Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Insecure Writer’s Support Group; July Movie Preview; and Reviews – The Flash and From

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 July 5 posting of the IWSG are PJ Colando, Kim Lajevardi, Gwen Gardner, Pat Garcia, and Natalie Aguirre!

July 5 question - 99% of my story ideas come from dreams. Where do yours predominantly come from?

I would have to say from a mix of media. Movies, music, and art. All three influenced the ideas behind my books.

The IWSG Goodreads Book Club had a great run. But Toi Thomas is stepping down and we have decided not to continue the group. It will continue until the end of July. We appreciate Toi’s hard work these past few years and we’re grateful she was a part of the IWSG team. Thanks to all who participated in the book club and we hope you found some great new reads.

Co-Hosts needed!
We need two-three more for August 2, three to four for September 6, and three to four more for October 4. Leave a comment or email me if you can do any of those months.


The Flash

Unlike most of the movie-goers out there, I went to see this film and enjoyed it.
It did a serviceable job telling the story of Flashpoint. There were complaints about the Speed Force, but it worked for me.
The opening scene with the Flash and Batman was thrilling. And there are many more exciting action scenes.
Plus there are a ton of Easter eggs and surprises.
It certainly leaves room for a sequel that sadly will never happen. If you didn’t see it in the theater, you’d be able to soon on several streaming services.
Overall, I had a blast watching it. Lots of fun, great action, several hilarious scenes, and all laced with elements of grief and loss, which is the heart of this story.
If you aren’t sick of superhero movies, then I’d highly recommend it.


Streaming on MGM, first season free on Prime Video.
People come to this town, but no matter what they do, they can’t leave. They can’t communicate with the world beyond their town. Oh, and there are creatures that will torture and kill you if you are not safely in your home, guarded by a talisman.
That in of itself sounds creepy and crazy, but wait – you’ve not seen anything yet!
Every episode piles on more twists, more problems, more dangers, and very few answers. It’s frustrating sometimes, but the really compelling element to this series is the people.
There’s Boyd, the sheriff trying his best to hold the town together. Donna, who runs Colony House, who is one tough, no-nonsense mama. Jade, who is annoyed by everything and everyone but despite his attitude, you like him. And that’s just it – most of the people, despite the things they do wrong, are decent folks who are just being beaten down by an almost hopeless situation.
There are moments of intense gore, but it’s not the focus. This is a real mindbender of a series. If you like a puzzle (think the series 1899) then you will really be captivated by this show.

July Movie Preview

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

12 –

Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Stars: Rebecca Ferguson, Tom Cruise, Pom Klementieff, Simon Pegg
Ethan Hunt and his IMF team must track down a dangerous weapon before it falls into the wrong hands.
And I’m dead sure I won’t remember any of this film by the time part two comes out…

21 –

Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr.
The story of American scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer and his role in the development of the atomic bomb.
They are calling it the feel-irradiated film of the year!

Where do your story ideas come from? Can you help co-host any of those months? Seen The Flash or From? And any movies catch your eye for July?


Elephant's Child said...

How I love your snark.
Even on movies I am almost certain I will never see.

Ram Lakhan said...

The Insecure Writers Support Group is an incredible community of writers who uplift and inspire each other. This July post is a reminder that we're not alone in our writing struggles and that support is always available. Thank you for creating such a welcoming space for writers to connect and grow together. Keep shining a light on the writing journey! ✍️🤝🌟
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Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - Thanks for the update - and as EC mentions films I'm unlikely to see. You and the IWSG team do a huge amount for us - many thanks -Happy Fourth and to the years ahead. My ideas relate to the particular prompt, or on a subject that interests me and is usually interesting, but obscure, but caught my attention and I hope my readers do too. -
Cheers Hilary

Shannon Lawrence said...

I admit I'm deeply burned out on superhero movies. We'll probably watch as a family on streaming, but only because Michael Keaton is my Batman. No interest in seeing it in theaters.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks to Toi for leading the book club. I feel bad I didn't participate, but I always have way too many books to read.

I can be a co-host in October. I'd jump in sooner, but I'm too busy with my daughter's wedding coming up the end of August.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I just wanted to thank you for the Insecure Writer's Support Group website and monthly blogging event. IWSG is like having a friend when you need one.


Jennifer Lane said...

I'm excited for Oppenheimer, especially after visiting Santa Fe, NM (too bad we didn't make it to Los Alamos.) I recently finished Jury Duty on Amazon Prime and LMAO.

Looks like we are on the same wavelength about writing inspiration.

Loni Townsend said...

I'm not surprised you're influenced by music and movies. You always have the best reviews. My husband and I got to see the Flash a week and a half ago. It was fun.

