Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, Furiosa and Shōgun Reviews, and June 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.

The awesome co-hosts for the June 5 posting of the IWSG are Liza at Middle Passages, Shannon Lawrence, Melissa Maygrove, and Olga Godim!

The June 5 question - In this constantly evolving industry, what kind of offering/service do you think the IWSG should consider offering to members?

This is where you need to let us know what you want – what would help you as a writer? We are no longer doing anthology contests and our #IWSGPit is on hold. However, we still have:
The Insecure Writer’s Support Group website with weekly tips and a huge database of information. Plus we are partnered with Reedsy, Medium, Mary Kole, the Ninja Writers Club, and we have a monthly newsletter.
Our Facebook group with prompts, tips, and connection opportunities.
Our Twitter/X account with tips and shares.
We’re also on Instagram with prompts and writing tips.
So, what else can we offer you?


Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

Beginning with Furiosa’ abduction from the Green Place, she ends up under the control of Chris Hemsworth’s character, Dr. Dementus. From there, she ends up in the Citadel with Immortan Joe, hiding out as one of the War Boy workers and eventually part of the team driving the big rig.
First off, there is no way to beat Mad Max: Fury Road. It’s the perfect action film. Once this gets going, it’s got some amazing sequences and strong characters.
The beginning is a little frustrating (your mother said run from danger) but once at the Citadel, it takes off.
Taylor-Joy and Hemsworth are excellent in their roles. So is Tom Burke as the driver who helps her learn the ropes.
There is a chase scene involving a car flipping over onto the hood of the semi that is amazing.
Like most movies these days, it’s too long. A little less action means more scenes that should’ve been trimmed. Plus you know Furiosa and Immortan Joe will make it as they are in Fury Road.
However, it was an entertaining film and I would recommend it.


When a mysterious European ship is found marooned in a nearby fishing village, Lord Yoshii Toranaga discovers secrets that could tip the scales of power and devastate his enemies. Series on hulu and FX. Based on book by James Clavell.
This is a great historical (fictional) drama. It felt very authentic and genuine. No agenda other than telling a grand story. The acting, production values, settings, etc. – everything top notch.
I loved that most of it was in Japanese with subtitles. That’s a turn off for some, but don’t let it stop you from watching this incredible show.
Highly recommended!

June Movie Preview

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

7 –

Bad Boys: Ride or Die
Directors: Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah
Stars: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens
This Summer, the world's favorite Bad Boys are back with their iconic mix of edge-of-your seat action and outrageous comedy but this time with a twist: Miami's finest are now on the run.
How far into the film before Smith slaps Lawrence?

14 –

Director: Ishana Shyamalan
Stars: Dakota Fanning, Olwen Fouéré, Georgina Campbell
A young artist gets stranded in an extensive, immaculate forest in western Ireland, where, after finding shelter, she becomes trapped alongside three strangers, stalked by mysterious creatures each night.
Trapped in a glass house with people outside who want to kill them – must be how mimes feel.

28 –

A Quiet Place: Day One
Director: Michael Sarnoski
Stars: Joseph, Djimon Hounsou, Alex Wolff
Experience the day the world went quiet.
Technically, it probably wasn’t very quiet – lots of screaming, gunfire, explosions, etc.

What do you think the IWSG should offer its members? Have you watched Furiosa or Shōgun? What movies will you see in the theater this month?
Enjoy your June


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Shōgun keeps being recommended to me by Hulu...I'll have to watch it!

Too funny about the Quiet Place movie, ha.Yeah, I suspect the prequel won't be quiet at all.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I'm not sure why my comment didn't get published. My husband and I watched Shōgun and really enjoyed it. Great recommendation.

A number of people mentioned publishing the anthologies again. And another idea I just came up with is creating a data base of book reviewers who offer blog tour services that can help authors reach new readers. I know a few I could recommend.

Thanks for all you do to keep the IWSG going. I really appreciate you, Alex.

Nick Wilford said...

