IWSG: September 2020 - Choosing an Author

If 2020 were a famous author, I would not read his book let alone ask him to be my beta partner. Why? I've seen his movie and it stinks. But I do have a writer in mind. Follow me...

This post was written for the Insecure Writer's Support Group monthly blogging event created and brought to you by writer Alex J Cavanaugh. His awesome co-hosts for September are:  PJ Colando, J Lenni Dorner, Deniz Bevan, Kim Lajevardi, Natalie Aguirre, and Louise - Fundy Blue! Go visit their blogs when you can. 

The optional question for September is: If you could choose one author, living or dead, to be your beta partner, who would it be and why?

I have so many favorite authors that's it's almost shameful. I also enjoy reading a plethora (remember when that word was trending?) of different genres. From mystery thriller to literary fiction and everything in between, I like it all. 

In this post, I won't mention current writers, those that I know through blogging and have writer crushes on because they're great writers and great people. I won't call them by name because I don't want them to feel obligated to be my beta partner. I wouldn't include John Steinbeck or Stephen King, but wouldn't say no if they asked to be my beta partner. I might say no to Steinbeck because...he's dead, but maybe not.

For short story writers, I would choose William Gay or TC Boyles, but not this time. 

My choice goes way back to grade school and the first book I remember loving: Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

I discovered Laura when I was around the age of 10, when one of my worst teachers of all time read Laura's first book to our class. I was hooked right away and after it ended read some of the others that year.  At some point, I wanted to write Laura a letter to tell her how much I loved her books. When I mentioned this, our 'lovely and helpful' (T. says sarcastically) teacher informed me that Mrs. Wilder was dead, and I couldn't send the letter. I remember grieving Laura's passing and my missed opportunity. To my delight, when I grew up, I discovered that Laura's adult homes, and writing location of her books, were located not far from where I live in Missouri. 

This year is the first, IN YEARS, that I haven't visited the homes of Laura and Almonzo Wilder due to Covid. Most years, I visited twice. 

My pick for a beta partner goes to Laura Ingalls Wilder. She was a great storyteller. I think Mrs. Wilder would be kind but direct about my writing and helpful, especially when she saw the love in my heart for her writing. 

In case you’re interested, below are a few posts I wrote at The Ruralhood about Laura visits inside and outside my state. There may be others.  FIRST, go visit the other bloggers who wrote for the IWSG. 

Laura and the Masters Hotel

Little House on the Prairie- Kansas

Laura in Mansfield 

Keep writing and reading!



  1. Great post I agree about the 2020 one.
    Have a good month.


  2. 2020 has outsucked Dyson hasn't it?
    And yes, so many authors, so many genres here. I hope I have learned from them all.

  3. Excellent choice! That teacher of yours was *so* insensitive!

    I'm ready to see the back of 2020. :)

  4. Your choice does not surprise me a bit!

  5. Hi Teresa - I know you love Laura's homes and reminding yourself of that call to write - which she installed in you through her books. Great choice and one I'd expect from you ... take care - Hilary

  6. Your opening line gave me a much-needed laugh! Happy writing in September.

  7. I had a feeling Ms. Wilder would be your choice :)

  8. Aw. Laura. Your answer made my heart smile. :)

  9. Hi, Teresa! I picked Stephen King ~ LOL. I do love Laura Ingalls Wilder and usually read one or another of her books to my second and third graders, including "Little House in the Big Woods." Wonderful choice for a Beta reader! Steinbeck ~ OMG ~ His "East of Eden" and "Grapes of Wrath" haunt me to this day. I read them during an American Lit course in the late 70s! Pandemic books have been a favorite niche genre of mine all of my life. I think I read Camus's "The Plague" in ninth grade, and I've been hooked ever since. Living in a pandemic is absolutely fascinating on one level. I never dreamed it would turn out like it has this year, but looking back, how could it not? On the other hand, living in a pandemic is a pain in the butt, and I've been lucky so far. The sickness, death, and disruptions are gut-wrenching. I am so angry about what is happening, and my heart breaks for how people are suffering. It all stinks to high heaven! But I'll probably always like pandemic books.

  10. Sure would have guessed that indeed. A great pick for you.


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