IWSG Day, Gordon Lightfoot, and Story Snip from Larksong: Chapter 16

Welcome to Insecure Writer's Support Group Day!





This year marks what would have been the 85th birthday of Canadian music icon Gordon Lightfoot. "To honour his music and legacy, Massey Hall, in collaboration with the Lightfoot Estate, proudly announces Celebrating Gordon Lightfoot on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at Massey Hall.  


The evening, led by two extraordinary house bands, Blue Rodeo and the members of Gordon Lightfoot's longtime band, The Lightfoot Band (Rick Haynes, Barry Keane, Mike Heffernan and Carter Lancaster), will feature performances by Allison Russell, Aysanabee, Burton Cummings, Caroline Wiles & Bob Doidge, Meredith Moon, Sylvia Tyson, The Good Brothers, Tom Cochrane, William Prince with more to be announced.


Proceeds from Celebrating Gordon Lightfootas requested by the Gordon Lightfoot Estate, will support Massey Hall, a charitable not-for-profit, including the Revitalization of the Hall, its music appreciation, education, community outreach and artist development initiatives."


For a full list of upcoming tour dates, head to the tour page!



Today is Insecure Writer's Support Group Day!


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.     

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

The awesome co-hosts for the December 6 posting of the IWSG are
C. Lee McKenzie, JQ Rose, Jennifer Lane, and Jacqui Murray!

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Remember, the question is optional
December 6 question: Book reviews are for the readers. When you leave a book reviews do you review for the Reader or the Author? Is it about what you liked and enjoyed about your reading experience, or do you critique the author?


I try to leave my reviews for readers! A quick summary of the highlights, and maybe calling out a scene or plot point that I found especially moving.

I don't really say anything negative, unless I'm writing a longer review on my blog with a critique.

Speaking of reviews, my own review for Summer Fire contest is ongoing!


And if you'd like to leave some comments on Larksong, here's the latest installment!

Larksong is set in Montreal, July 1914.

In chapter 1, Alice, after her grandmother's funeral, arrived at the family cottage to take care of her grandmother's aviary, only to find that her parents had already leased the cottage to another family for the summer.

The only way she could have one more summer in her favourite place was to surreptitiously take on the role of governess to the two young girls...

In chapter 2, we met George, laid up at the hospital with a broken leg. Instead of joining his friends on a Grand Tour of Europe, he's being sent off to recuperate at a rented cottage in the country...

In chapter 3, we returned to Alice's point of view, and saw her bonding with George's younger sisters. Then she got a surprise -- George was arriving at the cottage that very day!

In chapter 4, we had a hint that Alice finds George attractive and interesting -- but also unbearably rude.

In chapter 5, they had their first argument.

In chapter 6, they argued once more, but the stakes were higher: war is on the horizon.

In chapter 7, George attempted a rapprochement. The chapter ended with him asking, "Why don't we both go sit in the parlour?"

In chapter 8, Alice had some feelings stirring...

In chapter 9, during their first evening together, they began to suss each other out over a card game.

In chapter 10, we reached the end of the evening, with harsh words from George, but a détente of sorts before they went their separate ways for the night.

In chapter 11, we started the next morning in George's point of view, with his dawning realization of his attraction to Alice.

In chapter 12, we saw that this realization did not lead to greater friendliness.

In chapter 13 (which I mistakenly also labelled as 12!), a new complication arose, in the form of the arrival of George's rather rude brother.

In chapter 13 (hopefully I won't make any further numbering errors!), George was busy with inappropriate (as he thinks) thoughts of Alice.

(I've skipped a scene where Alice takes the girls down to the lake and needs to pretend with a neighbour, Mrs Chase, that she is not a governess, but simply helping out with the girls. Then, while Alice is distracted, trying to spin her web of half-truths and discussing the threat of war on the horizon, Lucy gets up on a rickety boat tied up at the dock and fell off into the water.)

In chapter 14, on returning from the lake, Alice and the girls overheard an argument that ended with this outburst from George to his brother Albert: "I don't need your tales of self-pity. The question is, what are you going to do about it, now that you've f***ed it all up?"

In chapter 15, we witnessed the fallout from the argument, then shared a moment between Alice and George in the garden...

Throwing open doors with more force than she'd intended, Alice entered the parlour to surprised looks from Albert and the girls, where they were huddled over a low table, cards in hand.

