Let it Snow by the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable, best short stories of 2014. My short story "Weaver's Trade" is the lead story. A weaver, having lost his family (see Doctors and Dentists below) rents the home he built for them to strangers. http://www.amazon.com/Let-Snow-Bethlehem-Roundtable-Collection-ebook/dp/B00TT7V2MA/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1425302502&sr=1-4&keywords=let+it+snow
And all our Yesterdays an anthology of mystery stories set in the past, published by Darkhouse Books. Out sometime in March. Again the lead story is mine. In "The Devil's Quote", Iccarus Norton finds himself accused of murder and has to prove his innocence from his jail cell. http://www.amazon.com/All-Our-Yesterdays-Andrew-MacRae/dp/0990842894/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1425229971&sr=8-10&keywords=And+all+our+yesterdays
Both stories are set in Massachusetts, one in the 1640s and one in 1799.
OK. Here's the real blog
The questions writers get asked most frequently is "where do you get your ideas?" I expect to get asked "why do you write historicals? Or short stories?" But, no. I'm asked "would you like to live in the times you write about?"
Sometimes it is a statement, "You must write historical because you want to go live in the past."
No one ever asks the more appropriate question, "What would you miss if you lived back then?"
I have no way of knowing what I would miss since I would never have had it.
Looking at it from this end, here are the things I think I would miss most if I found myself suddenly transported to the 1600 or 1700 or even 1800s:
Every morning I step into a hot shower. I have not had to split the wood, haul the water from the well, heat the water over a wood fire and then have enough to come up to my ankles. There's nothing like hot water pounding my achy shoulders or hip.
DOCTORS AND DENTISTS
I'll add to that the germ theory of disease. I would not like to be bled or purged or all the other things that come with the humors theory of disease. Roughly half of the colonists died, and many of the natives who came into contact with them, all from things that can be prevented or cured today.
Many children died before the age of five, something that almost never happens today.
INDOOR PLUMBING AND TOILET PAPER
I don't think this needs any explanation.
PRINTING PRESSES AND INEXPENSIVE BOOKS
While the Bible is a fine and varied book, and I own at least four, I would not like it to be the only book in the house.
When I am feeling poorly there is nothing like a can of chicken noodle soup with saltines.
Even my parents had to stoke the fire in the furnace every morning and a couple of times a day. All I have to do is put the thermostat up. A fireplace in every room does little to bring comfort in winters like this one we hope will be over soon.
I have medical and dental for my bodily needs. Both my car and house are covered. Most of my funeral expenses are prepaid.
Since I am a writer, I do appreciate MODERN WRITING TECHNOLOGY
I wrote my first novel longhand but for the second draft I used a computer. It wasn't so long ago that writers had to bang out error free copies of their work on clunky typewriters using carbon paper. We've only had these machines since the late 1800s. Before that manuscripts were done by hand with pen and ink.
I am tempted to add birth control. I've thought about this lots over the years, and I suspect that I would have been content with being a woman in the age when a child every two years was an expected part of life.
If I wrote a blog on what I would like about living in the past it would be very short.
Living in another time or place long enough to write a story, now, that's a whole different matter.