Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, Enola Holmes Review, October Movie Preview, and New Releases

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

The awesome co-hosts today are Jemima Pett, Beth Camp, Beverly Stowe McClure, and Gwen Gardner!

Need IWSG co-hosts for November! At least four, five is even better. (We have none at the moment.)
And two more for December and hosts for January. (Which is when we’ll announce the winners of the IWSG Anthology Contest.)
Leave a comment or email me if you can host any of those months.

October 7 question - When you think of the term working writer, what does that look like to you? What do you think it is supposed to look like? Do you see yourself as a working writer or aspiring or hobbyist, and if latter two, what does that look like?

Good question! I picture a working writer as someone who makes a good portion of their income from their writing. (It could mean a writer who is still working a job, but that doesn’t sound as fun.) As for me, unless I’m writing after retiring (which isn’t too far away), being an author will remain a side project.

Now, guitarist in a prog band – I can picture that!

Enola Holmes Review

From the IMDB:
When Enola Holmes-Sherlock's teen sister-discovers her mother missing, she sets off to find her, becoming a super-sleuth in her own right as she outwits her famous brother and unravels a dangerous conspiracy around a mysterious young Lord.
Starring Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, Sam Claflin, Helena Bonham Carter, and Louis Partridge
Based on a young adult book series.
This debuted on NetFlix last month and certainly rates as one of their best productions. If you enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes movies with Robert Downey Jr., you will enjoy this film. Definitely a lighter version, though – more family friendly. It’s a blend of Young Sherlock Holmes and the Guy Richie films.
It’s quirky, fun, and Enola breaks the fourth barrier several times. Brown is perfect in the role as Enola and very resourceful. Cavil’s reserved Sherlock is more true to the books, so don’t expect Robert Downey Jr. craziness.
The production values are excellent and you really feel like you are in Victorian England. This is top notch cinema from NetFlix.
Highly recommended.

New Releases!

Psycho Hose Beast From Outer Space by CD Gallant-King

Gale Harbour hasn’t seen any excitement since the military abandoned the base there thirty years ago, unless you count the Tuesday night 2-for-1 video rentals at Jerry's Video Shack. So when a dead body turns up floating in the town water supply, all evidence seems to point to a boring accident.

Find it on Amazon, Amazon CA, and Amazon UK

Frozen Crimes by Chrys Fey

Beth and Donovan are expecting their first child. Life couldn't get any better...until a stalker makes his presence known. This person sends disturbing messages and unsettling items, but it isn't long before his menacing goes too far.

Find it at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, and Google Play

October Movie Releases

Here are the upcoming theatrical releases for October. (And our theaters are open now – I can finally go see a movie again!) As always, descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snark provided by me.

9 –

Honest Thief
Wanting to lead an honest life, a notorious bank robber turns himself in, only to be double-crossed by two ruthless FBI agents.
Director: Mark Williams
Stars: Liam Neeson, Kate Walsh, Jai Courtney, Jeffrey Donovan
Neeson says ‘Give me back my son!’ while being attacked by wolves on a train…

16 –

When an outbreak hits, Aidan barricades himself inside his apartment and starts rationing food. His complex is overrun by infected Screamers, and with the world falling apart into chaos, he is left completely alone fighting for his life.
Director: Johnny Martin
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Tyler Posey, Robert Ri'chard, John Posey
Isn’t this plot the year we’ve just lived through?

23 –

Two New Orleans paramedics' lives are ripped apart after they encounter a series of horrific deaths linked to a designer drug with bizarre, otherworldly effects.
Directors: Justin Benson | Aaron Moorhead
Stars: Jamie Dornan, Anthony Mackie, Katie Aselton, Ally Ioannides
I like a movie that scoops out my brain with a melon ball and plays with it.

What does a working writer look like to you? Seen Enola Holmes yet? Ready to hit the theater again? And who can co-host in the coming months?
 I’ll be back October 19 with a guest, movie reviews, and a review of Ayeron’s latest double concept album, Transitus. (Hint- it’s awesome!)


Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

A lot of people have been raving about Enola Holmes. I must check it out :)

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Alex, I'm sure everyone's definition of working writer will differ. It will be fun to read what everyone thinks o working writers.

Alex, count me in as the IWSG co-host for November. I'll be glad to help.

Elephant's Child said...

I think that lots of writers are toooo hard on themselves. And most of you do work very hard. By my standards that DOES make you working writers.

Sarah Foster said...

I can co-host! Any month works for me.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I did watch Enola Holmes! Great movie. Like you, Young Sherlock Holmes came to mind as I watched it.

mail4rosey said...

I didn't see the Sherlock Holmes, but I wouldn't mind seeing Enola Holmes!

Mason Canyon said...

Enola Holmes sounds like it would be interesting, I'll have to check it out. Congrats to Chrys and CD for their new releases.

Ronel Janse van Vuuren said...

It's time for me to check out Enola Holmes! Too bad there won't be any Robert Downey Jr. craziness...

Ronel on IWSG day Revamp Your Backlist

Liza said...

I am glad to know Enola Holmes is good. It's on my TB watched list!

Annalisa Crawford said...

Enola Holmes is fantastic - I'm a huge Helena Bonham Carter fan.

Sadly, because the Bond release has been put back, our major cinemas plan to close until next year, putting a lot of jobs at risk because the government furlough payments end at the end of this month.

Erika Beebe said...

Great post today Alex. You shined some light on some great shows. I'm definitely not ready to hit the theaters yet but I do feel bad for them.

Jennifer Hawes said...

Alone move review--nailed it! Back when the Enola Holmes series hit the shelves, I snatched those books up faster than a tornado. My only complaint is why didn't they make this a series??? Why just a one time movie? There are at least six books in this series. More than enough material to cover a longer stretch of screen time. Ugh. :)

Cathrina Constantine said...

I loved Enola Holmes! It was excellent, carefree, and entertaining!

Congrats to Chyrs Fey and CD Gallant-King!

There aren't any theaters open here. The governor is coming to Buffalo to inspect our football stadium, which doesn't have a roof and is completely open to the air, to see if he'll consider a percentage of spectators. I don't believe he'll let theaters open any time soon. He's a piece of work...

Natalie Aguirre said...

I see writing as a side gig too. So glad you liked Enola Holmes. It's on my list to watch.

And I'd love to be a co-host every three months for you. Letting me know which months you schedule me for.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lynda, you will really dig it.

Rachna, thanks!

Sarah, thanks!

Elizabeth, had the same feel to it, didn't it?

Ronel, there are still plenty of quirky characters.

Annalisa, I saw that. The chain also closed a lot of theaters here.

Jennifer, hopefully they will continue with more movies.

Catherina, that he is...

Natalie, thanks!

Joanne said...

Greetings. I always felt like I dabbled in writing, even when I was "off" a bit to become a writer. I never felt real. So, back to work I went to earn a paycheck.
Movies - theaters are still quite bleak. It's rather sad. But Enola Holmes on Netflix hit a new high - your review is spot on. Just quality fun!
Congrats to writers with new books - good for them. And hope your October is going well so far, Alex. Take care

Melissa said...

Enola Holmes sounds good. I wish they would bring back the Sherlock series, though.

Congrats to the new releases!

C.D. Gallant-King said...

Really want to see Enola Holmes. My wife adored Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock though, so she's reluctant to watch anyone else in the role.

Toi Thomas said...

Happy IWSG Day.
I've read a few Enola Holmes books and am glad to hear this movie is worth seeing.
I'm excited about Frozen Crimes.
Not sure how I feel about the movie releases.

Pat Garcia said...


I can picture you in a band. I think you would love it. To be honest, I can't picture myself not writing or singing. I love both of them.

I've already purchased Chrys Fey's Frozen Crime. I just haven't read it yet.

