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Our September Author Interviews--9/6 Kathleen Valenti, 9/13 David Burnsworth, 9/20 Jeri Westerson, 9/27 Frances Brody. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.
September Saturday Guest Bloggers: 9/2--Anne Bannon, 9/9 WWK Bloggers, 9/16 Margaret S. Hamilton, 9/23 Kait Carson, and on 9/30 Trixie Stiletto.
“May 16, 2017 – The Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) today announced the finalists of the second annual Star Award, given to authors of published women’s fiction. Six finalists were chosen in two categories, General and Outstanding Debut. The winners of the Star Award will be announced at the WFWA Retreat in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 23, 2017.” In the general category, WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla!
Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:
Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.
Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.
In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.
Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.
Monday, June 6, 2011
Stink Bugs Part II
Writers have favorite places to read and write. My favorite place is on my screen porch. Even though the screen is supposed to keep the bugs out, they seem to have their own Enigma machine aiding them to infiltrate my private lair. At night, I hear the whoosh of moth wings on the porch light, annoying enough, but now I hear the clunk of primeval stink bug fuselage hitting my light and siding. Has this happened to you?
Last night, it took me three tries to kill a *%# stink bug. Their flat bodies are such that a whack with a rolled up magazine or fly swatter sometimes doesn’t do the job. They hide in crevices lying in wait to annoy us in as many ways as they are in number. But my problems with the nasty critters pale beside those of farmers in the Mid-Atlantic region, especially Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.
As I reported last fall, U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (MD) set up a tri-state commission to study the bug and find solutions preventing the pest’s destruction. Although stink bugs will eat just about anything, fruit crops have been hit the worst, especially apples and peaches. Apple orchards in Catoctin, MD have reported a 50% destruction rate, the worst so far. Other orchards have reported 30-40% in reduced yields. The U. S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 18% ($37 million) of the Mid-Atlantic region’s apple crop has been destroyed by stink bugs.
(I wonder if Sheila Connolly will include the stink bug as a problem for her protagonist in her apple orchard series.)
Some scientists are focusing on keeping the stink bug population under control using a similar technique used on the Japanese beetles. Bag-a-bug uses chemicals that attract and trap the insect. So far, none is on the market for stink bugs.
The chemical, dinotefuran, which is manufactured by the Japanese company, Mitsui Chemicals, seems the most promising. Mitsui Chemicals applied and gained approval from EPA for its use on vegetable crops, but it is not currently approved for orchard use. The state of Virginia seeks an exemption from EPA for dinotefuran’s application in orchards. If approved, the exemption will enable its use in other states as well, starting as soon as July.
Other scientists are dubious of using pesticides because the stink bug is so mobile and productive, killing one community of stink bugs allows another to move into the orchard. The alternative to chemicals is a natural predator of the stink bug, a parasitic wasp—but it must be determined if the predator wasp will cause more problems than it is worth.
Meanwhile, I spray chemicals around the parameter of my house in hope of keeping not only the stink bug at bay, but also camel crickets, which totally gross me out. A cross between a spider and a cricket, camel crickets can jump many feet in the air (usually at you as you try to smack them) and have soft bodies that squish when you successfully attack. While the horseshoe crab may have served as the predator alien in the movie Aliens, the camel cricket serves as my prototype for horror creatures and nightmares. Although writing on my porch in fall and spring can be a chilly experience, writing on the porch during summer can induce paranoia.
Has your writing been effected by pests?