writers / writing

#IWSG If not here, where?

This post is for Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group (click the link for details on what that means and how to join. You will also find a list of bloggers signed up to the challenge that are worth checking out. The first Wednesday of every month, we all post our thoughts, fears or words of encouragement for fellow writers.

This month’s question — If you could live in any book world, which one would you choose?

The awesome co-hosts for the July 6 posting of the IWSG are J Lenni Dorner, Janet Alcorn, PJ Colando, Jenni Enzor, and Diane Burton!


I thought about this one for a long time. I read a lot of historical fiction as well as fantasy so all of those fascinating, inspiring worlds are possibilities. Where would I live if not where I am (let’s be honest–anywhere other than California is a good choice)?

Answer: The prehistoric world of my characters.

Bear with me. This isn’t to market my fiction.

In my decades of writing about prehistoric man, I’ve come to respect the paleo world where man didn’t dominate, where we considered all life equal to us and worthy of respect, where our relatively weak bodies required we be clever about survival–hide, move, befriend adversaries, and any number of other options that didn’t rhyme with lethal weapons.

And, it was a WYSIWYG world–What You See is What You Get. Lies, trickery, and subterfuge had yet to dominate social interactions. Imagine that–seeing truth rather than wondering what hid behind the curtain.

I’m looking forward to reading your answers!

BTW–if you aren’t a member of IWSG, but have some thoughts on this question, I’d love to hear them. Just add them in Comments.

#iwsg #amwriting



Here’s the sign-up link if the image above doesn’t work:


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Man vs. Nature saga, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the acclaimed Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Summer 2022


92 thoughts on “#IWSG If not here, where?

  1. Yep, I totally get why you would like to be in the prehistoric period. I’d like to visit the ancient world but not live there. Women weren’t treated with respect and life was hard for them, especially if they were slaves. However, I’d like to been in the era of the Minoans, the women were regarded highly and the Mother Goddess was the principle diety.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the idea that you want to live in the world you created. You have to like it since you placed your characters there. Me? I need my AC and indoor plumbing. Have a great month.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. HI Jacqui, I must be honest that I think now is the best time to live, despite all the problems in the world. I have all sorts of modern conveniences to help me with the work of everyday living and both my children survived chronic illness which they would not have in the past. Even my husband was successfully treated for an early stage melanoma. My mom was also treated successfully for breast cancer. I have three computers and I write when I have time. Research is on the other end of a Google search, I can but loads of books and have long TBRs on my audio, kindle and paperback lists. I can buy the food I want and can cook it as I want and I can travel from time to time and see marvelous places. What is not to like about modern life?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do see your point, but then I have an inordinate fear of an EMP that would knock out everything electrical. And I do wonder how much of our illnesses are caused by this world we live in. If I lived as a hermit in the mountains, would that be better. Well, no, because I’d have a lot more problems!

      I love that you’re satisfied with our crazy world, Robbie.


  4. Hi Jacqui – having been thinking of the various book worlds I’d enjoy being in … but really would like to temporarily visit many places in this age, and back in the day – I’d really like to know things that I will never know … behind the scenes in life … and yes the paleo age too … dreams are made of this !! Cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I swear I left a comment on this post earlier. I guess more than one person on the list today picked their own pre-historic book world to live in.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog on IWSG day. I hope we’ll keep visiting each other.

    J Lenni Dorner (he/him 👨🏽 or 🧑🏽 they/them) ~ Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge, OperationAwesome6 Debut Author Interviewer, Reference& Speculative Fiction Author

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s a difficult question to answer – so many good choices. The Lord of the Rings comes to mind first. Second would likely the Dorsai worlds in Gordon R. Dickson’s Childe Cycle novels. But some times it feels like I live in a “Where’s Waldo” world …

    Liked by 1 person

  7. While I just love Middle Earth and the Star Trek universe, I think it would be the most fun to live in the world I have created for my fantasy series. That said, I also love the pioneer age and it would be so hard to resist the 1870’s!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love my historical fiction, but when I finish the book, I prefer a running warm bath and electricity, thank you! So I would not like living all my life there. A 7 days summer camp, yes. I guess, for living my life there… Narnia, maybe? It is magic, despite the lack of modern amenities…