As for co-hosting, I can do November or December. Whichever is best for you.

Shalom aleichem,
Pat Garcia

Nancy Gideon said...

Enola is on my list after this month of Halloween movies. Back to the theater - not this girl, not anytime soon. Even before COVID, it took a major film to get me into a crowded row where invariably I'd fall asleep the second the popcorn ran out in that reclined seat in the dark. I'm a Netflix home binger. Counterpart and the Wire on the top of my you must watch list!

L.G. Keltner said...

I've been meaning to watch Enola Holmes. Definitely hope to see it sometime this week.

I'd be happy to co-host for November!

Jemi Fraser said...

If you're still looking, I can co-host for November.
I've heard good things about Enola Holmes - I'll have to check it out one day!

Cathrina Constantine said...

Alex, I forgot to say, I can co-host in November or December, just let me know. Take Care.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Might have to check out that Enola Holmes. And maybe Alone. I'm finding a lot of TV shows and movies are leaving me feeling kind of meh lately.

Loni Townsend said...

I'm pretty sure I'll never make a living from my writing, but that's okay with me. I'm looking forward to Enola Holmes. We cancelled Netflix a while back to try out Disney+ and we've been holding out to start it up again. Enola Holmes will be first on the list.

Nick Wilford said...

My family watched Enola Holmes. I wasn't in the room for most of it, but what I saw looked good. I'll need to catch up!

I wonder how many movies that play with pandemics we'll see over the coming years. Or maybe we'll all want to watch something else. The arts are a worry in general - a lot of cinemas over here look set to close because the Bond film has been postponed.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Have you seen Mulan yet? We watched it Monday night. I thought it was great. Happy IWSG, Alex.

Diane Burton said...

Writing can consume your life. Perspective is good, esp. in retirement. Knowing your limits and what you want to do (esp. in retirement) is very helpful. Good luck!

I love, love, love Enola Holmes. I thought it was a series until the end of the movie. So disappointed. I hope they bring out another.

Have a great month, Alex.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

I need to get busy and read some books and watch some movies. Way behind. Enoying being a co-host this month. Thanks.

Jennifer Lane said...

Retiring isn't far away? Wow! That's awesome.

I definitely want to see Enola Holmes.

cleemckenzie said...

I've enjoyed the Enola Holmes story. Interesting new slant on Sherlock.

Sadira Stone said...

Congratulations to C.D. Gallant-King and Chris Fey on their new books! I'll check out Enola Holmes--Lord knows I need some light viewing these days.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Enola Holmes was fun. I hope they make more.

Our theater opens Friday and we're going to see a movie.

Truedessa said...

No theaters opened here and I don’t think they will until next year. Numbers are ticking up again. I am hoping some new TV shows come out.

I binged on The Curfew and LA.’s Finest. The Curfew was entertaining, L.A’s Finest was okay.

Entertainment is truly lacking these days.

Stay safe and enjoy your week!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you so much for including Frozen Crimes! I appreciate that. :)

If a working writer is someone who makes a good portion of their income from writing...then I'm not a working writer. LOL

Mary Aalgaard said...

I was intrigued by Enola Holmes, haven't watched it yet, but will soon. Thanks for the great review!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Joanne, hope enough people go to our theater to keep it alive.

Pat, thanks!

Thanks, LG!

Jemi, thanks!

Cathrina, appreciate it.

Madeline, you need to watch Enola Holmes then.

Loni, I'll be getting Disney+ again next month when The Mandalorian returns.

Nick, a lot of theaters are closing here as well.

Joylene, we will when the price isn't so high.

Diane, hopefully they do.

Chrys, you're welcome.

Stacy McKitrick said...

I haven't seen Enola Holmes, but it does sound like something Hubby would enjoy, so I'll have to let him know about that.

Leigh Caron said...

Yup about what a working writer is. Thanks for your reviews. I don't watch much TV nowadays so a good review will definitely get me to turn it on.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Count me in as a co-host for November!
I also liked Enola Holmes - a fun movie based on a fun series of books.
Congrats to CD and Chrys!

