Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, June Movie Preview, Death Love and Robots Review, and What to Watch

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 for the June 1 posting of the IWSG are SE White, Cathrina Constantine, Natalie Aguire, Joylene Nowell Butler, and Jacqui Murray!

June 1 question - When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end? If have not started the writing yet, why do you think that is and what do you think could help you find your groove and start?

I might slow down, but I’m rather determined, so I just power through. I let the story simmer a bit and usually I figure it out. And by simmer, I just let it slide to the back burner and allow ideas to come and go, but I don’t dwell on it or let it drive me nuts. That won’t help a thing.

The IWSG has launched a new program - IWSG In-Person Writing Groups.
We have the basics set up and you can register your group under the IWSG banner right now. But watch for more as we expand this option!

Ninja News

Sunday was the last stop of the CassaDark tour with Armed With a Book!

Looking for something to watch?

Mystery Science Theater 3000’s next season is rocking over at the Gizmoplex, their own platform. Season pass gets you access to a ton of back shows of MST3K as well as the new season.

Season four of Stranger Things dropped last week! You can binge all seven episodes now.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is several episodes into its first season. This one harkens back to the very first Star Trek series from the sixties in tone and feel. (Although my wife still wonders why everyone on the bridge is a woman…)

And Obi-Wan Kenobi just kicked off.

Love, Death, and Robots Series Review

Season three ushers in some stunning animation. And be warned, a lot of gore. Some of the highlights:
Bad Traveling – A ship’s crew must meet the demands of a giant, man-eating crab in their hold. Animated people are good, animated gore best.
The Very Pulse of the Machine – One of the few cell animated (and the only one with no gore), this excellent piece is trippy and would fit right into the Heavy Metal universe.
Night of the Mini Dead – Computer animated miniature train sets invaded by zombies. Get past the first scene (which is just wrong!) and this is the funniest of the bunch.
Swarm – Great animation, this one begins introspective and ends pure horror. (And thus the gore.)
In the Vaulted Halls Entombed – The military meets Cthulhu, this one is great and boasts stunning animation.

– Deaf Spanish knight meets Puerto Rican siren. Great story and the absolutely most amazing animation you will ever see. The water is stunning. Closest to real I have ever seen – dying to know how they did it.
This series is definitely recommended if you can handle the gore!

June Movie Preview

Here are the theatrical releases for June. Descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snark provided by me.

10 –

Jurassic World Domination
Four years after the destruction of Isla Nublar, dinosaurs now live--and hunt--alongside humans all over the world. This fragile balance will reshape the future and determine, once and for all, whether human beings are to remain the apex predators on a planet they now share with history's most fearsome creatures in a new Era.
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Sam Neill
Fossil fuel is bad – bring on the electric dinosaur!

17 –


In the near future, convicts are offered the chance to volunteer as medical subjects to shorten their sentence. One such subject for a new drug capable of generating feelings of love begins questioning the reality of his emotions.
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Stars: Miles Teller, Chris Hemsworth, Jurnee Smollett, Nathan Jones
Does whatever a Spiderhead can!


The story of Buzz Lightyear and his adventures to infinity and beyond.
Director: Angus MacLane
Stars: Chris Evans, Keke Palmer, Dale Soules, Taika Waititi
A movie about a child’s toy that isn’t a toy but a real astronaut on another world who inspires a toy based on a guy we should know nothing about…what?!

What do you do when the going gets tough? Interested in an IWSG In-Person Group? Watching any new series? Seen Death Love and Robots? Seeing any movies this month?
If you get a chance, visit Armed With a Book!
Enjoy June - see you July 6 for the next IWSG post.


Denise Covey said...

Hi Alex. I hope your book tour was successful in getting the word out. The In-Person Groups sound interesting.

Unknown said...

Congrats on finishing up the book tour! Since we're down with COVID and all quarantined in our own spaces, I watched the entire new season of Stranger Things yesterday while getting some day job work done. Good stuff!

Unknown said...

The last comment is from Shannon Lawrence at The Warrior Muse. Blogger has been bizarre for me, and I guess this is the next step (I couldn't sign in at all the other day).

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - I gather Blogger is having one of its moments re comments - so I check in to see if they've been sent to spam - why when friends have been commenting for years - I fail to comprehend. Or logging on - I just make sure I'm subscribed to other hosts - some I struggle with, but it gets over the headaches.

Good luck with your book - perseverance paid off for you. Keep going seems to be the order of the day.

