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

Our May author interviews: Marla Cooper-5/3, Rhys Bowen-5/10, Cindy Brown-5/17, Martha Reed-5/24, Sherry Harris--5/31.

Saturday Guest Bloggers in May--Paty Jager-5/6 and Maren Anderson-5/13. WWK Saturday bloggers write on 5/20--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 5/27--Kait Carson. E. B. Davis blogs this month on 5/30.


“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.

Linda Rodriquez has two pending book publications. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel will be released by Scapegoat Press on November 29th. Every Family Doubt, the fourth Skeet Bannion mystery, is scheduled for release on October, 18, 2017. Look for the interview by E. B. Davis here on that date!

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.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

THE MONTH OF OCTOBER


                                                                     A yellow leaf fell
                                                                     on a black dog's back
                                                                     rode for a while
                                                                     and then moved on.

I love October in N.E. Ohio. It makes me think of the Dylan Thomas poem, "Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light." Yes, Thomas wrote it during the final illness of his father, but I see October as making a last brave stand against the closing of the year by going out in a blaze of glory. At least that's true here in the north.

Everywhere I look this time of the year the colors are rich and vibrant. At the beginning of the month the fields are filled with goldenrod and purple asters. Soon the leaves start to turn to orange, red, amber, gold, purple and burnt umber. Orange pumpkins like round globes appear at roadside stands, farmers' markets and in stores. Corn stalks are gathered for fall decorations. Even the sky seems a more vivid blue.

I love the crisp autumn days with cold nights and cool mornings often warming up later in the day. And then there's Indian summer giving me that last bit of time when I can try to finish up all those chores that should have been done by now, but I didn't quite get around to. Now I can't procrastinate any longer. My time is running out. Not only do I need to finish planting the rest of my exuberant purchases from last spring at my favorite garden centers, but there are large clumps of daylilies that need to be divided and replanted and the daffodils my occasional handyman dug up as he worked to redo one of my overgrown gardens. Of course, before that can be done I need to prepare a place for those plants to go. All the cannas and dahlias need to be dug up, stalks and leaves removed and the roots and rhizomes cleaned, dried and packed in dried leaves or wood chips and taken to the basement for the winter. The vegetable garden needs stripped of dying vegetation and bedded down for the winter, too.

Fortunately I like to rake leaves even though it  does get tiring when you have as many as I do. The armfuls of leaves I fill my wheelbarrow with are fluffy light reminding me of those long ago days of jumping in piles of them What fun that was. Now I'm too old. It would take a very big pile to cushion my fall. I consider raking leaves my workout since I don't go to a gym nor do I have any equipment in my home. When the leaves are dried enough, I'll mow through them to chop them up and use them to mulch my gardens. I also have a lot of pine needles in some areas. Those I save to mulch my blueberry patch and woodland gardens.                                                 My great-granddaughter Ellie plays with leaves.

One of my favorite activities in the fall is my morning walk through the woods with Maggie. I enjoy the rustling sound of leaves as I walk through them and the smell that's unique to fallen leaves; a mixture of pungent earthy scent with a touch of sweetness. A question that I always have in the fall is how did Native Americans move silently through the woods when hunting? I can even hear my soft pawed dog moving. When I was still teaching, I gathered leaves on that walk to dry them for art projects for my students. I'm still tempted to do that because the forest floor is a mosaic of jewel like leaves that all too soon will turn brown.


October also brings Halloween. It's a fun holiday where kids and adults can dress up, play games and get treats. It's a time of ghosts, skeletons, ghouls and other things that go bump in the night, but also there's princesses, football players, scarecrows and less fearsome trick or treaters. I enjoy seeing the Halloween decorations many people use to decorate their homes or yards. Some people believe Halloween promotes witchcraft and evil. I don't think that's any truer than mystery writers, readers or movie viewers are promoting murder. Halloween dispels fear of the boogey man. Once a child dons a costume and sees other children doing the same, no matter how gruesome the costume, the child begins to put many fears aside.  Back before Halloween parties and parades were discontinued in schools, my students, fellow teachers and I had so much fun on that day and with the preparations leading up to it. I think Halloween is a fitting end for October, don't you?

What do you like about the month of October?

 How do you feel about Halloween?                              


                              
     

20 comments:

Warren Bull said...

I think the light in Autumn seems clearer and throws things into better perspective than the light during the rest of the year. It might be that the leafs on the trees are so varied in color that when I look at them I can take time to see the details I don't notice before. Fall is a wonderful time of year.

Marilyn Levinson said...

Gloria,
Loved reading this. I enjoy October, too, though I don't do all the physical work you do. I always buy cheese pumpkins out on the North Fork of Long Island and bake pumpkin breads. I look forward to Thanksgiving, which might just be my most favorite holiday. Still, the days grow shorter and colder in October, and I can't help shivering because winter is approaching and the year is drawing to an end.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Lovely blog, Gloria! October is my month. I was born then, and my personal new year always starts in late October. It's my favorite time of year with the crisp days and colorful trees.