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m pretty sure my characters would fail in our world. But there is a simplicity to knowing what’s going on, without trickery or subterfuge, to relying on yourself. I think that’s at the core of why Americans are so taken with the old West’s Mountain Men.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I really, really love your answer to this month’s IWSG question, Jacqui. Sooo true. Of course, with all the good stuff of those times, there is also the bad stuff. If only we could grab honesty and equality and respect of the prehistoric times and mix them with the comforts of modern times… I think with comfort and luxury comes boredom and that leads to wanting to be in charge, power, and selfishness.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Yes, there is a place as awesome as Southern California, Jacqui. It’s Colorado!!! lol. I really enjoyed your prehistoric world because of the characters and the settings. I would happily live there for a while! Then I’d want a hot shower and a big hamburger and a mai tai. I hope you are having a fun day!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. It’s interesting you chose your own novel world, Jacqui. My first inclination would be to choose my Kennedy J Quinn character’s world which I’m still working in for the rest of the series. To me this makes perfect sense, since as fantasy writers I think many of us create worlds we want to explore and/or wish we could inhabit – at least for a time. It’s a good sign if we fall in love with the worlds of our invention. It shows we’re passionate and brought them as much to life as we possibly could for our readers to inhabit for a time, as well.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I like your thoughtful answer, but enjoy my creature comforts too much to give them up (and then there’s the dinosaurs!)
    I’ve read a lot of books over the years centered in Australia and have fallen in love with the country. I would go there in a heartbeat if I could.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I like the convenience of grocery stores air conditioning and daily showers so no prehistoric life for me. Your brave Jacqui to envision yourself in the dangerous world of everything around you. My world is Edgar Cayce and Plato’s Atlantis. My research into my next novel, “The Mystical Talisman of Atlantis” has me in the world of harmonic energies of mind, body and spirit. There are bad guys and evil forces but nothing the light and my heros cannot overcome.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. I’m not sure I’d follow you into that world. I’m not big into cold caves, hot spewing volcanoes, and bears with extra-long claws. Then it’s the couture and hirsute men. However, I love to read the stories you write, so I’ll stay on this side of the page and see how you do.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Good question. Your first choice was California followed by the paleo period. Such complete opposites! We chose to live here in the Okanagan and I don’t want to live any where else (I work in the north). I don’t think I would want to go back in time; I wouldn’t mind taking a peek at the future, though. Cheers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t think I could go back to a former time, either. The time travel stories where present day people end up in the past–I’m afraid I would focus on what I’d lost (electricity, civilization, that stuff).

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Love your reasoning, Jacqui, but it was also so dangerous! I could live in a children’s book with talking animals, and our biggest problem is figuring out how to get the baby bird back into its nest. 😀 I would never want to live in one of my books. Too many dead people.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. It’s a fascinating question. I don’t really have an answer. But a book I’ve always meant to read is the novel A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, by Betty Smith. I was born in Brooklyn, and lived there till I was almost eight. I have a lot of memories from Brooklyn.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Jacqui, you are brave to want to live in that world. It’s gonna be 103F today. I think I treasure my A/C too much to want to live without it. I’m not trying to be flippant… it’s seriously hot and makes you feel ill if you’re too active in the heat.

    Liked by 4 people

    • That is the first to come to my mind too, Priscilla. How did they survive before ac???? My sister in rural Indiana said it was so hot, they couldn’t have the parade of dogs because the concrete was too hot for their little paws. That’ll cook an egg.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Good question. It would probably be Mart Twain’s “Roughing It.” I fell in love with Nevada, the Sagebrush State, when I spent a year in Virginia City and I’d loved to have seen it when it was relatively unscarred. And besides, like Twain, it would keep me out of that war going on back east.

    Living in prehistoric times does have an interesting appeal, a time of innocence (before Eden?). But it was also a time of great danger, unlike Nevada in the early 1860s.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t mind the danger so much. This world is dangerous, just in different ways. But, prehistoric was pre-religion. They had no idea of a God. That gives me pause. He’s always my miracle worker.


    • Their ‘rough’ was physical. Ours is cerebral. I saw a study once that concluded smart people weren’t as satisfied or happy as less smart because they knew what could be (I’ve seriously restated that but hopefully you get the idea). My goal is not happiness, but satisfaction would be nice.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Excellent points about the prehistoric world of your characters, Jacqui!

    I chose Dan Brown’s book world for the Robert Langdon series. In those books, the author used the same plot essentials but kept it fresh by adding interesting characters and exotic locations. Brown captured readers with brilliant descriptions — useful patterns writers can use to enhance their books!

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Pingback: #IWSG If not here, where? — – uwerolandgross

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