Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, Ghostbusters: Afterlife Review, and December Movie Preview


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.

My awesome co-hosts for the December 1 posting of the IWSG are PJ Colando, Diane Burton, Louise – Fundy Blue, Natalie Aguirre, and Jacqui Murray!

December 1 question – In your writing, what stresses you the most? What delights you?

Stresses me? Definitely the first draft. I find it excruciating to get my thoughts onto paper.

What delights me is the editing. Now that I’ve thrown a story up onto the page, I have something to work with. I can finally really see it and be able to shape it the way I want. And as I was reminded by another's answer, someone enjoying my work is a treat!

What stresses and delights you?

I’d also like to take this time to thank my fellow IWSG Admins – L. Diane Wolfe, Michelle Wallace, C. Lee McKenzie, Pat Hatt, and Juneta Key. We also say goodbye to Tyrean Martinson this month as Juneta takes over Instagram. Thanks for every sacrifice and effort you’ve made to make the IWSG what it is today.


January is when we announce the winners of the IWSG 2021 Anthology Contest! So, tune in.


And our next #IWSGPit Twitter pitch event is January 26!
We’ve been a trending topic the past few years with hundreds and hundreds of publishers and agents tuning into the feed. It’s a great opportunity to pitch a completed manuscript and there have been a ton of success stories. Get those manuscripts and pitches polished and join us that day.
See the IWSG site for details.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Review


This picks up many years after the first film with Egon Spengler’s death bringing his estranged daughter and her two kids to his weird house in a small Oklahoma town. If you are longing for nostalgia, this is your film.
It hits all the Ghostbuster notes without them feeling nothing but recycled. Some are similar but most take a fresh spin on the original.
It’s also heartwarming. It’s a warm, fuzzy, feel-good movie. The family dynamics were good rather than fractured. The small town wasn’t mean to the newcomers. The film didn’t fall into any of those traps.
And did I mention funny? Because there are some really good laugh out loud moments.
Mckenna Grace shines as the granddaughter and star of the film. She brings authenticity to the role of a geeky young lady.
And of course, there are the guest stars – Billy Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, and Sigourney Weaver. And if you get to the end of the movie and see Weaver’s name and wonder where you saw her, give it five seconds – there is a sneak ending after that!
The film was everything I’d hoped for and I highly recommend it!

December Movie Preview

Here are the upcoming theatrical releases for December. Descriptions courtesy of the IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes. Snark provided by me.


17 -


Spider-Man: No Way Home
For the first time in the cinematic history of Spider-Man, our friendly neighborhood hero is unmasked and no longer able to separate his normal life from the high-stakes of being a Super Hero. When he asks for help from Doctor Strange the stakes become even more dangerous, forcing him to discover what it truly means to be Spider-Man.
Director: Jon Watts
Stars: Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Marisa Tomei
If it does feature all three – Holland, Garfield, and Maguire – won’t that break the time-space continuum?


24-


The Matrix Resurrections
Plagued by strange memories, Neo's life takes an unexpected turn when he finds himself back inside the Matrix.
Director: Lana Wachowski
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Christina Ricci, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jessica Henwick
I think resurrections refers to what they hope to do with this franchise…


The King’s Man

In the early years of the 20th century, the Kingsman agency is formed to stand against a cabal plotting a war to wipe out millions.
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Harris Dickinson, Gemma Arterton, Djimon Hounsou
I don’t think I could handle two straight hours of ‘Louie, Louie’…




What stresses and delights you? Ready for #IWSGPit? Did you see Ghostbusters: Afterlife? Seeing any films this December?
After this week, I am signing off until January 5 and the next IWSG post day – and the announcement of the IWSG Anthology Contest winners!
Have a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year!


95 comments:

Shannon Lawrence said...

We're opposite in that editing stresses me much more than first drafts. I love writing the first draft. It's always interesting to see which side of that equation people fall on.

Can't wait to see Ghostbusters!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

HI Alex - thanks for the reviews ... have a peaceful time away - with lots of films to see! Cheers for now - Hilary

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Yeah, I like editing too

Sarah Foster said...

I like editing when I’m able to figure something out and make it better.
Saw Ghostbusters last week—it was great! Planning to see Spider-Man and the Matrix this month.

Jemima Pett said...

I like first drafts, and once I get attuned to it, I don't mind editing. But launching it...

You may find this odd, but I've never seen a Ghostbusters film. I have probably only seen one clip - to the Ghostbusters song. But I think I may start with this one... I think I'm ready for it!

Jemima

Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, Alex!

