Life’s Roller Coaster #IWSG

Sheesh! It’s August already and the pandemic turmoil continues. Our school district decided yesterday to delay the start of school and won’t know until the 25th if they’ll do all online or an alternate day plan. The uncertainty of it all is stressful and frustrating, though I’m sure I’m not alone in that.

My digital art has improved this year, though I’m still slow to produce new works. I typically post them to my instagram account (@art_by_loni), but there are some revisions that I’ve uploaded to DeviantArt. Here’s a Pinterest board, since it doesn’t look like DeviantArt has any embed options.


I’ve managed to get some writing in, netting 10K in July toward book 3 of my big book series. I still haven’t touched the rewrites I’m supposed to be doing for book 2, but eh. Something that made me smile: I submitted book 3’s prologue and first chapter to my critique group during July… and they liked it. They actually liked it! This is big news considering the usual response to my writing is “well, I’m not your target audience so…” Not to say they didn’t have suggestions, but hey, it does help boost the confidence a bit.

On an ABSOLUTELY AWESOME note — my mom is officially in remission!! WOOT!! My parents are both retired and took the the road over a year ago to live a mobile life style. They’ve been going stir crazy for the past five months as they’ve remained in one place for my mom’s treatments. But with the good news, they’re ready to hit the road again and continue their adventure. Yippee!

IWSG Question of the Month – Have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn’t planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance?

Though I don’t strictly plan my form or genre, I tend to naturally gravitate toward fantasy or at very minimum supernatural. I did have a piece where I wanted to write the backstory for a side character named Jack. I figured I’d do like a 900 word blip of flash fiction just to get all the details down for myself. It turned into a 16K novella, written in dialect. Hadn’t planned on that. 🙂

Have you had many ups and downs lately? Is school stressing you out? Got any good news? Where does your writing take you?

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You can find the sign up for the IWSG here. We owe Alex J Cavanaugh a huge thank you for thinking this blog hop up.

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

22 thoughts on “Life’s Roller Coaster #IWSG

  1. So glad to hear your mom is officially in remission! That is such great news!

    And congrats on your critique group liking your submission!

    I don’t have kids, but I do have nieces and nephews and family who work in schools, so I’m waiting to hear what their districts decide to do and just hoping they can somehow stay safe.

  2. Great news about your mom! That’s wonderful! And your productive writing month! AND your awesome artwork!

    They announced here last week that school is basically going back full time with no changes or precautions. It’s an absolute travesty. I suspect the government is banking on a lot of parents keeping their kids home, so they they don’t have to spend the money on extra teachers to reduce class sizes. It’s not exactly a plan so much as “cross you fingers and hope for the best.”

  3. My son just finished high school, so we’re done with that mess. He’s going to be going to a 15 month technical school (in Chicago) starting in September, so all should be fine, although he doesn’t know how much of it will be online. He has ADD, so he won’t pay as much attention online as he would in person, so we’re all hoping most of his classes will be in person. We’ll see.

    Moving on to book three, eh? Yep, sometimes it’s more fun to look forward than to look back at rewrites. Do you know what happens in book three?

    • Strangely, I’ve had a clearer vision on Book 3 long before I even figured out what I was doing with Book 2. Book 2 has always been nebulous to me, switching from a backstory type of idea about the Derek’s parents, to focusing on his transition into his new role, to having monsters attack their world. Book 3 has always been pretty solid in my mind: Derek is imprisoned and Cera accidentally releases him. Once free, he fuels a revolution to restore the rightful ruler to power, dismantles the Sovereign’s reign, and returns the niniers to their creator. There’s a lot of trauma that results from this book, which he faces in book 4. It makes me wary of ever publishing this book, but at this point, I’m finishing my story for me, not for the public.

  4. Your art is amazing, Loni! And congrats about your mom. That is fabulous news! (It’s so nice to hear good news.)

    I’m stressed about school, but from the opposite side–I’m a teacher. We’re starting classes online in the fall, but many of my students won’t be in the same country, so I don’t know how we’ll figure out the time zones. Also, teaching on Zoom sucks. It’s harder to build rapport, figure out student needs, and then there are those lovely students who sign in when they’re not even there. Grr…

    Hope you enjoy the rest of the summer. Be well. x

  5. That’s wonderful about your mom being remission! Love your artwork. I definitely have to go find you on Pinterest and DeviantArt.