All cultures, at least certainly in the Western Hemisphere, look on the time of October 31, November 1 and 2 as some kind of festival of the dead when the veil between reality and the otherworld thins. It's not necessarily witchcraft. The churches practiced it for thousands of years. It's the true harvest festival rather than Thanksgiving, which was artificially tacked on to late November just a few decades ago.

E. B. Davis said...

On the way down to North Carolina last week, I erased fall. The trees went from bright colors to dark green. This morning driving up, fall re-emerged instantly within the six hour drive. It's beautiful--but my nose still doesn't think so!

Your granddaughter and the little cottage behind it are both cute! I assume a storage shed, or is it a playhouse?

Kara Cerise said...

Beautiful blog, Gloria! The crisp autumn air is invigorating and I enjoy looking at the gorgeous leaves on the trees. Like you, I have often wondered how the Native Americans walked soundlessly through the woods.

I like Halloween, too. People in my neighborhood have diverse backgrounds and celebrate different holidays and traditions. But we get together at Halloween and have a block party, a parade and then trick or treating--all for the kiddies.

Gloria Alden said...

Warren, I agree with you. Fall is a wonderful time of year. In the summer the trees may vary a little in shades of green, but the details stand out so much better when they become different colors.

Gloria Alden said...

Marilyn, only once did I actually cook down a pumpkin and make something from it, but I forget now what it was I did make.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, too, because it's not as commercial with gift giving, etc. Of course, there are Thanksgiving cards to buy and send, but I don't mind that. I love that it's a time for families to get togehther without worrying about anything more than what to contribute to the dinner.

Gloria Alden said...

In case I miss it or missed it, Happy Birthday, Linda. It really is the harvest season since by Thanksgiving all the harvesting has been done a month or two before.

I understand about the time of the dead. The Catholic Church still celebrates All Saints Day and All Souls Day on Nov. 1st and 2nd. I'm not sure how many other religions do that, too.

Gloria Alden said...

E.B. at least you're getting to appreciate the fall colors with your eyes if not your nose. :-)

It's not a storage shed, it's a playhouse fully decked out inside with a kitchen - child size, of course, lights, and a carpeted loft from which she can exit down a curving enclosed slide if she chooses to. What is especially charming about it is he made it crooked, windows, windowbox, and everything else. My son is a master carpenter, although not by trade, and built his own house and barn, but he said it was harder to build this crooked playhouse than building something with straight lines.

Gloria Alden said...

Thank you, Kara. What fun that block party must be. I'm too rural for anything like that around here. In fact, I never get any trick of treaters anymore even though I always buy Reese's Peanut Butter Cups to pass out every year just in case. I pick my favorite kind of candy bar. :-)

Patg said...

I love fall, my decorations go up September 2. The weather becomes crisp, sunshine and coolness. And what's not to love about Hallowe'en (notice the apostrophy-the Brits do that-don't know why) with all the spookiness. Costume and crafts, pumpkins and candy, a time for hats and mittens and ending with a countdown to Christmas. (^o^)
Patg

James Montgomery Jackson said...

My favorite season is autumn. I love the crisp air, the slanted light. For years I played my favorite sport, soccer, in the perfect weather (well, except for the occasional sleet, hail and snow).

Like Linda, October is my birth month so my personal new year starts near the end of the month.

~ Jim

Gloria Alden said...

Pat, I know how much you love decorating for all the holidays. Halloween is especially fun for you, isn't it.

Gloria Alden said...

I remember a picture or two you took, Jim, that showed the slanted light. It was beautiful as indeed October is. If I miss your birthday later, Happy Birthday now.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Happy Birthday to Linda and Jim. Gloria, what a wonderful post. My grandfather always used to talk about October's bright blue weather. I think that's from a poem. It is a delightful time of year.

Rhonda Lane said...

I love Fall and Halloween and Thanksgiving. I love my pumpkin tea. I'm going to celebrate after my next doctor's visit with a Starbucks pumpkin latte. WooHOO! Do I know how to live it up, or what? ;) Thank you for such a lovely ode to Autumn.

Gloria Alden said...

I think so, too, Paula, but then I live where the leaves turn into a riot of color.

Pumpkin tea! I've never heard of that, Rhonda. I have heard of pumpkin lattes, though. I think Halloween is a fun holiday and Thanksgiving stands for what the name says and no one has to rack their brains trying to think of the perfect gift to give.

Rhonda Lane said...

Yup. Bigelow Pumpkin Spice Autumn Spiced Tea. Good sweetened or unsweetened or with milk. I did mix it once with a touch of smooth bourbon. :)

Gloria Alden said...

I'll have to look for that, Rhonda. It sounds delicious.

E. B. Davis said...

A playhouse, Gloria! Wow, I would have loved that. She's a lucky little girl, but then you know she's special.