Like you, I find it stressful to get the first draft out of my head and onto the page. The process becomes less stressful when I have something tangible to work with.

I have followed the career of McKenna Grace ever since she played Sharon Newman's daughter Faith on The Young And The Restless. I also enjoyed watching her on Designated Survivor. I'm down to see Ghostbusters.

Enjoy the rest of your week, good buddy Alex!

Liza said...

I'm with you. I love editing and shaping my story. I don't mind first drafts when they are for something short, but novel-length is hard. I've written four now, and I'm really not sure how I first got the story onto the page for any of them.

Lynn La Vita said...

Hi Alex,
For some reason, I didn't expect writing the first draft was the most stressful. Glad you bust through and write!

"Swallowing the anchor" is the term for giving up life on the sea. That's just what we did. After 15 years living in Mexico on our sailboat, we moved into a condo. Life is so boring!

That's my new stress: what to write about??

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Editing and writing first drafts are both stressful. :)

I hope to get to see Ghostbusters. It's on my list.

Teresa C.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Editing is nice because we know we're almost done!

I keep forgetting they're doing a Matrix reboot.

Pat Garcia said...

hi Alex,
I usually don't have a problem with putting the first draft together or editing. I love editing. That's when I really begin to feel the story. As for Christmas, I might look at a film but more than likely I will be reading books, and that's okay with me.
Have a Merry Christmas and I look forward to being a part of IWSG next year.
Shalom aleichem

Natalie Aguirre said...

I totally agree with you that getting the first draft written is excrutiating. I wish I could learn to write it faster.

You are definitely making me want to watch the new Ghostbusters. Glad you enjoyed it so much. Happy Holidays!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

It's hard to believe another year has come and gone. And years are sweeping past. Thank you for creating IWSG, Alex. It's been such a pleasure for me and so many.

Joanne said...

Right now writing and editing just aren't my karma. Maybe 2022 will free me. Until then, I need to see new Ghostbusters. Your snark comments are always a hoot. How about new West Side Story? Sharks/Jets - oh wait, maybe I'm confusing a musical with sports.
Happy December and holiday cheer.
Thanks for another great year of blog world/comments/and no writing fear.

Nick Wilford said...

I do enjoy editing a lot but there's a certain thrill to conjuring up a great scene from thin air during the draft stage.

Is this King's Man different from the Colin Firth/Taron Egerton films? I loved those. Merry Christmas!

Jemi Fraser said...

I adore the first draft stage!! I'm learning to enjoy editing, but it'll always come second to the first draft! :)

Jennifer Lane said...

Thanks so much to you and to all of the IWSG administrators!!!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I haven't seen the original Ghostbusters movie since, well, since it first came out (eek, how old am I?! :o) but that new one sounds like fun.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas, Alex, and a Happy New Year!

Toi Thomas said...

Thanks to you, and your admin team, for another great hop.
Glad you enjoyed Ghostbusters Afterlife.
I'm excited about Spider-Man and the others, just because.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

A Hundred Quills said...

One of the rare writers who finds editing less stressful. Thank you Alex for this wonderful group.
-Sonia from https://soniadogra.com

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sarah, those movies are on my list as well.

Jemima, go watch the first one, skip the second, and then see this one.

Shady, she really sells her character.

Lynn, I'm sorry!

Elizabeth, until I put this post together, I'd also forgotten.

Joylene, thanks for being a part of it!

Joanne, that made me laugh!

Nick, I think it's part of the same world.

Jennifer, thank you for being so faithful to it!

Sonia, thank you.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Diane Burton said...

I get you about editing, though it's not my fav activity. Sometimes it's overwhelming. I'm looking forward to the new Matrix movie. LOVED the original. Hope this is as good.

cleemckenzie said...

Those first drafts are a struggle. Good thing you like the editing part to keep things in balance.

I'll miss Tyrean, but know Juneta will step up and do a fine job. I enjoy being a part of such a hard-working crew.

I've heard nothing but great reviews for Ghostbusters, so I'm hoping to go see it. I'm in need of warm and fuzzy!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Warm and fuzzy are in short supply these days, so like Lee, I will see Ghostbusters, too. But I'm afraid paying $10,000 for an opening day ticket will keep me away from NO WAY HOME. Ouch!!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Spider-Man should be good but I'm not too sure about the new Matrix movie.

James Pailly said...

The first draft is not my favorite. Neither is the editing process at the end. All the fun happens somewhere in the middle for me.

Cathrina Constantine said...