I think the IWSG is doing a great job with its offerings. Hopeful for a return of #IWSGPit but I know there are a lot of logistics involved. I might well check out Shogun.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - it seems you've covered most items - and I know bloggers are a pretty discerning group of writing friends who give extra thoughts. All I can say is it's the best thing that's happened to me in my blogging life: I get an overview, even if I don't 'partake' - cheers Hilary

Loni Townsend said...

I hope you get some good answers for the monthly question. I wasn't terribly sure of my answer.

I'm looking forward to watching Shōgun. It's on my list, but I haven't had much time for sitting and watching lately.

H. R. Sinclair said...

I couldn't think of anything for this months IWSG question, but Diane got me thinking with her answer. So, maybe a list of people available for beta reading?

Jennifer Lane said...

I forgot to state my gratitude for IWSG in my post today! Y'all are already doing so much that I couldn't think of anything else to request. I'm looking forward to taking my niece to Inside Out 2 this month.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

The only thing that worries me about the next Quiet Place movie is no one is returning.

PT Dilloway said...

That is such a weak upcoming schedule. Any other year those would probably be January-April or September-October movies.

A Hundred Quills said...

Thanks for doing this, Alex. I am sure you'll have tons of suggestions by the end of this.

Melissa said...

If I'm totally honest, I didn't answer this month's question, because I'm not entirely sure what all IWSG does offer.

If you don't already, consider creating a course for beginning fiction writers that takes them through the basics. Courses on ads (Amazon, Facebook) and other marketing topics would be nice, too.

mail4rosey said...

Glad to hear Fuirosa is worth the ticket price. That's on my list of possible 'go-sees.' We used to see movies all of the time but we've slowed way down. The teen goes with his friends more than we go together now. Difference in movie tastes, for sure. ;)

Joyana Peters said...

I'd like to see some kind of collaboration forum or place for authors to find book reviewers/ beta readers or virtual book tour options.

Lidy said...

I'm all about the subtitles so Shogun is on my PTW(plan to watch) list.

Loved Bad Boys 1 and 2. Bad Boys 3 was meh. So not sure about the latest installment but willing to give it a try.

As for this month's blog question, it's similar to Joyana's answer. A place to find other IWSG memeber who provide professional writing/publishing services.

cleemckenzie said...

IWSG offers a lot. It will be interesting to read all of the suggestions members have about other ways to serve the writing community.

Jacqui said...

I was glad to read your review of Furiosa. I'd heard bad things about it. You gave me balance. Shogun--enjoyed that one too!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Elizabeth, you need to watch it.

Natalie, we'd appreciate those recommendations.

Nick, we hope it returns as well.

Holly, that would be good.

Jennifer, thanks!

Pat, I'm guessing the writer's strike screwed up much of this year's releases.

Rosey, they do grow up!

Joyana, several have mentioned that.

Jacqui, it's a good film.

C.D. Gallant-King said...

Wait, Dakota Fanning is still considered "young?" I know I keep picturing her as like, a baby, but she's gotta be about 30 now, doesn't she?

Shogun is on my watch list, but my watch list is embarrassingly long, so I don't know when I'll get to it.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Shogun is already on our To Watch list!

I'm torn between seeing the Watchers movie first or reading the book first....

I had no idea there was going to be another A Quiet Place. Hmm....

Steven Arellano Rose Jr. said...

I haven't checked out IWSG's Instagram page. I'll have to take a look at it. I wouldn't mind checking out Watchers. It sounds like it might have some good suspense in it. I liked the first A Quiet Place movie and the second one was okay. But prequels seem to be getting too formulaic now so I may just pass on this next one.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I think... well, you know what I think. IWSG is a jewel. You're a hero to so many, Alex. Thanks for the movie reviews.

Fundy Blue said...

Hi, Alex! I always start with you when making my rounds ~ a little late today after a delayed home flight yesterday. The IWSG is a wonderful group, and I really appreciate all that you've done over the years. It's amazing!. I read "Shogun" several times decades ago. The book was awesome. I don't seem to have much time to watch tv any more though. Enjoy the day!

Nancy Gideon said...

Enjoyed Furiosa. I like prequels to a series I've watched and this fit nicely. Had to rush home and rewatch Tom Hardy's take. As for IWSG, I don't know what I would have done (or would DO!) without it. I came across it when branching out from NY publishers to smaller niches and self-pubbing, and the info and support kept me going.

