Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, #IWSGPit, Godzilla x Kong Review, April 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 for the April 3 posting of the IWSG are Janet Alcorn, T. Powell Coltrin, Natalie Aguirre, and Pat Garcia!

April 3 question - How long have you been blogging? (Or on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram?) What do you like about it and how has it changed?

I began blogging fifteen years ago. It took me a year or so to find my footing. Then blogging just exploded. The A to Z Challenge. I was a Blog of Note. Then I began the Insecure Writers Support Group. It was a roller coaster ride.
Things began to change maybe six-seven years ago. The pandemic didn’t help. Blogging has since really dipped.
However, the core people involved are still going strong! New people join the IWSG every month. I am grateful for those of you who still blog every month for the IWSG. And stop by here once or twice a month for some movie, music, and writing stuff. This is still a great way to connect.

I want to take a moment to thank all of the writers, publishers, and agents who participated in #IWSGPit on March 27. Tweets were into five digits, with tons of pitches and many Tweets from agents and publishers. I also want to thank the IWSG admins who monitored the thread that day, including previous admins Elizabeth Seckman and Tyrean Martinson.
This will likely be our last pitch event, as we simply don’t have enough admins to cover all the shifts. That might change in the future or we’ll choose another platform. Either way, we appreciate those of you who’ve participated in our nine events.
And if you land a publisher or agent from this last one, please let us know!

Movie Review – Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

The fifth in the franchise (and fourth with Godzilla), this one goes for it in a big way.
Plot – strange signal coming from Hollow Earth, where Kong lives. The signal triggers Godzilla to attack more Titans. A crew ventures down to see what’s happening and Kong finds a tribe of giant apes. Battles ensue.
Heck with the plot - all I can say is this film was a lot of fun! A good balance of monsters and people, the highlights were of course the epic monster fights. We get a ton of giant beasts in this film, and they and the scenery look amazing.
It also accomplishes something unique. It captures some of the silliness of later Toho films but makes it look really damn good.
Two very funny moments:
After one battle, Godzilla curls up in Rome’s Colosseum like a cat would in a kitty bed.
Godzilla jumps into the air and eventually lands in the ocean. And all I could think about was the ending scene from Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster done by MST3K – ‘I can fly! I can fly! I can’t fly. I can swim!’
And a certain Titan makes a return. (Can’t tell you, that would spoil the surprise.)
I’d place this one above the previous film. A ton of fun that will put a smile on your face.
Highly recommended! 

New Releases!

A Toast to Murder by Eizabeth Spann Craig

Myrtle Clover Cozy Mysteries | Book 24
April 9, 2024
Uncorking secrets, one grape at a time.
Find purchase links here

The Type-A Guide to Solving Murder

A Sunset Ridge Mystery | Book 1
April 9,2024
Sam turns murder into her most challenging project yet.
Find purchase links here

April Movie Preview

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

5 –

Monkey Man

Director: Dev Patel
Stars: Dev Patel, Sharlto Copley, Pitobash
An anonymous young man unleashes a campaign of vengeance against the corrupt leaders who murdered his mother and continue to systemically victimize the poor and powerless.
Is this a prequel to Planet of the Apes?

The First Omen

Director: Arkasha Stevenson
Stars: Nell Tiger Free, Ralph Ineson, Sonia Braga
A young American woman is sent to Rome to begin a life of service to the church, but encounters a darkness that causes her to question her faith and uncovers a terrifying conspiracy that hopes to bring about the birth of evil incarnate.
I thought The Omen was the first Omen?

19 –

The Ministry Ungentlemanly Warfare

Director: Guy Ritchie
Stars: Eiza González, Alan Ritchson, Henry Cavill, Cary Elwes
The British military recruits a small group of highly-skilled soldiers to strike against Nazi forces behind enemy lines during World War II.
Superman, Jack Reacher, and the Dread Pirate Roberts duke it out!

26 –

Boy Kills World
Director: Moritz Mohr
Stars: Bill Skarsgård, Jessica Rothe, Michelle Dockery
A dystopian fever dream action film that follows Boy, a deaf mute with a vibrant imagination. When his family is murdered, he is trained by a mysterious shaman to repress his childish imagination and become an instrument of death.
Is this a video game? Do I get to play that character?

How long have you been blogging and how has it changed? Did you participate in #IWSGPit? Catch Godzilla x Kong yet? And what movies catch your interest this month?
Good luck to all of you A to Z Challengers! I will be taking most of April off, but there were some really cool themes revealed that I will have to check on throughout the month.