I totally agree about the stress of getting that first draft down on paper. How could I forget about that. It can be both enjoyable, creative, and frustrating.

I am so looking forward to the Ghostbusters Movie!

Merry Christmas, Alex.

Mary Aalgaard said...

The Ghostbusters movie looks good. Others have posted favorable reviews. I think I'll watch it with my boys over the holiday break. We'll need to watch the original first! Fun cosmic humor.

Leigh Caron said...

The draft can be stressful for me when I have holes in the story and it takes forever to fix them. I'll probably see the Kings Man and Ghostbusters. Wishing you the merriest and healthiest Holiday Season ever!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Alex, more than the first draft, rewriting stresses me up real fast. I feel I may not do justice to the revisions. I want to see the Ghostbusters movie!

Rachna Chhabria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sadira Stone said...

Can't wait to see the new Ghostbusters movie. Wishing you and yours a happy holiday season with plenty of writing time for you!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Forgot to wish you Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas in advance, Alex.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi Alex,

May you and yours have a wonderful Christmas and all the best for the new year!

Thanks for the review of Ghostbusters... I may have to see it!

What stresses me about writing is not the first draft or editing... Honestly... it is the querying. Spending countless hours creating the query, personalizing it for the agent or publisher, and then the LONG wait to finally receive the rejection in almost all cases. Of course, other writers may not have been stung as hard as I have with rejection, but we ALL have our fair share of it.

See you next month!

Andrew Leon said...

I want to go see Ghostbusters, but it's not looking good at the moment.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I usually enjoy the first third of the rough draft, and I oddly enjoy racing through it, and then I go into full on plodding turtle mode in revisions, but I am learning to enjoy that part, too.

And thank you for doing all you do, Alex, and all the admin team. It's been an honor to be a part of the team.
I won't be going far, just doing a lot less.

Loni Townsend said...

I'm your opposite it seems, Alex. I do great in the first draft. It's fixing the darn thing that brings me unending pain and agony.

My husband and I want to watch Ghostbusters: Afterlife. We even prepped the kids by renting the original Ghostbusters.

Yolanda Renée said...

I love the writing, all of it! The real stress is the marketing. At least for me. :)

Ghostbusters looks like it'd be a lot of fun. Is Spiderman's new movie an updated take on the Christmas Carol?

Melissa said...

I enjoy editing, too, especially the final pass, when I get to read the story at nearly full speed.

Steven Arellano Rose Jr. said...

The first draft can be hardest to get through. I've had some real challenges on the first draft several times.

This month the movie I'm strongly planning on seeing is Nightmare Alley. It's directed/produced by Guillermo Del Toro who directed the Hellboy flicks. It's not supposed to be as fantastical as his other films but it has a lot of film noir and dark carnivalesque atmosphere. Have a nice break and a Merry Christmas!

Patricia said...

I can't wait to see the new Ghostbusters. The trailers looked great.

diedre Knight said...

Howdy, Captain!

I really hadn't planned to see the new Ghost Busters movie, but now you've talked me into it!
I absolutely love the writing part of the process. Rewrites, without a clear objective, make me uneasy. This is why I have the highest esteem for editors - other than me on my own work ;-) So true, favorable feedback is a supreme delight!
Have a wonderful holiday season!

Elephant's Child said...

As always I am endlessly grateful to all you authors out there. I am becoming increasingly aware of what it costs, and thank you is not enough - but is heartfelt.

Birgit said...

Merry Christmas Alex, I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving as well. I have to admit what stresses me out is actually starting because of my grammar, run off sentences and should I just write my mom’s bio from the heart or should I investigate all that went on during the war and afterward. I want to see the Ghostbusters film and I do want to see a movie or 2 but we shall see.

talklady said...

First draft, second draft, third draft... I admit that I like the entire writing process. What a hobby! What an honest pre-occupation! What a way to spend time...

Victoria Marie Lees said...

I'm with you, Alex. Finishing a first draft is toughest. I, too, need something to work with in order to revise. I wasn't even thinking this basic when I answered the question this month.

Thanks for all you do, sir, to help your fellow writer. Merry Christmas! And may we all be blessed with words and stories in 2022.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lee, Juneta will be great!

James, interesting!

Mary, all you need is the first one - skip the other ones.

Michael, it is a drag!

Tyrean, we will miss you!

Loni, I'll trade you.

Yolanda, wouldn't that be funny?

Steven, I missed seeing that one on the list!

Thanks everyone and Merry Christmas!

J E Oneil said...

I'm definitely looking forward to No Way Home. I hope it lives up to all the hype!