Lynn La Vita said...

I joined IWSG Blog Hop January 2015 (thanks Joylene) and participated each month ever since.

I was so focused on participating, I didn't notice IWSG website had weekly tips.
Your answer to our June question inspired me to look. I discovered these weekly tips are the Home page not the "Writing Tips" page.

I suggest cross promotion within the IWSG website. For example:
First listing under "Writing Tips and More:"

TITLE "This Week's Writing Tip"
DESCRIPTION: Weekly writing tips.

IWSG website is a wealth of information. Let's make these nuggets of information easier to find and use.

Thanks from Lynn @

Tyrean Martinson said...

We enjoyed Furiosa, aside from the "your mom said run!" moment, but yes, there were parts that felt a little unevenly paced. And the fake nose, teeth, and contacts on Chris Hemsworth were a bit odd, but I get that he was separating out that character from his previous work. And we also enjoyed Shogun - it was really well done. Another movie I watched with friends at a matinee last weekend was IF - and if you like fun, sweet movies, I recommend it. :)

diedre Knight said...

Howdy, Captain!

This month's question is tough since practically everything is already offered at IWSG. I should probably be more vocal about how often I use Reedsy and refer to the newsletter.
"How far into the film before Smith slaps..." Haha! On a serious note, I doubt I'll ever watch anything he ever does again. The first "Quiet Place" was definitely a nail-biter, so I'm dragging my feet on that one. But I do want to see Watchers.

Have a happy June and a wonderful summer!

Michael Abayomi said...

Shogun was amazing. It reminded me of the earlier seasons of Game of Thrones. I heard more seasons are in the works though, which has me a bit conflicted since it was originally pitched as a one-and-done deal.

Carrie-Anne said...

A weekly IWSG chat on Discord, Twitter, or Zoom could be a worthwhile idea, with writers broken up into smaller groups according to genre, experience level, whether they're editing or drafting, etc. Matching potential crit partners is also a good idea.

Pat Garcia said...

I think the IWSG is doing a lot already. Of course, I would to see the anthology return, but I also know that is WORK, a lot of WORK.
Shalom shalom

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

CD, to me, she's still a child...

Steven, with a prequel, you know what's going to happen...

Thanks, Joylene!

Nancy, that's good to hear!

Lynn, thanks for the tip.

Michael, they didn't count on its success I guess.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Your comment about A Quiet Place made me chuckle.

No movies I'm interested in, but I finally saw Oppenheimer last weekend. I've decided to watch all the big movie a year later than everyone else.

J E Oneil said...

"Must be how mimes feel" I laughed too hard at that one.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Haven't tried Shogun yet. I usually get lost if I have to read subtitles. TV can't hold my attention well enough. I'm always doing something else when watching a show or movie. Nothing else interests me.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Looking forward to Shogun. Subtitles dont bother me.

Alex, have a great June!

Sherry Ellis said...

I laughed at your comment about A Quiet Place not being very quiet! Too funny!

Miffie Seideman said...

I love the IWSG community, but mostly feel connected on the monthly blog hop right now. I'd love to see more inter-member communication and sharing. I have no idea what that would look like. Maybe a monthly online chat option for a specific topic for folks to share their tips. I also realize that sounds easier on paper than in real life. I'm sorry to hear the IWSGpit is on hold- there are fewer and fewer online pitches, but I also recognize the ammzing amount of time and dedication those take. You've really helped so many people through the IWSG in many ways. Thanks, Oh Captain, my Captian!

Jean Davis said...

I enjoy the community of the group. I've seen some great suggestions from others so maybe there's more helpful features to add in the future.

Furiosa looks interesting. I'm a sucker for all things Mad Max so I'll likely get my eyes on it eventually.

Olga Godim said...

Furiosa might be interesting. I'm sure it will be a total escapism movie - just what I like.

Sandra Cox said...

' How far into the film before Smith slaps Lawrence? ' LOL

Rhonda Albom said...

Great question this month, and with a group of creatives like are here, I'll bet you will come up with great ideas. I, however, have nothing.