I've seen some films - but not these ... good luck to the authors too - cheers Hilary

Elizabeth Tai said...

I really loved Jibaro! Couldn't stop rewatching it. The animation was absolutely stunning, and the story so heart breaking. I got it right away - about cruel greed of colonisation. Also, absolutely loving the new Star Trek.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I hope CassaDark is selling well. I loved reading it. Great story.

I'm a huge fan of Star Wars and Star Trek really anything sci fi, so the shows you mentioned interest me. I will be going to see Jurassic World Domination when it comes out.


Natalie Aguirre said...

Awesome you finished your book tour. I try to remain determined too. If I can just get a few words on the page when I'm struggling, I can move forward.

I can't wait to watch the new Stranger Things season.

Lynn La Vita said...

Hi Alex,
I've managed La Cruz Writers' Group (LCWG) since 2012. We meet via Zoom once a month. I'm curious about IWSG In-Person Writing Groups and look forward to learning more.

I recognize your simmer solution applies to more than just writing. Good advice.

Lynn @

Liza said...

Happy IWSG Day, Alex! Glad your tour ended and hope you generated a lot of sales.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Putting a manuscript on the back burner and letting it simmer sounds about right, and then I walk. LOL. And hope, in time, my characters speak to me.

Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing Top Gun. I did happen to catch Dr. Strange last week. It was wild, and full of action.

Have a good week Alex.

Pat Garcia said...

Hi Alex,
I take mini-breaks and may read a chapter or work on another manuscript or listen to music, but I still persevere with the manuscript that I am working on, if it is only a paragraph a day.
Shalom aleichem

Jan Morrison said...

Hi Alex - love your advice for not poking at it too much but letting the story simmer.
You finished your book tour! I'm just about to start mine. Kinda crazy - 5000 kilometers with two stops. And with record gas prizes. However, I will not be deterred.
As to movies - me and the fella went to dinner and a movie last weekend - just like the olden days! We saw Everything Everywhere All at Once. I freakin loved it - the fella not so much. He said no plot - I said brilliantly plotted. So there you have it. We still like each other though.

PT Dilloway said...

Jurassic World 3 sounds really dumb. Lightyear really makes no sense either.

Chemist Ken said...

Congrats on surviving your book tour. 😀 I don't care if Jurrassic park makes sense. THERE ARE DINOSAURS! Really hope we see a lot more T-rex scenes. Raptors bore me.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Shannon, sorry you are having issues and have Covid - no fun!

Elizabeth, I've watched it several times as well.

Teresa, thanks!

Lynn, in-person group might be up your alley.

Jan, good luck on your tour! Hope you sell more than you spend in gas.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I wasn't going to watch season 4 of Stranger Things but now I'm kind of on the fence. Hmm....

Also not sure about the new Jurassic Park movie. The first one is still the best! :)

Melissa said...

Agree. The answers often come when I'm doing the most mundane things.

Jennifer Lane said...

LOVE the idea of an in-person writing group! I'll think about one for Columbus, Ohio, once I resume writing.

Nick Wilford said...

I find the best ideas come when not even thinking about my writing or WIP. Good advice here.

Looking forward to Stranger Things. We're waiting for teen daughter to finish catching up on the previous seasons and then we'll watch it together.

Jemi Fraser said...

I like letting things simmer too - my subconscious is very helpful!
Looking forward to ST Strange New Worlds - haven't had time yet :)

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I just power through, too!

So Lightyear is an origin story? That's very different.

Carol Kilgore said...

I do basically the same. My best ideas come in the shower or wake me up during the night.

cleemckenzie said...

Sounds as if your strategy does the trick. Here's to more books from your determination.

I might go back to Stranger Things now that all of the episodes are out there.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I'm not surprised by how you calmly handled writing blocks. Your calmness is felt in every post you write, Alex. It's why I feel comfortable being a member of IWSG.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Alex, I hope your book tour was successful. Wishing you loads of success. I like the way you calmly handle the writing blocks, I too do that. I don't know why I get the feeling that you are a very calm person.

Thankyou for the shoutout about my new book. You are such a sweet and helpful friend. Glad we connected via our blogs.

J.Q. Rose said...

It definitely takes the right mindset not to go nuts or dwell on your story when something is off with it. You have conquered it or you are just a laid-back kind of guy. Stranger Things--okay--I'm gonna watch it. I hear raves about it and I want to be "in" or "cool" or whatever today's word is for that.
Congrats on your new release and surviving the book tour!!