"You got burned by George," Albert said, and it wasn't even a question.

She glanced at Eleanor as she took a nearby seat on the chesterfield, but the girl was busy arranging her hand.

"I took Mr Cunnick some supper," Alice said guardedly, as though slow speech could damp down all her emotions at once, so she might answer as only a governess would.

Albert did his one-shoulder shrug, and picked Eleanor's card from the discard pile, then changed his mind and drew one from the stack.

"It's my turn!" Lucy cried.

"Sorry, Luce. Here, it was only a three."

"No, that's not the one you picked!" Lucy reached out and snatched up another card from Albert's hand.


"Well, I don't want your lousy old three. This one's a king and I need it!"

"You can't just grab from my hand, that's terribly rude, little sis."

"Lying is rude, too," Eleanor interjected.

Not another family row!

"Perhaps you girls should be doing something more constructive," she ventured. "I have some needlework–"

"A pox on needlework!" Eleanor said. "I've already finished one sampler since school let out."

"If George hadn't hogged the papers," Albert broke in, "we'd be catching up on events in the world. We'll soon be in the middle of some excitement, that's certain!"

"Will your parents return early?" Alice asked, trying to keep the focus on family rather than yet another analysis of ambassadorial exchanges. Then she realised the question might seem self-serving, as though she were slyly inquiring about the security of her position.

Albert looked from her to his sisters and back. "They'll head for London, and decide there, I imagine," he said confidently. "Why, there might be a postcard on its way from Paris right now!" He drew another card from the pile and laid down two sets. "Your turn, Luce."

"George wouldn't have had much fun if he'd gone on his Grand Tour, after all," Eleanor commented.

"They'd have had to cut out Vienna, eh?"

There was another piece of the George puzzle fitted into its place; he must be disappointed and frustrated at having missed his Grand Tour.

She might have tried to find out which other cities he'd hoped to visit, but at that moment Lucy drew two cards and Eleanor opened her mouth, likely to call her on it, then pounced on Lucy's discarded one instead. "Gin!" She slapped all her cards down on the table.

Albert congratulated her and marked the score. As Eleanor collected the cards, Alice caught Lucy stifling a huge yawn behind her palm, and declared it high time to head upstairs.

If she came down afterward, would George have returned to the parlour or would he be still be out in the garden alone?

December is upon us!

I'm going to do my usual only-two-posts-in December thing, during which I'd usually post my year-end books read review and statistics. All of that got thrown out the window this year because my reading habits changed. The kids' reading lists continue to grow (see the bottom of the blog) but I'm also behind on adding other books to their lists. I might try to do a proper round-up in January, when I do my annual writing and craft round-ups!

What sorts of things do you find interesting about year-end book lists?

Do you review books you've read?


Toi Thomas said…
I like that you do longer reviews/critiques on your blog. My book reviews range from short to longer, without being too much to read. I try to be constructive but never negative.
Deniz Bevan said…
Same! I try not to be negative either :-)
I have a hard time saying anything negative as well.
Deniz Bevan said…
Especially online -- it's so permanent!
cleemckenzie said…
Reviews are a lot of work if you do them well. I appreciate people who take the time to read and review.
Karen Baldwin said…
Nothing is gained by being negative or saying something negative in a review. Authors have enough insecurities...they don't need an extra punch in the gut.
Deniz Bevan said…
Oh yes, definitely -- speaking as someone who's hardly ever brave enough to look at her own reviews!
J Lenni Dorner said…
Good answer to the IWSG question.
Enjoyable story.
What book did you most enjoy this year?
May joy, peace, and goodwill be with you this season and always.

J Lenni Dorner (he/him 👨🏽 or 🧑🏽 they/them) ~ Speculative Fiction & Reference Author and Co-host of the April Blogging #AtoZchallenge
Deniz Bevan said…
Ooh, that's a good question! I only just got my copy, but I have a feeling it's going to be the expanded edition of Tolkien's letters :-)
Ha ha Deniz - yes I'm sure Tolkien's letters will top the list! So much going on - and the kids have lots and lots going on too - let alone your enjoyment with them. The next instalment is going to be interesting, I"m enjoying the story - Cheers and have a happy festive season - Hilary
Deniz Bevan said…
Thank you, Hilary! Hope you have a lovely festive time, too <3