Carrie-Anne said...

A working writer to me is someone who earns major bank from each book and is at liberty to do nothing but write, research, and edit full-time. That's something most writers probably dream of achieving.

Liz A. said...

I keep hearing about Enola Holmes. I'll have to check it out at some point. A working writer I am not. I haven't written a word in way too long.

J E Oneil said...

I have a feeling there's going to be a lot lest movies for the next few years.

Fundy Blue said...

I can co-host in November or December. Put me in where you need me the most, Alex, if you still need people. I could likely do January as well. It's just hard to see ahead that far

Patricia Josephine aka Patricia Lynne said...

Hubby and I watched Enola Holmes this past weekend when i was dealing with a chronic pain flare. It was really good. I liked the 4th wall breaks, but hubby wasn't too keen on them.

diedre Knight said...

Howdy, Captain!

So that's what Millie Bobby has been doing! Sounds really good.
I'll probably need a year or two before pandemic movies or stories interest me ;-)
"Guitarist in a prog band..." If you can't do it, it can't be done!

J.E.S. Hays said...

Amazing ... looks like Blogger is actually going to allow me to post -- even if it's using the wrong writer's account! Usually my choices are "Google Account," "URL," or "Anonymous"!

I enjoyed Enola Holmes as well. I think the actors did a fine job portraying Victorian characters and I enjoyed the little "fourth wall breaks" the heroine made. Wonder if they're planning a series ...

Head over to my website at to see my definition of a "working writer!"

E.J. Murray, Author

Heather M. Gardner said...

Hi Alex!!!

Enola is on my list of things to watch! I'm enjoying pumpkin carving and Halloween baking shows right now. Less thinking. :)


Carol Kilgore said...

I may have to watch that new Sherlock movie. Sounds fun! Happy October :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Tyrean thanks!

JE, I don't know - there are a lot crammed into next year right now.

Louise, thanks!

Diedre, I'm close - guitarist is a Christian band.

EJ, I will!

Heather!! We might pick up a pumpkin soon.

Olga Godim said...

I really want to go to a movie theater, but I don't see anything new I'd want to watch. :(
Alex, I can do hosting for Nov or Dec, if you still need someone.

Mary Kirkland said...

A lot of my writer friends are working writers. They have day jobs and write when they have the chance.

mshatch said...

I think I watched Enola Holmes the day it came out. It was super fun. I like Millie Bobby Brown

Jemima Pett said...

Thanks for leading the team as usual this month. I hope you get some volunteers for November :)

Sandra said...

I did see Enola Holmes and thoroughly enjoyed it.
I like Liam Neeson so that will go on my TBS.
Put me down for whichever month you need me.
Have a productive one:)

DMS said...

Glad to know Enola Holmes is good!

I am enjoying reading all the answers to the IWSG this month. Lots of different interpretations.

Steven Arellano Rose Jr. said...

As much as I miss and love going g to movie theatres, I don't think I'm quite ready to start going to them again even of they were to open back up in my area. But when things tone down more and my area reopens the theatres I'll definitely return to them. What I'd like to see in my area a lot more are a return of drive-in theatres. I'm a big fan of mid-20th century nostalgia and right now they're safer.

XmasDolly said...

We really don't go to the movies much. To me they're really expensive and I can make popcorn here and we just wait until they come out on DVD! hehehe! You be careful, stay healthy and safe and don't forget that mask! Now go get your popcorn fix my friend and enjoy! Be safe! hugs

kaykuala said...

The working writers are a tremendous boost to young writers. It certainly takes guts to multitask under present conditions. Apologies no expertise for co-host, Alex!


Empty Nest Insider said...

I enjoyed being a working writer/reporter for a local news website/weekend paper, but now I just write as a hobby. I just read that one of our local movie theater chains will be closing again due to COVID. I really miss going to the movies (especially the popcorn) but in the meantime, Netflix and many premium channels have had some very entertaining movies and TV series. Thanks for hosting another great IWSG, Alex!