Steven Arellano Rose Jr. said...

I don't know how I missed Spiderhead in my summer sci fi/fantasy movie preview a couple weeks ago! I thought I checked for all of them. Good thing you mentioned it here. The plot sounds a little like A Clockwork Orange. The one I'll be sure to see this month if it doesn't turn out to be an absolute flop on the movie's part is Jurassic World Dominion. I enjoyed the last two of the JW trilogy. I watched the first episode of Stranger Things season 4 and thought it was good. I just hope they've kept up the good work for the remaining season 4 episodes. (I don't binge watch, takes up too much time in the day.) said...

Sorry I've been a bit MIA, Alex.
When the going gets tough, I set it aside and go for a run. Exercise gets my braincells working in weird and weirdly creative ways.
Happy June, dear friend!

Loni Townsend said...

I saw my husband watching Love, Death, and Robots, and admittedly I had to head to a different room. Bit too much for me. We have been enjoying Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, though. My husband, too, noticed all the bridge crew was female. I hadn't noticed until he pointed it out. What I did goggle at was watching Dr. Strange 2, looking up to see if the same guy played Black Bolt in the terrible Inhumans series, and then going "What?!" as I figured out he was the same guy who plays Pike. Totally didn't make that connection in my head.

Fundy Blue said...

Hi, Alex! "Rather determined?" No kidding! You are an inspiration! I think the idea of in-person IWSG Writing Groups is wonderful. I am not ready for joining or forming one just yet. My plate is still too heaped. I am making positive progress though. OMG ~ I can't wait to see the Jurassic Park movie. Have a great day! Thanks for all you do!

Elephant's Child said...

I hope your book tour was really, really effective. And that you enjoyed it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Madeline, watch it! Best season so far.

Jennifer, cool!

Nick, tell her to watch faster.

Elizabeth, sort of.

Joylene, thanks!

Rachna, you're welcome and I'm grateful as well.

JQ, watch it!

Steven, I don't binge either. Not crazy about the last two Jurassic movies, but like that the originals have returned.

Loni, he is!

Arlee Bird said...

If I really set my mind to it I can "power through" writing, but I just haven't had quite enough inspiration to sustain that energy. I did pretty well through a couple of NANO events, but it was like an extended version of some of the papers I used to have to force my way to complete in college. Maybe I need to just do it and see what happens. I guess I don't have to write any absolute masterpiece.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

diedre Knight said...

Howdy, Captain!
I like your “easy does it” attitude. Too deep a rut in the road of a story could lead to a dead end. Rather than allowing that to happen, I’ve opted for a developmental coach to help me bridge any storyline gaps. There has to be a reason I feel like I left someone (something?) at the last stop ;-)

We watched nearly all of Stranger Things last weekend. It’s good!

Your review of Jibaro makes me want to brave the gore ;-)

Thanks for all you do for us!

Meka James said...

I've not been to the movies since Covid, but my kids all want me to join them when they go see Jurassic. I think it will be an interesting movie since they are merging the old with the new cast. Hopefully it'll be a good conclusion.

As far as the writing goes, I wish I could find a way to not let it drive me batty once I'm stuck (currently in that place). I get really stubborn and just want to be done, but at the same time can't see a way forward. Love making matters harder on myself.

Victoria Marie Lees said...

Good for you, Alex, to be able to "just power through" to the end of your stories. Bravo! My husband and daughter love those Star Trek shows. I just like the original series with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. I think the first group of Star Trek movies worked as well, again with Shatner and Nimoy.

Happy Insecure Writers Day! Have a beautiful week!

Sherry Ellis said...

Sometimes letting a story simmer is the best way to go when you don't have a clear direction or ample motivation.

A Hundred Quills said...

Hi Alex. Breaks make sense. But what if they get too long? That can be dangerous. Right? Thanks for the movie list. I'm looking forward to Jurassic Park.

Erika Beebe said...

I like the creative idea of "simmering." I haven't seen any of the movies you listed, but I did see Top Gun over the Memorial Holiday. I loved it.

Ray Rousell said...

I've watched all of the bew series of Stranger Things, my daughter defamed a ST Marathon on Sunday. What a great programme.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Probably see the New Jurassic World movie. Loving Stranger Things!

J E Oneil said...

Definitely seems like sci-fi month.

