#IWSG -New Territory

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

The Insecure Writers Support Group  is where writers can share their insecurities and encourage one another. IWSG was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh and we share our posts the first Wednesday of the month. The co-hosts this month are: Lauren Hennessy, Lisa Buie-Collard, Lidy, Christine Rains, and Mary Aalgaard. If you’d like to join in, just click the link above for the IWSG sign-up!


I am feeling a bit apprehensive right now. I’ve crossed into new territory. Most of my writing career (if you can call it that) has been spent writing poetry and short fiction. The only time I have ever written anything longer than 2000 words was back last April when I wrote a science fiction novella for the A-to-Z Challenge. It ended up being around 44,000 words. But you see, Science Fiction is my favorite genre to write in. I like creating my own worlds, making up my own rules and creating bizarre alien characters. I seem to be able to easily write Horror too. However, when it comes to writing mysteries, well, that is completely new territory for me. I love to watch mysteries, always have. But to actually sit down and write one myself? Nope, never done it.

Well, that is exactly the challenge I have set for myself this month. I like to do that sometimes. Challenge myself, force myself out of my comfort zone. It keeps me on my toes. So back in December, when I was plotting out writing projects for 2016, I came up with the bright idea to write a Noir-style mystery for the entire month of March, a serial in 31 parts. I began researching for it back in mid-February and last week, I worked out my characters and plot. As for the story itself, I am writing it each day by the seat of my pants, allowing the story to take me where it wants to go, but hopefully in the direction of my plot.

So why the apprehension? I am scared I won’t have enough story to tell for 31 days. I am scared I won’t keep it suspenseful and interesting. I am terrified that my main character will be too cliched and not original enough. I suppose all writers deal with this anxiety, but this is really the first time I’ve lost sleep over a writing project.

If anyone is interested, the story is called The Stacked Deck. Check it out, if you’d like. And if there are any mystery writers in our IWSG group who can offer me any advice, please do let me know. Until next month, I wish you all an anxiety free month of writing!


Hump Day Poem – The Nothing

Powerful poem of hope in the midst of despair
Comments are closed. Please visit Michael’s blog to leave a comment. Thanks!


Cylindrical Forest

I am the nothing

Today I hover over the abyss.

I’m not going to fall in

But feel safe and comfortable.

When you are nothing

You can say and do anything

Its doesn’t matter

No one is listening

No one is watching.

No one notices you

Lingering in dangerous places.

You have things to say,

Things to do, but nothing comes out

Nothing gets done.

You find yourself

Sitting, thinking, your mind in circles

And it doesn’t matter

For there’s no one to care.

You wallow in your own mire

Knowing you’re where you deserve.

The flailing goes unabated


A voice asks if you are ok.

With scepticism you hear platitudes.

The voice sits with you

Talks of things

Tells you their story.

Engaged, you open slightly

You step back

The voice is a person.

You look down and discover

Empathy and understanding

Holding your hand.

Your nothing is…

View original post 15 more words

The Stacked Deck – Part 2

Bobby Weston, Jack’s young associate, sat across the desk from Jack. He puffed on a cigarette while he waited for him to finish his call. He first met Jack when he was arrested for petty breaking and entering. Jack got his charges thrown out and put Bobby on the straight and narrow. That was until he came to work for Jack the PI. He did more B&E now than ever. Only difference, he got paid to do it.

Jack put the receiver down and nodded at Bobby. He lit up a cigarette and took a drink of coffee, although what he really wanted was a shot of bourbon. This case just might be his undoing.

“Okay, kid. Here’s the deal. I need you to keep an eye on Victor Angelo for a couple of days. Shadow his every move, but don’t get caught. You got that?”

Bobby nodded as he stumped out his cigarette and stood up. “Sure, Jack. Shadow and not get caught.”

“Good! I have to go see Larson. There’s something fishy about him sending that dame to me.” Jack pushed back his chair and stood up too. “Check in with Dani every couple of hours. And for Pete’s sake, Bobby, be careful.”

Jack knew Bobby could handle himself. The kid was six-foot-tall and weighed well over 300 pounds, but with his blond tussled hair and baby face, everyone misjudged him.

Bobby picked up his hat and turned to leave. “Hey boss,” he said, turning back around, “you meaning to take Angelo out this time for good?”

