Wednesday, June 3, 2020

IWSG June edition - Secrets

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!

June 3 question - Writers have secrets! What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?

The awesome co-hosts for the June 3 posting of the IWSG are Pat Garcia, J.Q. Rose, and Natalie Aguirre!


According to the dictionary a secret is

- done, made or conducted without the knowledge of others: secret negotiations
- kept from the knowledge of others:  a secret password
- faithful or cautious in keeping confidential matters confidential; closemouthed; reticent
- designed or working to escape notice or observation: a secret drawer; the secret police
- something that is kept secret, hidden, or concealed
- a mystery: the secret of Atlantis (myth or real?) 

We all have them, these things we keep to ourselves. Maybe it's something you know about someone else. Maybe it's something you're hiding from everyone else. Or maybe it's something buried so deep you aren't even aware you have it.

I often give my characters secrets. Secrets and mysteries make readers want to find out. Hint at a secret and I can easily be hooked. Like Harry and his scar. Like the one Ring. Like Melinda in Speak or 13 Reasons Why.

Readers want to know secrets and as long as the breadcrumbs keep falling, readers will keep reading to find out what the secret is - assuming the writing and characters rise above the mundane of course.

And that brings me to my secret and my word for the day.


Don't get me wrong. I think I'm ok. But right now I'm feeling inadequate.

We've all likely seen the video of George Floyd and footage of the protests and riots. As a white woman living in a pretty white state in a rural area, none of it affects me directly. Except it does, in my heart when I see another black person die at the hands of the people who are supposed to protect and serve. It hurts somewhere deep inside when I see police officers fire paint canisters at people sitting on their own porch and spray pepper spray at a person who identified as Press and was complying with the orders given. But here in Maine where these things don't happen (that I know about...) what can I do? I can write my senators and congressmen, I can contribute to causes that might help bring justice and equality to all, and because I'm a writer I thought I could use my words so I wrote something that tried to express how I was feeling (on FB if you're interested). Someone shared it and someone else responded "In these cases, not to sound glib, but actions speak louder than words." Which leads me back to my word of the day. Inadequate. Because that's how I feel about what's happening right now. I don't have the words and I feel like I should and I don't know what I can do. So. That's my secret, or one of them anyway, though a secret no more now that I've shared it. 

Do your stories have secrets? Care to share one of your own? 

And let me end on a happier note with a) the fact that I've read 20 books this year and b) some pics courtesy of my son, the birder...

 and my mum's Datura



  1. Most of us don't know exactly what to do. We're not all called to action though. We just have to do what we can do best.

  2. I think there are quite a lot of us feeling inadequate right now...

  3. Hi,
    You're not alone in your feelings of inadequacy. There are also African Americans that feel inadequate too. Sometimes we have to learn how to be comfortable with the uncomfortable in our lives.
    Take care and thanks for being a part of IWSG.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

  4. Your post makes me think of a movie quotation about a master spy -- "His secrets have secrets."

  5. Those pictures are glorious!!!

    I'm with you in feeling completely inadequate. I'm Canadian and white. I've made donations and done a lot of reading and supporting. But I don't know how to make things better other than do positive things in my own small corner.

  6. Thank you for sharing your secret, Marcy. That infuriated me when I shared your eloquent post on FB and that one person made that "glib" remark! I don't know her very well, but I tried to respond with kindness. Not sure it got through to her.

    Gorgeous bird photos by your talented son!

    1. I admit I was hurt, but guess what I'm doing tomorrow? Going to a Black Lives Matter Rally in my tiny little white town with a bunch of other white people (unless my niece tags along). I also donated to the innocence project and wrote a letter to Senator Susan Collins.

      You were kind, btw, and thanks for having my back!

    2. Thanks, Marcy. Good for you! Wear a mask. I donated to Campaign Zero and a Minneapolis food bank.

  7. Good word for the time, along with frustrated. I love the birds, though. Thanks for a little smile.

  8. Thank you and your son for the birds.
    I often have attacks of the inadequacies, and they have sharp and pointed teeth.
    My heart breaks as I watch the news not least because we are not in any position to feel superior or safe. Similar issues are rife here too.

  9. Beautiful photos, and thanks for sharing your heart with us. In my humble opinion your words are your action. When I lived in a larger city, I did join the BLM rallies in years past, but now, I live in a town of around 20K. There are no rallies and I have nowhere else to show my support. My action is to share my words. Words with friends, words with congress, words with neighbors, and words with the children I work with. I am proud of your action.

  10. You can only do what you can do. But you have a big thing you can do this year--vote out Susan Collins. Amplifying the voices of POC and contributing are good when you're not in the thick of it and help, too.

  11. There are multiple levels to our secrets. Your son has a good eye!

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  13. Those owls are judging you.

  14. I love your sons photos. But I'm sorry about how you're feeling. ~hugs~ These are unprecedented times.

  15. One thing we can do (writing from my own very white northern New England state) is talk about it. Talk to our neighbors. Talk to our friends. Talk with our families. Racism is alive and well in white America, as much in North as the South, as much in rural communities as urban, as much in Vermont as in Mississippi. The manifestations are different but the fact of racism is the same. We have to shine the light on it. We need to sit in the discomfort. We need to work for change. All of us.

    Preaching to the choir, I know.


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