Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

IWSG February: Snow and rubber bands . . .

 February begins. The first Wednesday of each month, writers are invited to post an update -- their musings about the writing life, sometimes prompted by a question. 

IWSG's February 3 question - Blogging is often more than just sharing stories. It’s often the start of special friendships and relationships. Have you made any friends through the blogosphere?

The short answer is yes. From The Internet Writer's Support Group (IWSG) to The Internet Writing Workshop (IWW) to a medley of smaller online writing communities and challenges. Generous writers have traded drafts and beta reads with me, and they've reviewed my work (as I have reviewed theirs). Over the last some 15 years, they've bolstered my identity and skills as a writer and as an editor of my own work and theirs.

This last year has brought challenges nearly none of us had dreamed of -- except for science fiction writers. Word of deaths from Covid-19 creep closer to our own families and communities. Our long winter seems unending with snow falls measured in feet across the country.

We have hope in new virus vaccines now being widely distributed. Add to our personal challenges that ability to get access to that vaccine! My good news is that I had the first shot just last Thursday, but I couldn't get an appointment for my hubby. I was devastated; his immune system is far more compromised than mine! My failure to navigate the appointment systems online meant only good news on Monday. I got him an appointment! The relief is immeasurable.

Can you imagine I haven't been able to write for a few weeks? And that's where the rubber band comes in, for I have snapped back to work. Yet I know for my family, friends and neighbors in our convoluted pandemic community, we have more challenges ahead.

One of the ongoing resources that gives me courage and hope simply remains connecting with you . . . the readers of my blog AND the members of our larger IWSG community, accessible through the generous work of IWSG founder, Alec J. Cavanaugh.  Thank you.

May you be well, stay safe, wear that blinkety-blink mask, and wash those hands. Oh, and write! 

Now, what's in my to-be-read and just finished reading pile? (Note: My site is not monetized.)

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michelle Richardson. I can't wait to read this one. The blurb alone pulled me in. 1930s, a lone woman taking books by mule to the back country. Most likely, she's the victim of prejudice as she's from the blue-skinned folk (historically factual!) of rural Kentucky. The excellent writing entices the reader from the first paragraph. 4.5 stars on Amazon with 15K reviews! I checked this out via OverDrive from my library (Kindle $7.99).

Men of the Cross by Charlene Newcomb. Travel back to the 12th Century to pilgrimage to the Holy Land with two knights -- one a seasoned warrior, the other eager to follow Richard the Lionhearted. Vivid characters, conflicts, and sense-based settings recreate this era as well as asking the reader to consider how war affects us all. Currently 99c on Kindle.

Bad Blood by L.T. Vargas and Tim McBain. Billed as a 'gripping, crime thriller,' this tale pulls the reader right into the crime-filled world of Detroit, where Special Agent Violet Darger tracks down a puzzling, violent murder. I was dazzled and dismayed by the authentic, gritty look at behind-the-scenes police work, mafia structure, and rough life in the projects. At the same time I admire Darger's commitment to solving crime, she questions whether her efforts are worth the sacrifice. One of a series, these books can be read in any order. I've already got the next story on my 'to-be-read' list. Currently 99c on Kindle.

Thank you to Alec Cavanaugh for inspiring and motivating us all -- and thanks go to the co-hosts for this month's IWSG post: Louise - Fundy Blue , Jennifer Lane, Mary Aalgaard, Patsy Collins at Womagwriter, and Nancy Gideon!  Why not join 164 other writers in this monthly, online blog hop? Click HERE to see what others have written.

Just in case you're looking for a good read while snuggling near the fireplace on this last blast of cold winter nights, just a few chocolates nearby, my special for Standing Stones runs through Valentine's Day! 

Enjoy the rest of February as we creep towards spring with tenacity and hope!



  1. That's great that you got your first vaccine. I hope your husband gets his soon. I won't be 65 until July so I still have to wait for mine. And you're so right that this last year has been like something out of a science fiction story.

    1. I hope you stay safe until your birthday, Natalie! Maybe because I'm older by about two decades, I just feel this back-and-forth with a new crises and/or challenge every other week takes an emotional toll. Thank goodness we have writing to ground us. And thank you for stopping by. Be well.

  2. I’m so relieved you both had and will have your first vaccine, Beth. It seems like California, Washington, and Florida are doing quite well getting things organized. My 85 and 90-year-old in-laws still haven’t gotten their first shot in Massachusetts and my own parents in Belgium neither. Sigh!

    I just finished reading Years of Stone and enjoyed it! Reviews have been posted. :-)

    1. Thank you, Liesbet. The stress seems a little less for us, but we all have a long way to go before everyone is vaccinated. Trying to stay positive. I hope your family soon gets access. I'm so pleased you liked Years of Stone. Thank you for reviewing. Readers! What would we do without them?