Damyanti Biswas said...

I want to watch that Godzilla vs Kong movie !!

Happy IWSG day, Alex.

Shannon Lawrence said...

Congratulations to Elizabeth on TWO releases! Today's question brought back some great memories.

Elephant's Child said...

You epitomize the support I have found in the blogosphere. I don't know how I found you, but many, many thanks.

Ray Rousell said...

My blogs a little younger than yours Alex, a mere 14 years old!! I think, I've been following your blog from the beginning or close to it of mine?
I've seen a few clips of Monkey Man, it does look pretty good.

A Hundred Quills said...

I enjoyed answering today's question. I agree with you, blogging has seen a dip but the community here is hard to give up on.

mail4rosey said...

Well, now I want to see the Godzilla movie just for the Colosseum scene. :) I've been blogging almost 12 years. Started out as a mommy blog and now it's just a mishmash of whatever posts ('lifestyle' would be the closest genre). I just do it for fun because I enjoy it. :)

Have a wonderful week!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Thanks for including my releases in your spotlight!

Godzilla and Kong sound fun. :) I remember watching Godzilla when I was a kid and I think it would bring back a lot of memories.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

You have helped writers so very much. Thanks for keeping your blog and website going.


Liza said...

Thank you for all you have done for writers over the years, Alex.

Señorida Anastasia said...

Thanful for your initiative on starting the IWSG. Can't wait to see Godzilla vs Kong! And also there is this Indian movie called 'The Goat Life' that took 16 years to become the film that it is now. It was released one day just before Godzilla vs Kong. The last week of March brought amazing films I guesse

Donna K. Weaver said...

I saw the promos for the new Godzilla movie. Hubby will love it. lol

Michael Abayomi said...

GxK was indeed a lot of fun. The scenes where Godzilla slept in the Coliseum had me smiling too. Monkey Man looks like it might scratch that John Wick itch so I might be checking it out this weekend.

Nick Wilford said...

It was a masterstroke to start the IWSG, it seems to be the last game standing in the blogosphere and long may it continue. I had a blast with IWSGPit with great feedback, I hope it can survive in some form.

Double release for Elizabeth, congrats to her!

H. R. Sinclair said...

I want to watch the Godzilla-Kong movie!

Our ISWG post has a similar theme running through it!

Loni Townsend said...

My son is really looking forward to Godzilla x Kong. We'll probably hit the theaters one of these weekends to watch it. I'm excited for The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. That is one I'm going to watch, even if I have to go alone.

One of the shows my husband's looking forward to is Fallout on Amazon. He played the game, so he's interested in seeing how they do the show. Your blue comment on Boy Kills World made me think of that.

Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, Alex!

I started blogging in 2008 and chose to present mine as a humor-laced, entertaining artform rather than a forum for serious discussion and debate. Like you, I have noticed a rather steep decline in blog participation in recent years compared to the way it was back in the 2000s and early 2010s when blogging was at its peak.

I'm curious about Godzilla x Kong. Is it based on a true story? :) Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare has me interested, because I loved Eiza González as the vampiric banshee Santanico Pandemonium in From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series.

Have a great month, good buddy Alex!

PT Dilloway said...

I've had a few different blogs since 2010. There have been quite a few that no longer do anything.

That seems like a pretty weak lineup of movies but then it's been a pretty weak year overall.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Shannon, it did indeed.

Elephant's Child, glad I found you!

Ray, I know I found you through Fran. Miss that guy.

Elizabeth, you're welcome. And this film will indeed bring back memories.

Teresa, appreciate that!

Nick, hope it keeps going. Glad you got feedback from #IWSGPit.

Shady, based on a true story - funny!

Lynn La Vita said...

Thank you for. your insight, creativity, and unwavering support of the writing community on every level.

Toi Thomas said...

Happy IWSG Day!
I agree that this is still a good way to connect.
Glad to know that Godzilla x Kong is worth watching.
I love your snark for The First Omen and The Ministry Ungentlemanly Warfare.

Tonja Drecker said...

Yay to Elizabeth! So sad about the Twitter pitch disappearing, but the amount involved is amazing this time. A success!

Jennifer Lane said...

Congratulations to Elizabeth on her new releases, and I hope the X pitch was successful for all involved.

Thank you for keeping the writer blogosphere going, Alex! 13+ years for IWSG is amazing, and I'm grateful.