Joanne said...

congrats on book tour and more. Hopefully folks have you in their summer reading list. As for movies - the previews to Lightyear look good and I'm a sucker for sentimental. Kinda tired of the Jurassic World. I hope there are some quieter artsy movies tucked into the theater (like the last room - number 16- that holds around ten people - ha!) That's my jam. Happy Summer to you!!

Liz A. said...

I so need to start some new series (as there's nothing on right now), but nothing's catching my interest. I think I'll start Strange New Worlds eventually (probably after finishing The Offer).

Truedessa said...

Congratulations on wrapping up the book tour! I hope it was successful. I watched the first episode of Stranger Things, I am hooked, again. I plan to watch Obi-Wan-Kenobi.

Haha I marinate my thoughts when penning a poem.

Have a great week!

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Congratulations, Alex, on finishing your book tour. I'm sure it sold really well. I'm looking forward to some dumb dinosaur action in Jurassic World, and I've been looking forward to Lightyear ever since they used David Bowie's "Starman" in the first trailer (so appropriate).

Olga Godim said...

Finishing your book tour is a great achievement. You must be exhausted.
Lightyear sounds intriguing. I might go see it.

Birgit said...

Congrats on your book and being able to plow through. I never started...yet. I feel overwhelmed regarding my mom's life. I wonder if I should read all the books out there about war and when the Russians marched on. How much homework do I need to fo? I feel I will nor give it justice.
These movies sound OK. But I'm not overly enthralled to see any. I wish Disney would stop with all these sequels, off shoots etc... it's feels old

Rhonda Albom said...

I can't power through when I got nothing. Usually, I walk away and do something else or meditate to get grounded, but my first creative non-fiction is still unfinished. Maybe I will get some good tips from this question, so thanks for asking it.

Sadira Stone said...

Hubs is enjoying the newest Star Trek series. Who'd'a thunk that original series would spawn so many spinoffs?
Happy writing in June!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on concluding the book tour. I'm sure it was exhilarating and exhausting.

When the going gets tough, I break out the wine. Well, I do that when the going isn't tough, too. Make of that what you will.

Jurassic World Domination - we're going to need a bigger asteroid! 🤣

Jennifer Hawes said...

Can't wait to see Maverick! I've heard so many good reviews. I'm ready for non-woke movies again. I like to let the book ideas simmer if I get stuck. It always works out in the end. Stranger Things was weirder than usual. I think they lost some of its original "home town" charm. Missing the mall vibes from season 3.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lee, NaNo is not about masterpieces!

Diedre, just watch that episode. About fifteen minutes long.

Meka, toss on a mask and go. Needs the big screen treatment.

Sonia, I took a four-plus year break once...

Ray, we have two to go! Just watching one a night.

Truedessa, we've watched a couple episodes of Obi-Wan but are almost finished with Stranger Things.

Birgit, yeah, old...

Sadira, I bet Gene didn't!

Jennifer, that's why I gave up on a couple series - I don't want that nonsense either.

Damyanti Biswas said...

Congrats on finishing your Book Tour Alex! Hope you had a fabulous time :)

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

My fav of the Love Death and Robots series was Night of the Mini Dead. I love the tilt shift effect and it is sooooooooo funny. I've watched it many times already!!

Botanist said...

When the going gets tough on a first draft, I usually find it's because there is some key aspect of the story at that point that I haven't properly figured out yet. Whether it's setting or characters or plot or logical consistency ... the list goes on. I have a range of tools to ferret out the blockage which usually keeps me moving along. said...

Congrats of the tour! I am considering seeing the new Top Gun movie. My son said it was better than the first.

Toi Thomas said...

Thanks for another great hop, Alex.
I like the idea of letting a story simmer.
Hope your CassaDark tour was a success. I really enjoyed the story.
I had missed feelings about the first season of Love, Death, and Robots but have stuck with it. It's truly amazing what you can do with animation these days.
Can't lie that I'm really excited about Lightyear. It's all nostalgia for me.

Computer Tutor said...

Interesting collection. I'd normally be excited about all of those topics, but... not sure. Has Star Trek lost its way? Hmm...

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

Congrats on the book tour--hope the book is doing well!

In-person writing groups--sounds wonderful. Hell, at this point, in-person anything sounds pretty good!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lynda, that one was hilarious.

Kim, that's what I heard. Seeing it this Friday.

Toi, some of the episodes are really dark and twisted but the animation is so stunning.

Jacqui, this series may have found it again because the last two series lost it.

Rebecca, it does!

Jenni said...