Samantha Bryant said...

Thanks for all you've already done to make IWSG what it is today. Can't wait to see what y'all come up with next :-) @samanthabwriter from
Balancing Act

Liz A. said...

I kinda want to see Shogun, I kinda don't. I'm sure at some point I'll probably stream it. (I do have Hulu.)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Annalisa, better late than never!

JE, I am here to amuse!

Miffie, the idea of Zoom meetings has come up a lot today.

Everyone, there have been some great suggestions today.
And glad my movie comments have amused. said...

Happy June, Alex!

Birgit said...

I heard this Shogun is excellent but I keep thinking of Richard Chamberlain in his pivotal role. I have no desire to see this Mad Maxine. It’s getting to be a bit much now. I’m not sure about the other movies either…seems to be hum drum

Shannon Lawrence said...

I'm looking forward to seeing Furiosa! Maybe next week. This week we'll be seeing Fall Guy.

Charlotte (MotherOwl) said...

As a relative newconmer to IWSG, I have to post a noob queston. What are Co-hosts?

I have seen Shogun, the old mini-series, long ago, It made a great impression on young me, and I'd sure want to see it again and if I still think it's great.

Kate Larkindale said...

I haven't had a chance to go to the movies the last few weeks because I've been working on an event, but it finishes this weekend and I'll be trying to catch up!

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

Your list tells me I need to delve a bit more deeply into the IWSG web site!

Truedessa said...

I have considered watching Shogun. Anything with Will Smith is off my list. I had to laugh at your comment.

There really isn't anything at the movies that I feel is worth a ticket price. sorry

I hope you have a great week. Tru.... said...

Hi Alex.

That statement about how mimes must feel, good one!
Yeah, I'll pass on any June movies.

I think there's no more IWSG should do. The value of connections to other writers, that's invaluable.

Be well and stay cool in every sense of the word.

Yvette Carol said...

Thanks for the reviews, Alex. I love the sound of Shogun! :-)

Victoria Marie Lees said...

IWSG is an awesome group of writers who truly care about each other. Thanks to you, Chief. Many of the writers have great suggestions for our monthly questions. I learn so much from you guys.

Thanks for all you do, Alex, for IWSG. Have a great day!

Joanne said...

Always love your movie snark. And I think the world is just "over" Will Smith. Even Martin can't save him.
Way back long ago, my review of Fury Road was not as glowing as yours. Thus, I don't plan to see Furiosa in the theater. I'll wait until streaming and it might take me three days. We agree on films being way too long. Edit. Edit. Edit.
Thanks for this June post. Always good, Alex.

Ray Rousell said...

Looking forward to watching Shogun. I've heard good things about it.

Michael Offutt said...

I finished reading Clavell's novel of "Shogun," and I really loved it. I thought that the FX miniseries made for a great adaptation. I'm a little apprehensive at the rumors that the show did so well for Hulu/Disney that Disney has approached the Clavell estate to see if there is a way they can extend it for two more seasons. This would (of course) be totally made-up material. We've seen this kind of thing before with "Game of Thrones," and most people agree that when the screenwriters go their own way, weird stuff starts to happen. I guess this might be construed as the "downside" of capitalism. If something is a commercial success, they will want a sequel, everything else be damned.

Pat Hatt said...

Still have to watch Shogun. I'll wait and watch the prequel, if I ever do, cause as you say, you know what can and can't happen. Plus, yep, movies are way too darn long these days and there is no need of it in most cases.

Sure bad boys will be enjoyable enough. Beverly hills cop 4 is the fourth one I'm waiting for though. Can't get much worse than 3.

Nilanjana Bose said...

I am glad to be back here reading. I don't think Will Smith can be rehabilitated anytime soon.
I'm sure IWSG will continue to inspire, I did enjoy the anthologies and will miss them though.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Charlotte, co-hosts visit a few blogs for me, just so everyone has a visitor that day.

Rebecca, we offer a lot!

Robyn, thanks.

Victoria, appreciate that!

Michael, maybe they will work with them and make another good season.

Pat, the third movie was awful!