Birgit said...

I’ve been blogging since 2009 and it seemed easier to do things and I never had issues writing on other people’s posts but they made things more difficult. I’m thankful to you, Alex, who opened up the world of the writers support group and all the people I met especially doing the A to Z. I have to watch all the Godzilla films still and this one looks silly but fun.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Blogging has changed, but I still enjoy it!

I forgot all about the A-Z Challenge - it's been so long since I participated. Making a note as a possibility for next year. :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats to Elizabeth on two book releases. I agree that blogging has dipped over the years, even with the IWSG. I'm so grateful for this group and still enjoy blogging very much. I have a mission to help writers and authors like you do, and that really helps keep me going. I do miss the good old days of blogging though.

Diane Burton said...

I agree about blogging changing. Did all the other social media methods bump it off?

Ronel Janse van Vuuren said...

That last movie does sound like a video game...

I still prefer blogging over social media :-)

Ronel visiting for IWSG day Character Choices

Jemi Fraser said...

We started blogging about the same time :)
Godzilla/Kong sounds like fun

Sandra Cox said...

The pitching went well and was fun, wasn't it?

Lidy said...

Unfortunately, I didn't have anything to pitch. But congrats to all the participants and thanks to all the admins who monitored!

Looking forward to the latest Godzilla x Kong movie. And Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire.

I began blogging 13 years ago. I'd just gotten back into writing and read somewhere that blogging was a good way to create your author profile. Put yourself out there as an author and gain a reader base even if you have nothing published yet. So I created a blog on Weebly with the purpose of posting about various formats of storytelling: books, dramas, anime & manga, etc. I did one post and dropped it as it was too broad. I came back months later with clearer mind of what my blog should be and have been blogging ever since.

Mary Aalgaard said...

I popped back onto IWSG to answer this month's question. Thanks for being such a great host and supporter to writers!

J.Q. Rose said...

Congratulations to Elizabeth!!! I saw a trailer for Monkey Man and thought they were trying to bring back Planet of the Apes. The last scene in Planet of the Apes will forever be imprinted on my brain (the Charlton Heston version).

I've been blogging since 2011 and the one reason I have not stopped is because I would miss the gang at IWSG. That you for being our loyal Captain!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Congratulations to Elizabeth!

You did a great thing starting the IWSG.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Alex, how have you been?

I'm always in awe of all that you do. You support writers so much. And IWSG is a huge blessing.

Fundy Blue said...

Hi, Alex! Congratulations to Elizabeth, and thanks for the movie reviews, Alex! Happy IWSG Day!

Jamie said...

26 sounds cool. I'm planning to watch the movie Greenland later. It's a disaster movie about a comet or something, and everyone is trying to run to Greenland for safety I guess. I've only seen the preview.
I'm thinking of joining your IWSG today because, as my A to Z this month shows, I'm getting pretty insecure as a writer who can't figure out what's wrong with her story.

Jamie of Uniquely Maladjusted but Fun

Joyana Peters said...

Thanks for sharing your blogging journey with us. Happy IWSG Day! You can find me at

Victoria Marie Lees said...

Funny what the characters look like in the Godzilla movie. They always change. Love the image of a "catlike" Godzilla curling up in the Roman ruin. I always liked Cary Elwes--especially his "dread pirate Roberts." He was good in Twister, too. Thanks for all you do, Alex. Have a great week!

Joanne said...

Hi Alex. It's been fun to be a part of blog world, and I especially appreciate your support through all these years. It's a shame so many movies today are sorta snark on their own - tough to even crack a joke about them. But I always find you amusing. Enjoy your April.

J E Oneil said...

It's really disappointing how many people have just disappeared from the blog-o-sphere. Especially when they vanish without a word.

diedre Knight said...

Howdy, Captain!

Sorry about being late out of the gate this morning. We are also still drying out from quite a bit of rain, which I suppose explains the intermittent internet service, sigh.

Congratulations to Elizabeth!

I always enjoy your movie reviews (I could swear I saw The First Omen), but more than just that is the guidance and support IWSG provides for us all. It's a pretty big deal, and we can't thank you enough :-)

Have a terrific April!

cleemckenzie said...

I hope the #IWSGPit can find a suitable place to continue. It's such a great service, and I know writers appreciate it.

Jean Davis said...

Thank you for mentioning in the new releases and movie reviews because my 'living under a rock' self is often unaware of these things unless I stop by your blog. LOL

I hope April treats you well!

