hurricanes aren't a thing, but massive fires are. We've got such bad air quality because of the smoke, that they've cancelled recess and sports for all the local schools.

    Hope you stay safe through your hurricane. And I'd be all about exploring alternate worlds, so long as I had a guaranteed route home.

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    1. The fires out west are insane! How terrible that they've had to cancel outdoor activities at the schools.

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  8. There is absolutely life on other planets. Is it intelligent? that remains to be seen, but it seems likely given there are billions of planets out there.

    Do I want to visit? Only if we master faster-than-light, safe interstellar travel. I want going to Andromeda to be like a day-trip out to cottage country. I'm not that adventurous. :-P

    IWSG August

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    1. I can't imagine that there isn't intelligent life elsewhere, but I guess only time or time travel will tell :-)

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    1. Thanks! We were lucky and evacuated to Atlanta.

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  10. Ugh! Be safe! And also, I would love to go to another planet, especially an inhabited one. There must be loads of life in the vast universe.

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    1. I agree - there has to be life elsewhere in the universe. Can't imagine that such a big place would just have us in it.

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  11. I do like Simon! So direct, no messing,

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  12. Simon is a lot like Hastings at dinner, very pushy! I'd definitely travel to another planet, why not?

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    1. I wonder if Simon and Hastings would get along?

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  13. I love your cat. (PS I don't normally like cats.) Simon is a hoot. Not preparing for Irma; we're too far north (Michigan). Hope anyone in her path stays safe. Would I go to another planet? In a heartbeat, if I could return to my family.

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    1. I'll let Simon know you like him, but knowing him he'll just give the cat equivalent of shrugging his shoulders. :-)

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  14. You made me snicker again, Ellen. Thank you! Getting out of your comfort zone last year couldn't have had a better turnout! Stay safe during Irma. I have been shifting my thoughts from friends in St. Martin, to the DR to the Virgin Islands and then, to Florida, keeping a very close eye on Irma's track! Very glad that we don't have to make these preparations anymore, though.

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    1. It's just awful the devastation she left in her path. We were very, very lucky during Irma.

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  15. Stay safe! Of course, there's life on other planets. Now, to build that spaceship :)

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    1. I think it would take a lot of work to build a spaceship. I'd much prefer to travel thru some sort of portal. :-)

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  16. This month's question seems tailor-made for you. I'd say your success in getting your fantasy story accepted for the anthology shows just how versatile you are. I guess we never know our potential until we test it.

    Good luck with the hurricane. Even here in the Atlanta area, lots of people are preparing for the expected high winds and rain. I haven't ventured to the grocery store yet, but I've heard some shelves have already been stripped bare, so I can imagine how it must be in FL. Be safe!

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    1. We evacuated to Atlanta, but couldn't escape Irma here. The winds were pretty high, but fortunately it doesn't look like any damage in the neighborhood we're staying in and we didn't lose power (although most everyone else did).

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  17. I think your fantasy story is awesome. I would have never guessed it was new to you.
    I hope that you get ready for the hurricane with time to spare. I'm in the smoke zone of the Northwest so we are dealing with fire instead of our usual rain.

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    1. It's just awful reading about the fires in the Northwest. Seems like something awful is happening just about everywhere. :-(

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  18. Would anyone notice if Simon helped me find my double that writes great posts and short stories? Maybe my dog won't notice either.

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    1. If you ask Simon nicely and rub his belly, he might help you out. :-)

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  19. Hope you and yours all weather the hurricane safely. I'm up in Massachusetts. Hurricanes rarely get this far with any oomph left in them. As for your questions: no, I wouldn't want to visit another planet, but as a Biologist by academic training, it seems obvious to me that there is life on other planets. In terms of writing insecurities? Well, I'm halfway through a graduate program for creative writing. Every time I click the send button to submit my work to my mentor, I'm punched in the face by insecurity. But then I toast having met another deadline with a bottle of craft ginger ale and move on. Loved the post. Thanks for sharing! :)

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    1. I can relate to the feeling of being punched in the face by insecurity. It's really hard for me to share my work with others. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  20. That was a brilliant answer to the question! And you did well going out of your comfort zone because your story was great.

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    1. Thanks so much for your nice words, Nick :-)

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