Jemi Fraser said...

I hadn't thought about music, but that definitely factors into my subconscious as well - and it's the machine that builds the stories for me

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Absolutely loving FROM! Only a few episodes in so far, and can't decide between binging it or watching it slowly....

Nick Wilford said...

Deeply behind on superhero movies. I'll leave it up to you to report back on them! But yes, in general, movies and music are constant grit to the mill creatively.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Shannon, Keaton was really good in the film.

Natalie, thanks!

Jennifer, that's cool.

Loni, it was fun!

Madeline, we ended up watching one every night because we just got so hooked!

Lynn La Vita said...

I too am grateful for your leadership, inspiration and advice. I'll considered using music to inspire the next episode in my series, "Slices of Life."

Cheers, @ Lynn La Vita

PT Dilloway said...

I'll probably watch The Flash when it's on streaming. And like you, I can't tell any of the Mission: Impossible movies apart since the first one, especially the last two, except the last one had Henry Cavill's mustache in it.

Isn't that weird Barbie movie coming out this month? I'm not sure what the box office reaction to that will end up being.

Carrie-Anne said...

Most of my storylines and overall book ideas just naturally come to me. In the past, particularly in my Atlantic City books, events were taken right from my own life, but I've since come to realize those funny vignettes don't really work with the stories I wanted to tell and who the characters are. said...

I can co-host in October, Alex.

Carol Kilgore said...

I don't know where my story ideas come from. They just show up in my head with no relevance to my dreams or real life. One day they're just there.

Pat Garcia said...

I like that you're inspired by music. Music has its own language, and touches souls.
All the best.
Shalom shalom

Pat Garcia said...

Hi, again,
I forgot to say I can co-host in September.
Shalom shalom

Leigh Caron said...

Always appreciate your movie reviews. Most people I know don't go to movies anymore. Did you enjoy Oppenheimer?

Sarah Foster said...

I'll probably see The Flash when it comes to streaming, but only because of Michael Keaton.
I can co-host in September!

Fundy Blue said...

Oppenheimer looks like my kind of movie, Alex! I'm sorry to see the bookclub go, and I appreciate Toi's hard work. I did enjoy reading some great books, but I haven't been participating recently because too much else is going on. Take care!

Lidy said...

Haven’t gotten sick of hero movies yet and probably won’t for a long while. Been looking forward to The Flash but heard it received some negative complaints. I’ll wait for when it’s available to stream.
Since it doesn’t look like Hollywood will stop making hero movies, what superhero would you like to see on the big screen one day? Been thinking about this lately, and I’m hopeful for a Captain Planet to get a superhero adaptation one day.

Most of my story ideas are based on my dreams. I tend to have adventurous, save the world type dreams but lately that hasn’t been the case. My dreams have become more of everyday living. Like finding myself back at school and going to class, eating a meal or trying to find a bathroom. Or they’re so meaningless I don’t remember them when I wake up.

Gwen Gardner said...

Ideas come from everywhere! I mostly get mine from punny titles I come up with for my cozy mysteries.

Alex, sign me up again to co-host if you need to :)

Sherry Ellis said...

Thanks to Toi for leading the book club. Sorry, it's shutting down. I bet a lot of people enjoyed it through the years.

From seems like an intense story!

My inspiration comes from life. Things that I experience.

Commenting from your comment: If you ever write your own music, I'd love to hear it!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I like The Flash. Really looking forward to Oppenheimer.

Patricia JL said...

I can help co-host in September or October.

Olga Godim said...

Some of my ideas come from art too. Especially my own. I would make a pre-made book cover and think: oh, that might fit this kind of story... And the story would unfold.

PJ Colando said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tyrean Martinson said...

There are many movies I want to see, that have passed, and more coming out that I don't know if I will have time to go see them.
Thanks for the awesome reviews!

PJ Colando said...

I giggled at your several punny reviews!

I'm glad to co-host again - whenever needed - for this incredible service to writers, whether insecure or not!

mail4rosey said...

Flash is on my agenda for this week. I haven't heard of Oppenheimer, but what a cast! I'll probably go just for that reason alone. Here to wish you a wonderful day! said...

Ooh, I like it, Alex. Before I read YOUR answer, I thought about how many of my (mostly nonfiction) story ideas come from my dreams. Sleep takes us to the most creative of places.
Be well, friend.

J E Oneil said...

From looks quite good, and I'm sure it will continue to be so when it gets canceled in two years for something cheaper and probably not as good.

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

Put me down for October co-hosting. I think I can arrange to be near a computer for that date :)

diedre Knight said...

Howdy, Captain!