Cathrina Constantine said...

I agree, that blogging isn't what it used to be. And I'm so grateful to be a part of this IWSG where I found so many wonderful blogging friends!

The grandkids are excited to see the Godzilla-Kong movie.

Alex, have a great April!

Olga Godim said...

Discovering IWSG was a turning point in blogging for me. It made me blog regularly and brought me in contact with many wonderful writers (people). Thanks, Alex.
On the movie front, have you noticed that both The First Omen and Monkey Man use the exact same color palette in their posters. Is that a coincidence? The same artist doing both? Is that why you put them next to each other - for comparison?

Melissa said...

Sorry about my goof, leaving off the names of the co-hosts. I found it and fixed it when I got home from work this morning. That's the downside to pre-scheduling posts. LOL

Carrie-Anne said...

Before I began my main blog in 2011, I was on Angelfire for about ten years. Then I bought a domain and reposted a bunch of the pages I've saved from archive cache searches after my website was deleted thanks to a mentally unstable blogger and her sycophantic gang. The blogosphere now is so different than it was in the early and mid-2010s, but there are still lots of great people in it.

Liz A. said...

I was just looking through some old blog posts the other day. From 2007. I had a blog on MySpace in 2006, so I consider that the date I've been blogging since.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Pat, May looks a little better for movies.

Thanks, Lynn!

Jennifer, I'll keep it going as long as I can.

Birgit, appreciate that.

Natalie, we'll keep it going together.

Diane, I think it did.

Sandra, yes it was!

Lidy, you just needed to know what you wanted to do.

Mary, thanks for participating.

JQ, thanks for coming along for the ride.

Rachna, you have been missed!

Jamie, please join us next month. Just sign up on the list.

Joanne, I will continue to amuse.

Diedre, thanks!

Jean, you are too busy doing stuff with your books - that blows my mind.

Olga, I did notice! And so weird they come out the same day.

Melissa, no worries.

Liz, is MySpace even around anymore?

Pat Hatt said...

You got a little longer on the cat in blogland.

Not many an interesting movie in that lot for April. Gonna give Kong and Godzilla round 2 a go though soon. Good to know it's worth the watch.

Patricia JL said...

I started blogging back in 2012 or a little bit before. I can't recall the exact year and I don't have that blog anymore to go and check. Things has changed a lot since then, but I'm glad to still have IWSG.

Juneta key said...

I do like Kong and Godzilla movies. I have not seen that one yet but looking forward to it.

J Lenni Dorner said...

If April goes as planned, I'll have a fantasy novella out before the next IWSG day. Fingers crossed! 🤞🏽
I'll probably see the Godzilla movie, depending on how the month goes.

Samantha Bryant said...

The AtoZ challenge! I haven't done that one in a few years…maybe I'll get back to it next year. And I just saw Godzilla X Kong and very much enjoyed it! @samanthabwriter from
Balancing Act

Steph W. said...

I'm glad the pitch went well, it was a lot of fun!

Truedessa said...

I have been blogging for about 11 years. It has been a wild ride and I have connected with some amazing bloggers. The group is smaller now and I miss some of the friends that have moved on.

Thank you for being one of those amazing people. said...

Fifteen years is a long time. Thank you for everything you’ve done to create an engaging online community.

Kate Larkindale said...

Not sure how I missed the pitch event, but somehow I did! The movie I'm looking forward to this month is Love Lies Bleeding.

Meka James said...

Blogging has changed so much since I started as well. There used to be so many book review blogs, but a lot of those people dropped off. I used to follow so many people who wrote Sim stories on blogs then they shifted to Tumblr then Tumblr sorta died with the changes to the platform. Hopefully blogging will make a comeback for folks.

Steven Arellano Rose Jr. said...

I'd see Godzilla x Kong this weekend but I have family coming from out of town. Maybe I can try to squeeze it in this Friday. It definitely sounds better than the previous film in the Godzilla/Kong series.

Miffie Seideman said...

Wow- 15 years and still going. That's awesome. And I'm glad the pitch even went well, but sorry to hear it may be the last. There are so few out there anymore. I totally get that they require lots of people time. I have been so glad to find IWSG- you've really made an impact on the community with it. I feel bad the months I can't post an IWSG blog, but always want like doing the hop to see what folks are saying and connect. Thank you.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

"I thought The Omen was the first Omen?" LOL indeed, Alex. After seeing the trailer, I thought to myself, "Why is this being made? Why was this greenlit? Does anyone even know what the original Omen was or is?" I mean...that thing had Gregory Peck in it. Does anyone even know who Gregory Peck is anymore?