Tony Laplume said...

Does it really seem smart to antagonize Liam Neeson? I mean, really? It wouldn’t be my first choice... said...

I can co-host in November, Alex. Enjoy your break!

Jenni said...

I really enjoyed reading the Enola Holmes books. It sounds like the film series is really, unfortunately I don't have Netflix, so I hope it will come out on other channels.
I'm with you. I'm not sure anymore if I want to make writing a full-time career, but I sure enjoy doing it for fun.

J Lenni Dorner said...

Enola Holmes is great. Bummer that it's being sued (possible copyright stuff because Cavill played Sherlock as "too caring").
I haven't seen the others you mentioned.
I just co-hosted last month. I'm not sure what the rules are about how often one can volunteer?
I am excited for the Pass or Pages query contest at Operation Awesome with the YA category this week. Plus, I have half a dozen books to review this month. And WEP coming up! Busy month. I hope you've been staying healthy and thriving as best as you can this year.

- J

Lisa said...

I really enjoyed Enola! It was fun. I like anything fun these days!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Imagine all you'll get done retired! I'm not sure if our theaters are open again or not. I should check that out. I'm so used to everything being closed that I've become accustomed to social hermit-life.

I need to watch Enola. It sounds good.

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Here's another one who wants to watch "Enola Holmes" now. And CD Gallant-King's book title, "Psycho Hose Beast From Outer Space" is awesome. Makes me think of the horror-hosted shows I watched as a kid. All the books look good, but that title -- wow. I loved it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Olga!

Marcy, she's a good actress.

Jemima, looks like I'll have plenty.

Thanks, Sandra!

Steven, several drive-ins in our area have been doing well. It's a good option.

Marie, will wear a mask and no popcorn. Too greasy.

Hank, no worries!

Julie, one whole chain is closing their theaters until next year when big movies come out again.

Tony - funny!

Kim, thanks!

J Lenni, you can co-host whenever! I'll send you an email by tomorrow.

Janet said...

I've really enjoyed reading different definitions and concepts for "working writer." It's clear that many of us struggle with our identity related to writing. This was a great question of the month!

Gwen Gardner said...

I'm close to retirement too. Can't wait! I consider that that's when my second career as a writer really starts. But I have a million other things I want to do as well. I am soooo looking forward to it.

I'm open to co-hosting again--let me know!

Botanist said...

I thought Enola Holmes was a fun movie. Enola and Sherlock were enjoyable characters, but I could not relate to the portrayal of Mycroft :(

Liesbet said...

You've achieved a lot, Alex, having your writer persona as a side project! Enola Holmes looks interesting. We find it hard to find quality movies on NetFlix these years, so thanks for the recommendation. And, happy to see Chrys doing the blogging rounds with her new book. I truly love her cover!

Yay about you being able to hit the movie theaters again. That was a long time coming. And, as I read the IMDB blurb of "Alone", I had the exact thought as you. Too close to home this year... Happy IWSG!!

Debra Renée Byrd said...

I thought somewhere closer to your thoughts about it! Thanks for hosting this as always! I hope you found co-hosts! It's a huge undertaking.

I just watched Millie's interview on The Tonight Show yesterday. It looks like a good show. I might check it out.

nashvillecats2 said...

You still mamage to write about many things even in a pandemic and lockdown. Great post Alex.


Sandra Cox said...

So what is going to be the first movie you see at the theater?

Pat Hatt said...

Still haven't watched Enola Holmes, have to give it a go. I don't care much about theaters opening as there isn't much to watch. Being a writer full time when retired doesn't really sound like retirement.

Birgit said...

Hope you are doing well. I think a working writer is someone who writes or has written a book and always has the will to write, I haven’t seen any of these movies but I am watching the tacky Amity Horror.

Stephen Tremp said...

