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 prompt is:
"How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?"
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.
Before we get to how I answered the question, I wanted to share our new website for >>Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life<<, the IWSG anthology in which my short story, The Silvering, will be published in. You can find it here. Pop by, check it out and follow along. We'll be adding new content to it in the run up to publication on May 2nd and afterwards.
I was relaxing in the cockpit of our sailboat one afternoon, reading a book on my Kindle and sipping on some iced tea, when I heard a loud thunk. I turned and saw a man wearing a blue spandex outfit standing on the deck. To be honest, it was a pretty unflattering outfit. Not that spandex really looks good on anyone, but a middle-aged man with a beer belly, now that's really not a good look.
He spun dramatically with his red cape swirling around him. Did I forget to mention he was wearing a cape? Yep, there was a cape. He also had the letter "H" emblazoned across his chest in silver sequins.
You have to give him points. He exuded confidence. In fact, I think his outfit gave him confidence. Perhaps I should rethink this whole spandex-cape-sequin thing. Maybe if I wore something like that I'd be more comfortable with public speaking.
He strode towards me and proclaimed loudly, "I am Hugo, your local community hero!"
"Local community hero. Hmm...I didn't know we had one of those," I said. "What exactly do you do? Use your super powers to rescue kittens from trees? Help little old ladies across the street? Bring chocolate chip cookies to those in need?"
"Uh, no. I don't do any of those kind of things," he stammered. "I help people when they're struggling with questions. Like what the population of Ray, North Dakota is and what's written on Carl Jung's tombstone."
"So, you're basically a reference librarian then?"
His shoulders slumped as he wrapped his cape around him with a sigh. "I guess."
"Not that there's anything wrong with reference librarians," I quickly added. "The world needs librarians. Especially those that are such snappy dressers, like you."
"Really? You think I'm a snappy dresser?" He smiled. "Maybe you have a question I can help you with?"
I put my sunglasses on. The sun was bouncing off of his sequins and blinding me. "Sure, I could use your help. Here's my question - how has being a writer changed my experience as a reader?"
"Oh, that's easy peasy. I bet you read more carefully now and try to dissect how different writers structure their stories."
As he started to pace the deck animatedly, I noticed that he was wearing blue, spandex booties. Who knew you could get shoes made out of spandex?
While I was thinking about getting cowboy boots made out of spandex and sequins, he sat down next to me. "I bet you even look at how different writers explore the same theme."
"You're right!" I said. "How did you know that? That's what I was just doing. Reading a copy of the Hero Lost anthology on my Kindle to see how my co-authors explored the theme of lost heroes. Maybe you do have super powers after all."
"Well, I don't know about super powers, but I do know a thing or two about writers and readers, given my line of work as a superhero reference librarian." He peered over my shoulder at my Kindle. "That sounds like a great book."
"It's right up your alley. Maybe you should make sure the local library orders a copy."
"I'll be happy to do that ma'am." He pointed towards the horizon. "Now, I must be off. There are other people out there in desperate need of information."
"It was nice to meet you, Hugo. Thanks for the help." I watched him walk across the parking lot and get into a beat-up old minivan. I guess folks don't go into the superhero business for the money. I shouted after him, "Come back soon! Next time, I'll have some questions about chocolate chip cookies for you."
What questions would you ask your local superhero reference librarian? What makes someone a shero? Have you ever worn spandex?
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