Moving on, I loved "Godzilla X Kong." It was stupid fun, and I got to go with some friends that made it even more memorable. I've also seen "Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire" and I liked it quite a bit. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but if you just let that go and allow it to entertain you it does do the job.

You've been blogging for quite a long time. It's weird to think of how fast those years flew by. I don't think I was ever quite keeping track and then suddenly I'm's been way more than a decade, hasn't it?

Rhonda Albom said...

I have been blogging about as long as you have, but mine are different. I blog travel and my other one is food. They are my primary source of online income.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I started blogging in 2011 while I was submitting my first book, detailing all the ups and downs of it.

I remember reading your blog but taking ages to gather the courage to comment - you were, and still are, a rock in the blogging world.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Pat, just revel in the monster fights!

Patricia, thanks.

J Lenni, cool!

Truedessa, same!

Miffie, thanks - appreciate that.

Thanks, Gwen!

Michael, yes it has. And Godzilla x Kong was a blast of fun.

Annalisa, thank you!

G. B. Miller said...

I started blogging around 2007/08, when a denizen of the chat rooms suggested that I should give it a shot. I think it peaked in general in the early '10's before starting its downhill slide. A lot of the people who used to follow have pretty much decreased their blogging to a very irregular schedule or have basically stopped. I think in general, blogging will always remain a very useful tool, no matter what form it manifests itself too (e.g. Substack and Medium).

The Happy Whisk said...

Congrats on reaching 15 years of blogging. I see many blogs die and it's great that your blog goes strong. Here's to 15 more years! Thanks for everything you do and share!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - all I can say is I'm delighted I've blogging with this amazing community held together by a few stalwarts in the blogosphere - away from the ephemeral FB and other things - which definitely suit others but not writers. Cheers and it's great having you there for us - Hilary

Mary Kirkland said...

My daughter went to see Godzilla x Kong and she said it was really good and she doesn't even like those movies. lol I will wait until it's on Prime or Netflix.

Janet Alcorn said...

It does seem like the blogging community has shrunk, and that's too bad.

I'm so glad you started the IWSG! This is such a caring, supportive community. I'm sorry you don't have enough admins to keep the pitch event going. If I wasn't already super-overcommitted, I'd volunteer.

Al Penwasser said...

I've been blogging for fifteen years. Good Lord.
I guess I just like to write.

Susan Kane said...

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly warfare sounds awesome. Good actors and good director makes the difference. Also hope to see the Godzilla x Kong, exactly our sort of movie. I have been blogging since 2010 and gradually found my focus. It has been so rewarding. When asked what I would like to do: Be a successful published writer. Now I just want to do some interesting good writing. I am a writer. said...

Blogging for 15 years, Alex. It's changed too much. You're one of my only active blogger friends from way back.
Be well, active blogger friend extraordinaire.

Sandra Cox said...

I haven't seen any of the Godzilla Kong movies. Glad you enjoyed it:)

msmariah said...

Alex! It's always so good to hear from you! Thanks for stopping by. I've been working on other projects for the past few years, but I thought I'd dust off the old blog. I miss this wonderful community. Admittedly, I do want to see Monkey Man!

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Wow, movies are certainly getting weirder! Some of those sound truly bizarre!

The IWSG was amazing for me, and it's sad to me that so many people had to give up blogging, myself included. (Though I'm back in a limited way now.)

I've said it before and I'll say it again--I have no idea how you manage to comment on and follow as many blogs as you do. That's when I had to call it quits...when I had so many comments I couldn't reciprocate the way I wanted to anymore.

Sandra Cox said...

There's some fascinating topics on A-Z this year, isn't there?
Have a grand one.


It's fascinating to hear about your blogging journey spanning fifteen years! It sounds like you've experienced many highs and lows along the way, from the excitement of discovering new blogging communities like the A to Z Challenge to navigating changes and dips in the blogging landscape.

Blue Grumpster said...

Good point. The Omen was the first omen. Anyway, this is the search for more more though I'm told it's pretty good. Haven't seen it yet.

"The pandemic didn’t help. Blogging has since really dipped." Dipped it has, especially for those who felt compelled to comment on the powers that be and their.... followers (pun intended).

Good to hear from you, Alex.


Sandra Cox said...

Prequel to Planet of the Apes--Good one:)