Jennifer Hawes said...

I do love a good ending. I also love crafting a killer opening scene. I was so hoping the new Ghostbusters would be worth it. Good to know!

Chemist Ken said...

Wow, I didn't realize all these good movies were coming up this month. Well, I guess that means less time for writing. :)

Sandra Cox said...

Editing delights you? I didn't see that one coming. Heh.
Glad you got to see Ghostbusters. It was fun, wasn't it?

Cherie Colyer said...

I'm much like you. The first draft always stresses me, and I love to revise.

I having seen the new Ghost Busters, but I'm looking for to it. :)

Olga Godim said...

I love editing too. It's such a delight to improve and embellish your own words.
I need to see the Ghostbusters movie.

John Wiswell said...

What delights me is when I get deep enough into the writing groove that good material comes up unexpected. I blow through the parts I expected and momentum yields stuff I wasn't ready for but that clicks. It's heat-of-the-moment art. Wonderful state to be in.

Denise Covey said...

I'm with you, Alex. Once the story's down, it's editing time! Woohoo!

Mary Kirkland said...

The Spider man and Matrix movies are both ones that I want to see.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I used to love doing the first draft, but now I'm like you. I much prefer getting past that first draft and editing.

A very Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Liz A. said...

I'm with you, editing is way more fun than writing that first draft.

kimlajevardi.com said...

I'm with you on both the stress of the first draft and the joy of editing. The empty page is more intimidating by far than gobbleygook that I can polish.

Sherry Ellis said...

I think putting the first draft down on paper stresses a lot of people out. Editing could be fun, but for me, time is a problem. If I have deadlines, it's tough for me to get it done.

Have a great rest of the month and a Merry Christmas!

Jenni said...

I really like the editing part too! It's so much better than working with a blank page. :)

Hope you have a blessed Christmas too! Enjoy your time off!

Fundy Blue said...

Hi, Alex! I can't wait to find out about the anthology winners. I hope you have an awesome December and a meaningful and enjoyable Christmas. Enjoy your break ~ You've earned it, my friend!

Botanist said...

Getting the first draft out is the fun part for me. If I could hand it over to someone else to do the rest, I would be happy! Editing is slowly getting more tolerable, but marketing is the pits!

Arlee Bird said...

I did like the first Matrix films although by the third one I thought the idea was starting to disintegrate. Hopefully the new one will be a worthy revival of the franchise.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sandra, yes it was, and hit all the right notes.

Kim, that's such a funny word...

Thanks and Merry Christmas everyone!

newsstand pilgrim said...

I'm also the opposite...the first draft is the most fun. I enjoy editing, but I'm a puzzle fan....or maybe I'm a glutton for punishment.

Thanks for the Ghostbusters II review. Enjoy your holidays!

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Yeah, me too, Alex. I get stressed over the initial draft/s. Editing can be a delight, though.

Nice, fun review of Ghostbusters Afterlife. Hm, maybe I'll get my beau to watch that with me.

Cheers.

Liesbet said...

Love your answer to the monthly question, Alex, especially about what delights you. I can't believe another Twitter Pitch event is already around the corner again. How time flies!!

The Ghostbusters movie sounds like a good one for the upcoming holidays. I like that there's a sneak ending - always a fun surprise. :-) Interesting they came out with a new Matrix movie... Everyone needs more money, apparently.

Enjoy your blogging break and have a wonderful Christmas and New Years with your family, Alex. You have a big event coming up in 2022!!

J.Q. Rose said...

Yes indeed. Who was it that said you can't edit a blank page? Getting started is half the battle...another cliche. Wishing you happy holidays!!

Gwen Gardner said...

I’m relieved after the first draft too, but dang, editing is when the real work starts for me. Thanks for hosting, Alex. And thanks to all the go- hosts!

Rhonda Albom said...

Hey Alex, we are exactly the opposite. I love sitting down and writing the first draft, especially the opening. In fact, I have the start to several stories, but it's the guts of the story that stresses me.

That Ghostbusters film looks like something I will enjoy. Thanks.

G. B. Miller said...

Sounds like Hollywood is stuck trying to take some franchises off life support that should be better left alone. Last one sounds intriguing though.

For me, most writing stress is actually that first draft, with an extra special helping of stress with doing complete 360's with a rewrite. Less stress with editing, but not by much.

Jan Morrison said...

I'm so with you on this one Alex! I love revising - it is where the real creating happens for me. I have this carved out chunk of something (marble, labradorite?) and it has a basic shape that I sort of get but carving further reveals the real piece. And polishing! Yeehaw!