I like your method of "letting it simmer." Sometimes I'm amazed how an answer will just come to me when I'm not thinking about it.
I really enjoyed the new Top Gun last weekend. Such a perfect summer movie!

S.E. White Books said...

Genuinely excited to see the new Jurassic Park. It has a lot to do with Sam Neil being in it, I won't lie.

Donna K. Weaver said...

We enjoyed Obi-wan. It was fun to see a young Leia and makes me curious what they might do in the future with Luke too.

Lori L. MacLaughlin said...

Congrats on finishing your epic book tour! That sounds like a good plan for when things get tough on the writing front. I'm looking forward to Jurassic Park. I can't wait to see where they go with it. Happy June!

Tara Tyler said...

i miss stopping by here and getting the juicy tidbits on publishing by friends and your movie insights!

star trek - strange new worlds indeed - i loved the 80s when the movies and tv seemed pretty proportional on screen (unfortunately off-screen was another matter...)

obi wan, obi wan, obi wan - disney has been disappointing lately and I can’t decide if I’m going on that journey or not
oh, who am i kidding — i’ll watch it, but i will judge it harshly
again, i will probably love it
but lightyear? nope, not ready for that one —wish they would think outside the box and outside their own remakes and not to mention outside promoting agendas...

thanks for always being there!

Computer Tutor said...

Always love your movie reviews though none grabbed me this time. I like the in-person idea. That will be perfect for some.

Nicole Pyles said...

I love to let stories simmer too! I love the movies you have recommended. I'll have to check those out!

G. B. Miller said...

Back in the day, if I was having a problem with a story, I would simply set it aside and start another. Wash, rinse, repeat. Of course now that has come back to bite me as I'm revisiting those stories many, many years, yeah.

Presently, if I'm getting a bit stuck and not making any headway, I'll often put to the side and either work on something tangentially related to the story or simply go on a walk to think about it.

Cherie Colyer said...

If pushing through doesn't work, I'll focus on something else. Sometimes that's a different story, and let the story I'm stuck on simmer longer.

I didn't realize the next season of Stranger Things is out! I'll have to check it out.

H. R. Sinclair said...

I'm a simmerer too. :) I've watched a little of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. I'm on the fence. It could go either way.

Al Penwasser said...

"Does whatever a Spiderhead can."
I saw what you did

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Hey, Alex! Simmering on the backburner is good! Lightyear looks like fun, doesn't it? Ha!
♥.•*¨Elizabeth Mueller¨*•.♥

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I like the idea of some in-person writing groups. I've recently enjoyed getting back to in-person Dungeons & Dragons here in Utah. I joined two different groups, and it's got my creative juices flowing. I imagine an in-person writing group might also stimulate the same area of my brain.

Michelle Wallace said...

Hi Alex!
I hope the CassaDark tour went well!
It will be interesting to see how the In-Person Writing Groups evolve… and the direction they take.

mail4rosey said...

We saw Top Gun this week. My kids' aunt really wanted to go see it, and I was a little reluctant, but man, it was good!! I really enjoyed it.

DMS said...

Sounds like your writing plan works well for you. I vary with my plan. Sometimes I keep writing and sometimes I stop for a while. It also depends on what else is going on in my life. I had no idea what Lightyear was about.

See you July 6th!

Donna K. Weaver said...

We watched all the previous Jurassic Park movies in anticipation of the new one coming out. Once I'm not sick, I hope to see it.

SpacerGuy said...

Space the final frontier. These are the voyages of Kirks starship Enterprise, (wait just a sec) to explore Picard's interchangable new worlds and exclusive civilizations (hold on, not anymore...) to boldly go where no woman has gone before. (Wheres Dr McCoy? I could use a few tranquilizers)

J Lenni Dorner said...

Netflix== God's Favorite Idiot was pretty good. First Kill was far better than expected.
I wrote a humorous piece for the June WEP prompt.
And I have my favorite book world narrowed down for the IWSG July prompt.
Over at Operation Awesome, our Pass or Pages query contest opens Monday with July's family saga genre. Know any writers who might want to enter?

Nick Wilford said...

Just popping back to say thanks for the offer of a guest post for August. I'm away next week so will send after that. The last email I have for you blocked my message so I don't know if you changed it.

Sandra Cox said...

Bring on the electric dinosaur. Heh.
Yay for our in-person writing groups!
Have a great one.

Blue Grumpster said...

Jurassic World Domination... In my humble opinion this movie sucks so hard it's almost sexy. No, it's not. What a waste.