Jack chuckled. “We’ll see, kid. We’ll see. Now get on out of here!”

Jack left his office a few minutes after Bobby and headed to the police station. As he entered the 5th Precinct, he was met with cheers and pats on the back. His old buddies enjoyed Jack’s occasional visits.

“What’s new, Jack?”

“Solved any murders recently, Jack?”

“How’s that hot secretary of yours working out, Jack?”

These were the usual round of questions. Jack just laughed and nodded at the guys. Promised them they would all get together over a round of beers soon. He headed to Larson’s office and knocked on the door.


Jack entered the small office. His old partner sat at his desk shuffling papers. Larson looked older these days. White streaks of hair mingled with the black ones. He had a permanent crease across his forehead these days and his voice was gruffer than before. The man was nearing sixty, probably due to retire any time.

“Hey Larson,” Jack said with a nod as he sat down across from him.

Larson looked up from his stack of papers. “I guess you are here about the White case?”

“What gives, Larson? Why’d you send that dame to me if this was ruled a suicide?”

Larson leaned back in his chair and cupped his hands behind his head. “She was quite persistent, Jack. Claimed her husband didn’t own a gun.”

“And the one you found at the scene?” Jack asked as he took off his fedora and tossed onto a chair beside him.

“Just Charlie White’s prints and the serial numbers filed off.”

Jack nodded. It sure sounded like something Victor Angelo would pull off. “So you think Angelo is involved?”

“Honestly, Jack, I’m not sure. We found that matchbook on him. His wife claimed he came home to her every night. So where did he get the matchbook?” Larson leaned in and whispered, “Too many loose ends, Jack, but you know how it is around here. No proof, no search warrants, no Angelo.”

Yeah, Jack knew all too well. They’d let Angelo slip through their fingers once while he was an active cop and he’d tangled with him once since becoming a PI. The guy was as slippery as an eel.

Jack stood up and put his hat on his head. “Okay, Larson. I’ll see what I can come up with and keep you in the loop.”

“Say Jack,” Larson interjected before Jack could get out the door, “we have an unsolved murder case linked with Angelo’s club too.” He pulled out a file and handed it to Jack.

Jack took the file and looked it over. Handed it back to Larson. “You think the two are connected?”


“I’ll let you know if I discover anything,” Jack said as he opened the door. “See you around, Larson.”


The Stacked Deck is a noir-style WhoDunIt serial which will appear as 31 parts, told every day in March. I hope you will join me again tomorrow for another exciting part of this story!

This serial is copyrighted ©2016 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved. Permission must be granted to distribute or copy this serial (unless reblogging). Thank you.

Click the link to catch up on the other parts of this story:

Part 1

Jump forward to Part 3



Hump Day Poetry – Week 4


Hump Day Poetry is a weekly poetry blog-share every Wednesday. Here’s how you can join in

The rules:

1. Write a poem (any type of poetry, even for other challenges) You have from Wednesday to the following Tuesday to link up!
2. Grab the badge and display it on your blog to show your support.
3. Link it to my poem of the week with a pingback or by leaving the link to your poem in comments.
4. Visit other bloggers’ poetry for that week. Like, leave a comment, and share! (Please try to visit as many other poets as possible. Keep the community love flowing!)

Note: to create a pingback, simply include the url of this post somewhere in your post. Please check my page to ensure your pingback has posted. If not, it is either awaiting moderation, or the pingback failed (happens sometimes!). To ensure your post is seen, you may want to just add the link to my page. I would rather have duplicates than not get to read your poetry!

Click HERE for further information. And now for my poem of the week….


My Anchor
~for Lisa D.

O my dear friend
how I long for days’ past
when life was carefree
our greatest struggles
just to fit in
these years as outcast
have hardened me
worn me to bone
a masked skeleton
only your devotion
keeps me here
prevents Death
from his conquest
O how easily I could drift
lose my way upon the sea
you are the anchor
that keeps me safe
my darkened soul
lifted, lightened
by your touch

©2016 Lori Carlson. All Rights Reserved.


Happenings in the Wold of Poetry

Check out 48 Writing Contests in March 2016 – No entry fees (note: poetry, fiction and non-fiction contests)