Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hey, Sunshine: Good and Talented?

Maria Popov's review of Samuel R. Delany's new book, is well worth a read -- even though my inner critic leaps out of my forehead to say, "You'll never be done. You'll never be done!"

In About Writing: 7 Essays, 4 Letters and 5 Articles, intransigent Delany says, "Good writing is clear. Talented writing is energetic. Good writing avoids errors. Talented writing makes things happen in the reader’s mind — vividly, forcefully — that good writing, which stops with clarity and logic, doesn’t."

Well, Delany, a nine-time Nebula Award winner, does live in New York. 

So I'll click my heels three times out here in the boondocks, and continue researching yellow fever in the 19th Century. Found a great book to read (already ordered it) this morning:  The Sooterkin by Tom Gilling. I think this guy may be a 'talented writer'. He moved to Australia in 1983 and writes with precision and grace.

Dorothy's Ruby Slippers

On the bright side, my blog got the Sunshine Award. Now, for the 10 questions the award requires and my nominations of 10 outstanding blogs: 

10 Random things about you:
What inspired you to start blogging?
I started blogging in 2004 as a way to share my travel adventures. When I began writing my novels, I started blogging to have a place to talk about writing. The results have been much more than I expected as I’ve met wonderful writers from everywhere. We may never be famous, but we share a passion for writing, revising, publishing, and even the dreaded marketing.  Then along came A-to-Z Challenge and A Round of Words in 80 Days. Now I’m a committed blogger!

How did you come up with the name of your blog?
The travel blog’s title, “On the Road Again,” came right from our daughter. Her exasperated cry (“You’re on the road, again?”), met with our excitement of leaving (latest trip October 2012 to Africa for three weeks). My writing blog carries just my name. Still working on that marketing thing.

What is your favorite blog to read?
I do read many blogs, partly for ROW80 and the A-to-Z Challenge, but KM Huber’s blog is the one I turn to again and again for her reflections on simply being.

Tell us about your dream job.
My dream job is where I am now – retired. When I think about all those hours I worked in a corporate setting and then a classroom, I’m very grateful for what I learned and contributed. But now is good. Now I have time for my first love, writing.

Is your glass half-full or half-empty?
In the mornings, my glass is half-full. In the afternoons, if I don’t watch what I eat, I suffer the slough of despair. By evening, that darn glass is half-full again! I don’t quite have the energy to do as much I once did, so I miss volunteer work, but I’m still very grateful for this life, these glasses (the ones I can see out of), and a positive way of seeing tomorrow.

If you could go anywhere for a week's vacation, where would you go?
Hah! It wouldn’t be for one week. I’d love to spend two months with my hubby in Tasmania (where my current novel is set). Next – Paris for a month. I’m remembering a small town in Greece and another in Turkey, along the Mediterranean, where life is sunny and slow.

What food can you positively not eat?
Except for pepper, I’m omnivorous, a survivor, a follower of the ‘see-food’ diet, and an experimental cook.

Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
Chocolate in any form, the drink of royalty, supposedly helpful in communing with the gods. Count me in, especially ice cream, my current temptation.

How much time do you spend blogging?

Although the writing comes first, I strive for twice a week on all my blogs. Each entry takes 1-2 hours. Reading blogs is so integrated into reading e-mails, I can’t count the time. But I would suffer from computer withdrawal if the power went out.

Do you watch TV and if so, what are your favorite shows?
I have three shows I watch regularly  – The Big Bang, Smash, and Person of Interest.  DVR means I can fast forward right through all those commercials.

Delany’s voice is in my head: 
This is NOT talented writing. 
Nobody cares. But I care about the next 
10 bloggers I nominate for the SUNSHINE AWARD:

KM Huber’s blog for the sheer beauty of her photographs, writing and and reflections on Zen and the Buddha.

Sarah Corbett Morgan’s A Gringuita in Costa Rica  Wonderful writing from an expatriat.

Dawn Goldsmith’s Subversive Stitchers: Women Armed with Needles takes me to those links between women, textiles and creativity.

Katherine Lowrly Logan’s Notes from Tabor Lane Writing advice on so many different levels – always inspirational, always helpful.

A Round of Words in Eighty Days “The writing challenge that knows you have a life.” This blog helps with setting writing goals and makes participants accountable. We post our progress 2x a week!

Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge Each April, participants write a blog entry a day, challenging but ultimately satisfying.

The “Ultimate Blog Challenge offers a writing challenge each January, April, July, and October.

Jessica Page Morrell’s The Writing Life Too  another Oregon writer who writes on writing. Morrell says, “If you’re reading this, you’re not writing!”

Karen Woodward at for practical how-to writing advice.

Rachel Abbott at who guides indie authors through the publishing process.

Thank you, Jai, for the nomination and the chance to recognize these great blogs!


  1. Congratulations!

  2. Congratulations on your award!
    It's really early, but I wish I was already retired and could write full time!

  3. The thing I love most about these awards is the behind the scene peek as we get to know each other better.