Hi Alex, I've seen parts of Enola Holmes can't help but think this could easily be made with a really cool Steampunk setting.

Shannon Lawrence said...

I agree MBB is great as Enola Holmes. She doesn't get to have a lot of personality in Stranger Things, so it's good to see.

A Hundred Quills said...

Happy IWSG day Alex. Ebola Holmes and been on my list for a while. Thank you for the recommendation. In a way I think I too can become a working writer after retirement..Looks tough before that!
Sonia from

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Yipes, it's hard to imagine a movie like "Alone" having the slightest chance of being a smash hit this year, because you're right. It sounds way too much like what we've all been experiencing. I'd much rather escape from the chaos that is our reality and get lost in something funny. Or heartwarming.

Congrats to CD and Chrys on their new releases. I just ordered both of 'em. The title of CD's book tells me it isn't something I'd ordinarily read, but I could NOT resist that blurb. It's fantastic.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Thanks for writing a review of Enola Holmes. I was wondering if I should watch it, and your review has definitely put it on the list for this weekend. Being a long weekend (I get Monday off), I feel like I can indulge in some movie watching. Did you see that the Expanse season 5 trailer dropped this morning? Oh it looks so good. I can't remember if you are a fan or not. Also, I admire your brevity in answering the IWSG question. I feel like I ramble sometimes lol. Take care, Alex.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Enola Holmes is a great show! I enjoyed it. For me, it became obnoxious when Enola kept breaking 4th wall.I mean, once or twice was tidy, but throughout? xD

mail4rosey said...

The best thing about writing to make a living is you can stay home... I think. I'm not sure how promotion works these days. :)

Nicki Elson said...

Wait - Henry Cavill? Nobody told me that! Well, hello, Enola Holmes...

I think you will write during retirement. I can see it now...Adventures of a 70-Something Prog Rock Star - in Outer Space.

Victoria Marie Lees said...

I don't really go to the movie house. I enjoy live theatre. My local theatre will not be having shows this season, they said. Poop! But I love “Never steal a man’s second choice.” What a pithy quote for the Honest Thief movie.

Alex, I can help out in January. Please let me know if this works for you. As always, thanks for all you do to assist your fellow writer.

Andrew Leon said...

I thoroughly enjoyed Enola Holmes. I was surprised.
Brown was great and reminded me a lot of Matthew Broderick's early days.
I'm looking forward to the next one.

Lidy said...

Loved Enola Holmes. Can't wait for a sequel but heard there were talks for a second movie but with Henry Cavill's Sherlock as lead star. Did wonder if the movie was based on a book. Now that I know, definitely adding it to my TBR list.

dolorah said...

Retirement is too far away for me. I'd love to work from home as a writer. Not sure I'd have the dedication even then though.

Denise D. Young said...

My favorite part of this month's IWSG question was seeing how different people defined "working writer." I often joke that when I tell people I'm a writer, their response is somewhere on the continuum of "Oh, what you do is magic!" to "Get a real job!" (And sometimes they'll change their response based on genre/publishing path/number of books published/random other criteria. When I first started, I would sometimes bristle, but these days, it's mostly water off a duck's back. I show up at the page. I write. I've got a couple published works under my belt and more to follow. I make some money but am still a newbie indie author. So, I'd say I'm a working writer, but one early in her career. said...

I'm sorry I missed this, Alex. Being a "working writer" and a "working therapist" and keeping a blog going and staying political active and focusing on my comedy shtick - which takes me 80 miles away to Sacramento fairly regularly...tough stuff to balance. I tell people to not do writing for the money. It's a big investment, not at all lucrative.

I hope you have a good, safe week.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Gwen!

Liesbet, I will be skipping that film.

Sandra, I saw Tenet! Great film. Had to be seen on the big screen.

Pat, it doesn't!

Shannon, exactly.

Michael, I've watched a little bit of it but it's never really caught my fancy.

Elizabeth, just like the other Sherlock Holmes films!

Nicki, that made me laugh!