I have to agree with Shannon; Keaton was unforgettable. Or was that Kilmer? "FROM" sounds interesting.

I'm in the woods this week and find I've left my planner at home (rats!), so I will check on those co-hosting dates and get back to you.

As much dreaming as I do, you'd think at least a few would show up on paper. Not that I know of, though;-)

Happy July!

Meka James said...

I'm not much into superhero movies so I probably won't be seeing The Flash, but I've heard good things about the new Spiderman animated film that came out.

I'm available to help co-host in September or October.

Botanist said...

TBH most of the movie releases these days hold little interest for me. I think I'm suffering from superhero fatigue :) Am looking forward to seeing Dune once part 2 is released though.

Liz A. said...

I'll wait for The Flash to stream. But I'll probably like it. Did you say From was on Amazon? It might be a bit much for me, but I definitely need something to watch. I'm definitely curious about Oppenheimer.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I will probably watch the Flash. I try to have an open mind when I do. I'm still not over DC dumping Henry Cavill.
No dream ideas for me either.

S.E. White Books said...

Artists inspiring other artists is an ongoing circle. We absorb so much from the world around us, and I love it!
None of the movies coming up is particularly my beverage of choice, but I do love Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders. He might get a watch from me just for that.
If you're still looking for hosts I'm happy to volunteer for whatever slots still need filling. Any of those months work for me.
Happy IWSG day ninja captain!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Pat, funny about the mustache and I'm thinking Barbie will either sell big or tank, no in between.

Thanks, Kim!

Thanks, Pat!

Karen, I will let you know when it comes out in two weeks.

Thanks, Sarah!

Debs, thanks!

Lidy, I'm just hoping for more Aquaman - he's my favorite.

Sherry, I haven't yet, but I did record me playing something different than it's supposed to be played. I'll have to locate it.

Patricia, thanks!

PJ, thanks!

JE, sadly, true.

Rebecca, thanks!

Thanks, Meka.

SE, appreciate that!

Truedessa said...

Hi Alex,

I hope you had a great 4th of July! "From" sounds interesting, it could be something our friend Pat might have written. I will try to watch that. A lot of my writing comes from snippets of dreams or inspiration that I find in nature.

Wishing you a week of calm!

Susan Kane said...

Won't see The Flash. We are selective in what we pay for. My husband would sooo love "From". Mission Impossible should be called "The Tom Cruise movie and save the world."

We went to see "Sound of Freedom" which was excellent. Jim C. is sincere and does the part justice.

Joanne said...

Great snark. As I keep saying the length of movies annoy me. I'll wait for The Flash to show up on Disney +. As for writing - dreams, an observation, overheard conversation - those are all prompts for stories. Now I just need to actually write them. Ha! Enjoy your July and stay cool

Birgit said...

I can see my ideas come from dreams, nature, my pets and whatever I pet…did I just write that out loud?. I think The Flash didn’t do well because people are getting tired of all the Super hero movies. I will watch it when I can see it on TV but I’m far behind. I want to see the next MI movie if not to see Tom Cruise run. Hope you had a nice June off.

A Hundred Quills said...

Hi Alex! Oppenheimer sounds good. I would really like to co-host in September, please. August is WEP, so September will be good. I hope you will consider me. Dropping you an email.

Tonja Drecker said...

Oh, so there are two parts to the Mission Impossible? Oh well.
Music is inspiring!

Steven Arellano Rose Jr. said...

I dont watch a lot of television horror series but From looks like it has a really good premise. I like stories about strange, isolated towns. Oppenheimer looks interesting but since it's historical I think I might just wait for it to come on video. (I try to save my money to watch the more action oriented movies in the theatres.)

Mary Kirkland said...

I haven't seen the flash yet but I plan to because I usually like the flash movies and shows so I'm going to give it a try. You know if I had to write stories based on my dreams they would all be horror, because I have nightmares practically every night for the past 30 years and I used to have night terrors. My dreams are seriously crazy. Maybe I should get somebody else to write stories based on my dreams. LOL

H. R. Sinclair said...

"If you aren't sick of superhero movies, then I’d highly recommend it." This made me laugh out loud. I hadn't heard of FROM, but I will check it out. I like puzzles. :)

cleemckenzie said...

Media. Movies. Music...a great combination for inspiration and ideas.

Kate Larkindale said...

I'm looking forward to Oppenheimer.

And happy to host on one of those dates. Just holler!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Susan, my wife wants to see that one.

Steven, you would dig From!

Thanks, Kate!

Jen said...

Movies, TV and Music are all great places to find ideas.
I'm constantly watching something and going, "Hmmm...what if..." and off I go on another story tangent (because I really need ANOTHER story...)