    My kids are out of high school now, but my daughter is going back on campus for her junior year of college at the end of August, which has me a little nervous since she has asthma that kicks in when she gets a cold. We’ll see how it goes.

    Congrats on your writing success! I haven’t gotten much done in that area for a while but hope to start making progress again soon.

    Hope they get your school situation figured out soon so everyone can be safe.

  6. Anna

    Congrats to your mom and hugs for you.

    I love your art. You’ve got skills in both arenas. Lucky you. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  7. That’s awesome news about your mother!
    Your artwork is really good.
    Glad you’re getting great feedback on your work.

  8. Wonderful news about your mom.
    It must be very hard, these pandemic times, for families like yours with young kids. It is amazing that you’re still finding time to write.
    Love your art. My favorite is Ele and Risu. I could see a book with it as a cover – bright, original, uplifting. Made me smile. I added it to my favorites on deviantArt.

  9. I wouldn’t say I’ve been experiencing ups and downs, but rather a slow long descent into I don’t know where. Haven’t been thinking of the future like I used to. I feel for all of you who still have kids in school.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  10. C. Lee McKenzie

    You have some very good news! Congratulations on your mom’s remission. That’s the very best. Hope the school makes some kind of decision, so you’ll know how to plan for fall. What a mess this has been.

  11. Yay for good news for your mom! Double yay for an awesome critique from your writers group! It sounds like the summer is turning out well for you and your family. Happy IWSG Day Loni 🙂

  12. Great news about your mom! I hope you get some answers soon on your kids’ school. My oldest son is started college in the fall, and I’m really thankful that they announced a plan earlier in the summer. This whole thing has taught me to take each day at a time, which is a good thing.
    How cool how one character took over and wrote his own book! 🙂

  13. First, beautiful art, as always. Second, I don’t have kids, so I can’t empathize with the stress you’re feeling, but I totally believe it is real and you are going through it and I’m sorry :(. Third, (and probably should be first) HORRAY FOR YOUR MOM!!! A thousand smiles and hugs and high-fives and all the celebratory stuff because YAY. I don’t do this too often but #2020win!

  14. So glad that your mom is in remission. That’s the best news. And it’s great that you are getting some writing done and that your critique group likes it.

  15. That’s wonderful news about your mom.

    I love the artwork.

  16. Great news about your mom. I hope they open your schools remotely, unless you really want your kiddos out of the house. My district is doing virtual, at least for the time being. Strange times these are.

  17. Excellent news about your Mom!

    From a 900 word blip to 16,000 words of dialect?! Yowza! 🙂

  18. Nice to have good news about your mother during this time of uncertainty about everything else. Sometimes the writing takes us where we least expect it, huh? 🙂

  19. I’m so glad to hear about your mom! Hooray!

  20. That is great news about your mom. That is awesome!

    The school thing…yeah, we’re felling it. My youngest son is in his Junior year and the classes are being placed online again, which has him worried. Online education just isn’t anything compared to in-person education. My son doesn’t feel like he’s learning what he’s going to need to take the certification exams in a few years. I think it would almost be a better idea to postpone classes completely rather than keep trying to half-way educate for a year.

  21. That’s so awesome about your mom! I’m envious of your parents. I want to travel the US in an RV one day.

    I’m sorry about the school stuff. I am so blessed that my kids all graduated before covid hit. I don’t know WHAT I would have done. Ugh. My heart goes out to parents of school-age children everywhere.

    You are a very talented artist, as well as writer. Those drawings (paintings?) are super! I’m happy to hear of your writing progress. You go, girl!

    I haven’t made much WIP progress lately. Too much medical stuff (non-covid) going on with me and my family the last couple of moths. I also gave my son cooking lessons. The chef came to our house, but that meant buying groceries more often and cleaning the kitchen on days it wasn’t convenient. I’m glad I did it for him, but I’m glad it’s over.

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