Al Penwasser said...

What stresses me? Likewise, it's creating the first draft. Editing, while no picnic, involves more work but it's not nearly as stressful. My joy is when I release the thing and watch the pennies in royalties roll in.
Re: Spiderman. I've wondered, as I watch the trailer, if Peter Parker was so worried about Dr. Strange undoing the fact that everyone knew who he was, why didn't PP just tell selected people? But, then, we wouldn't have a movie, would we? That said, I am so psyched to see this thing. Personally, I thought Tobey McGuire was the better Spiderman while Tom Holland is the better Peter Parker. I REALLY do not like the Iron Man angle, though. I mean REALLY. Plus? SEXY Aunt May? FORGET about it!

Annalisa Crawford said...

Ghostbusters and The Matrix! Looking forward to both of these :-)

mail4rosey said...

We love to see the Spiderman movies. We'll go see that one.

It's interesting that you like the editing more than the first draft. I've heard more people say the reverse. :)

I love to encourage a love of writing in my students. It's easier to get them writing than reading. Reading is becoming so obsolete with kids today. Makes me a little sad. Reading was always one of my most favorite things to do when I was a kid. I got such joy from it.

H.R. Sinclair said...

First draft for me too! I find it hard to let go and get over myself and just let it flow (like the spice 🙄😂).

I'm happy to hear the new Ghostbusters is good.

Deniz Bevan said...

Ooh, I'm looking forward to IWSGPit!

Carrie-Anne said...

I also enjoy editing, revising, and rewriting more than the actual writing sometimes. With my oldest drafts, it was like writing the book twice or thrice and going on that journey with the characters all over again.

Have a happy Christmas and New Year!

Weaver said...

I've been hearing good things about the new Ghostbusters movie. We'll have to see it now.

Christine Rains said...

I love writing the first draft, but the marketing stresses me. The new Ghostbusters is still on my to-watch list. So many good movies are! I've been watching a bunch of the Rifftrax shorts, riffing on old educational shorts and such. They help me get through the day. :) Is corn grass? Why yes, it is. *LOL* Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year, Alex!

J.L. Campbell said...

Hey, Alex,
Ghostbusters sounds like good fun.
Enjoy all the best the season has to offer!

Jean Davis said...

Editing is my happy place too!

I'm holding off on films for the most part. I've grown accustomed to watching movies from the comfort of home. They'll come around eventually.

Juliana Haygert said...

We just rewatched the first 3 Matrix movies -- we're ready for the new one!!! ;)

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Is it just me or are the moviemakers rehashing old movies? Has this always been a trend (since before our generation)? I long for fresh new material. Let Ghostbusters die, the Matrix... what else? It's all regurgitated and rehashed and reborn! Ugh...

Susan Kane said...

So ready for GB. So ready for Matrix.

Janet Alcorn said...

I struggle with first drafts too. Of course, I also struggle with revision, especially the first pass when I have to turn a hot mess into something slightly less messy. Writing is fun but also hard work.

J Lenni Dorner said...

We're the opposite -- I much prefer the draft to the ocean of editing where I drown debating over commas (because different style guides can't agree).
I do love a movie with a bonus scene in the credits!


Hope you had a good IWSG day!
I'm enjoying #WRiTECLUB2021 over at DL Hammons blog. The entries are fun to read and vote on with feedback.
Plus, I'm currently reading Patricia Lynne's Being Human. (The IWSG Goodread's book club choice for December.)
And I'm scheduling debut author interviews at Operation Awesome.
I hope you have some fun plans for the rest of 2021. 🎄🎆⛸🥁✉🥂⛄ May your days ahead be merry and filled with positive experiences.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Editing, definitely! - total freak out most of the time. :)

Just here to wish you and yours a merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year 2022, Alex. Thank you for all you do.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Hi Alex, Sorry this is long overdue, but I wanted to thank you for all you’ve done for me over the years. Glad the IWSG is still going strong! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year!

Julie

Patsy said...

I just popped in to wish you a Happy New Year!

Weaver said...

I've heard good and bad about the new Matrix movie.

mail4rosey said...

I'm here to wish you a Happy New Year!

Sandra Cox said...

See ya tomorrow;)

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Happy New Year, Alex!

Not sure if it's an option, but the part that stresses me out the most is waiting for the near-final draft from the editor, when the deadline dates are pushing in and the formatter is waiting. I'm always terrified we're not going to make it in time, but we always do.

Hope you had a great Christmas.