"Feel-irradiated film of the year"
* snort *

Lisa said...

I've not seen From yet, but now I'll give it a shot. Also, I can co-host in October if you still need someone then? We went and saw Astroid City, and it is a really different kind of movie...

G. B. Miller said...

Not a fan of superhero movies, as it wasn't a genre that did anything for me.. In fact, I was thinking about this topic for some unknown reason, and the last superhero movie that i had actually watched in a theater was the first "Spiderman" with Toby McGuire and Willem Dafoe.

As for where the ideas for my stores come from, I really wish I knew. The only one that I can remember was my first published book when it came to me in a dream and it just took off from there. The rest I have no real clue on how they had originated as it has been so long ago.

Denise Covey said...

Hey Alex! I'm sorry that the book club is closing down, but I think book clubs take a lot of time. Many thanks to Toi who did a stellar job.

Al Penwasser said...

My story ideas come from my personal experiences. In fact, of the books I've written, much of them are based almost completely on real life (especially my "Navy" books).

Arlee Bird said...

Movies like Oppenheimer draw my interest and this one is a great story. Hopefully they don't cram it full of PC nonsense and environmental and moral soapboxing. I'd just like to hear about the drama of the real life story.


Jean Davis said...

I can co host either sept or oct if you still need people.

Janet Alcorn said...

I saw the preview for Oppenheimer when I saw the latest Indiana Jones - looked interesting.

Happy to co-host for Aug, Sep, or Oct if you still need folks.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jen, I made you snort!

Lisa, don't like the director I'm afraid. And full up for October - can you help in November?

Denise, she did!

Al, makes sense.

Lee, tell it like it happened.

Jean, how about November?

Janet, August will be good! I will email you tomorrow.

Haddock said...

Ideas come from dreams? For me, my dreams evaporate as soon as I getup.

Lux G. said...

I've got to watch these movies. I've heard mixed reviews, but so far, the good ones intrigue me. I think The Flash's hate comments are mostly because of the lead actor's controversy and not the movie itself.

I admire how you can write books with mixed influences, Alex. I wish I'm as artistic and talented as you are.

Sandra Cox said...

I echo your sentiments concerning Toi. Her hard work was much appreciated.
Have a great one.

Cherie Colyer said...

Most of my story ideas come from something I've seen, but I have gotten a few from dreams.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the movies. I'll have to watch for The Flash to hit one of the streaming services we have.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

“From” has got me really curious, but I won’t watch it. Scary shows just get too under my skin these days. I’ll have to look up a spoiler and satisfy myself that way as to what is going on.

I too really liked “The Flash.” But I hear it is a pretty big disappointment. I imagine that this is the swan song for Ezra Miller, who is probably going to get all the blame. They are very troubled, and did some really weird and unsettling stuff.

Sandra Cox said...

Haven't seen The Flash or From. Glad you enjoyed them.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I am not burned out on superhero movies ... just ones that are poorly done. Like Haddock, my dreams mostly fade upon awakening, but a few do persist and those I do use in some of my stories. :-)

XmasDolly said...

Hello my friend, and thank you so much for stopping by. Many have stopped because I have been having so much trouble getting back on the blogging boat! I just don't get this Word business & my friend says it's the best thing for me. Personally I don't think so, but I don't want to hurt her feelings being as she's been helping me so much. Why can't I get this stuff back in my head! I blogged for so many years! Weird!!! Anyway, with friends like you still stopping by to keep me a float I'll make it yet!!! I get excited for pity sakes when I do do it, but the next time... FLOP!!! :( Oh well, glad one of us is still on top!!! You'll always be there my friend! GOOD LUCK & I'LL BE BACK TO MAKE SURE YOU'RE STILL HERE! YOU'RE DUH BEST! HAVE A GREAT DAY! Hey if you want me to put your logo or something on my blog just say the word..

Nilanjana Bose said...

I can never remember my dreams! Thank goodness ideas are everywhere.

Ram Lakhan said...

I can totally relate to the Insecure Writers Support Group! It's comforting to know we're not alone in our writing struggles. Let's uplift and encourage one another on this writing journey. Remember, we all have unique voices and stories to share. Keep pushing forward and believing in your craft. You've got this!
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DMS said...

I have not seen Oppenheimer- but have been hearing a lot about it. I haven't seen any of the Mission Impossible movies- but I agree with you that by the time part 2 comes out I would have forgotten part 1. ;)

Susan Kane said...

I don't watch any Cruise movies. No matter the plat, it is all about Cruise. He is the same in every movie.

The Happy Whisk said...

When I sit and write, ideas just show up. Others just come throughout the day. Last movie we saw at the movie house was Galaxy.