If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

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.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Research the Hard Way

I love doing research most of the time. Books are filled with information that I find useful and fascinating. The internet surprises me with a plum now and then. I have always engaged in re-enactments and emersion weekends, where you get to dress up and live the lives of those from the chosen time period. Sometimes the research comes too close to home. Irene made her way up the east coast and threatened my home and the two mills I love with flooding and wind damage. My first preparation was to make sure all the Greenbank sheep would be safe. The barn and pasture is flood prone, and the sheep could be trapped in the barn and drown. So, I had to move fences and gates to secure them in the top pasture. Our fences are split rail, which means that the sections are not fastened together by anything except gravity. A good flood would wash them away.
The sheep were outside during the storm because it is safer for them, not just because of flooding, but because if they panicked in an enclosed location the whole flock could run into one of the stone walls. We have lost lambs to broken necks from being forced into a wall at high speed. They will find the safest spot in the pasture and lie down till the wind dies down. The next step was to make sure we had ample food for the sheep. We buy commercial food in 50 pound bags, and I moved 10 bags into the barn and emptied them into the containers. My sheep farming ancestors would not have had to move 50 pound bags, but they would have had to do a lot of physical labor to keep the sheep safe and secure. And they wouldn’t have had the two days notice I had. The sheep and the house survived the storm with no damage. While the flood came up around the house we kept it out of the basement with sandbags and sump pumps. But my vegetable garden washed away. I went to work at the Newlin Grist Mill on Monday and found that the basements had flooded and the electricity was off. Generators and garden hoses ran all day, but the telephones and computers didn’t. No hot water or hot food unless we wanted to build a fire in the hearth and cook over that. We were too busy with repairs to spare someone to tend the fire and cook. So, I came out of the weekend with a healthy respect for sudden changes in weather and how our farming ancestors had to respond to those changes quickly. I found out on a deeper level than simply understanding how electricity pervades our lives. I realized that hot food is a luxury and to be had only when the other chores are done. I would have no preserved vegetables for the winter. I can go to the grocery, but they couldn’t. I also came to realize that many of our current notions of how life did not hold true for our ancestors. People who care about them were surprised that the sheep would do better outside than inside, but no one augured with me. Sure enough, they were fine.


E. B. Davis said...

I'm glad everyone survived Irene, KB. I also hope that Katia stays at sea. Do you sell goat milk for cheese making and the wool for yarn making? How did you come to tend sheep?
Just nosy-kinda figures.

Pauline Alldred said...

Your blog is so revealing about how our ancestors managed. I can't imagine they had a minute to spare for just hanging out or getting into trouble. That's interesting about the sheep. Animals have a survival instinct as strong if not stronger than ours.

Kara Cerise said...

Sitting in my comfortable chair safely out of the elements, it's easy to forget how difficult life was for our ancestors.

Shirley Wells said...

So glad all concerned survived Irene. It's fascinating to think of how our ancestors would have been forced to try and cope. That's something we forget to do.