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

Our August Author Interviews--8/2 Maggie Toussaint, 8/9 Kellye Garrett, 8/16 Matt Ferraz, 8/23 Matthew Iden, 8/30 Julia Buckley. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

August Saturday Guest Bloggers: 8/5--Kathleen Kaska, 8/12 Triss Stein, WWK bloggers-Margaret S. Hamilton on 8/19 and Kait Carson on 8/26. Look for E. B. Davis's blog on 8/29--the fifth Tuesday of August.


“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, January 17, 2013

THE BIG JOURNAL EXPERIMENT




                                                                                                       

Most of us try to convince others that something we think is good for us would also be beneficial for others. Take healthy eating, for instance. Although I don’t pursue it with fanaticism, if I mention the importance of a healthy breakfast, those who know me, especially my siblings, will roll their eyes and chant: “oatmeal, walnuts, cinnamon, dried cranberries, blueberries, half a banana and skim milk.” And I always answer, “Don’t forget it has to be old-fashioned oatmeal.”

My brother, Phil, runs fifteen miles most days. Because of this and the workouts he also does, he qualifies every year for both the Boston and the New York City marathons. Runners have to be good to qualify for those, and he’s a firm believer in the importance of exercise. I agree with him but pass on the running part. I do walk every day, but he’s not terribly impressed with that.

I grew up in a family of readers, and we all believe reading is important so I don’t have to preach about that. Writing is different. Although, most of my siblings still send birthday cards, thank you notes and even a letter or two through snail mail, I’m the only one who keeps a daily journal.

I’m not the only one who thinks writing in a journal is important. President Obama has always kept a diary, although in a recent interview for TIME magazine, he admitted he hasn’t had as much time to write in the past four years, but said . . ."in my life, writing has been an important exercise to clarify what I believe, what I see, what I care about, what my deepest values are . . . that the process of converting a jumble of thoughts into coherent sentences makes you ask tougher questions.” He expresses what I believe, too.

In an earlier blog, I wrote about why I keep a daily journal, as well as a gardening journal - although that one was sporadic this past gardening season with the weather we had.  Not only do I believe writing in a daily journal is important to keep a record of events in our life, but it’s also therapeutic. Writing about things that worry or upset us helps us figure out a solution or put things into perspective, I also believe writing helps our mental acuity.

So to the “Big Journal Experiment.” This past Christmas, in addition to other gifts, I gave out 24 journals to my siblings, kids,  grandkids, nieces, nephews and the spouses of those who had them. With the journals came instructions and 46 writing prompts to help get them started like: “When I was young, I wanted to be a . . . when I grew up.” Or “The most annoying person I know is . . .” My sister-in-law, Joanne, always quick witted and funny, immediately said, “That’s easy – you.” They were to write anything they wanted but each entry had to be dated. If they filled their journal by next Christmas, they would receive a $25.00 gift card from me for gas, restaurant, store, etc. If they filled just half, it would be a $10.00 gift card. If they did not want to take the challenge, they were to return the blank journal because I can always use it.

The challenge was received with much laughter and/or eye rolling of “Here she goes again!” as they remembered the drum circle I’d tried to make a part of Christmas for several years with a variety of drums, triangles, thumb pianos, and other small percussion instruments to go along with  a cassette of Native American drumming. 

I told them I’d skim through their journals next Christmas to check that they’d really filled them, but I wouldn’t read them. I said it would be nice if they put a post-it note on at least one entry they’d like to share, but that wasn’t necessary. My brother, Phil, complained if he went to all that work, he wanted it to be read because it might be a literary work of art. My sister-in-law, Joanne, asked if she could write big, and my niece, Sarah, asked if she could doodle. Yes.

So how many took the challenge? So far only two returned their journals; my son and a grandson. Are the rest writing in them? My daughter, Mary, is enthusiastic about it because like her mother she keeps a journal. My sister-in-law is writing and my daughter, Susan, and my granddaughters, Sami and Emilie are, too. As for the others, I don’t know, but they haven’t returned their journals. They’re to let me know several weeks before Christmas what kind of gift card they want if they fulfilled the challenge. Next year I’ll let you know how this experiment went and how much it cost me.

So do you agree with my family that I’m a bit crazy? Do you keep a journal?

8 comments:

Yolanda Renee said...

This year as a gift I offered to write a personal story for the recipient. As a ghost writer -- any story, any prompt they got to choose. I have not had a response.

I think we, as writers, or maybe just me, assume others are just as thrilled with the written word the creative process -- it just isn't so.

My family is not the least bit interested. I think they sometimes see me as full of myself because I think I can write. It's amusing, and that's all.

I will love to learn your results though.

E. B. Davis said...

Periodically throughout my life, I've kept a journal. My journal writing was introspective and personal. When someone violated my privacy by reading it, I stopped journal writing.

I picked it up again when I started working on PCs and could password protect files. But the need for introspection is only intermittent, and I no longer have any need.

My fiction writing keeps me too busy to have time for a journal. Good luck on your experiment, Gloria.

James Montgomery Jackson said...

Gloria,

A couple of times in my life I have seriously kept a journal to help me sort out my life. It worked and I stopped. It’s been going on twenty years since my last journaling.

You had to ask whether you’re a bit crazy?

~ Jim

Gloria Alden said...

Thank you, Yolanda,E.B. and Jim for your comments. I'm not sure how many will actually follow through on the writing. In spite of how much it will cost me, I'm hoping most will.

Yolanda, I like your idea of offering to write them a story. I can't imagine why they didn't take up your offer except that maybe they aren't readers and don't want to feel obligated to read anything longer than a text message. I've been reticent over the years of talking too much about being a writer for the same reason you have about people feeling I'm too full of myself.

E.B., the only time anyone tried to read my journal, but actually only faked it, was when I was 15 and sitting on the back steps with my boyfriend. My brother, Jerry, locked the screen door and pretended to be reading from my journal - a very thick 3-ring binder. He made up all these comments about how I loved kissing Tom, the boyfriend, and on and on. I was pounding on the back door screaming for my mother to stop him while Tom was laughing so hard. My mother was upstairs cleaning and never heard me.

Jim, I noticed you didn't answer my question. :-)

Actually, one of the main reasons I keep a journal is to leave some record of my life - not that I expect anyone to read it. I love reading letters from the past; my family, who have written to me, those of famous people (something I'll never be). One of my favorite Christmas gifts was a large scrapbook filled with the letters I'd written to my sister, Elaine, when she was in college. In them I relived those years as a young mother with things I'd totally forgotten. If I'd kept a journal then, it would have been the same, but also some of the frustrations I felt, too, and not just the light and funny things.

Alyx Morgan said...

I don't think you're crazy, Gloria. I've kept a journal several times throughout my life & find that it helps keep my head clear, just as you & President Obama said.

The only thing is that I wouldn't have gone as far as giving journals out to my family as gifts & expect them to be written in; it's not my style to be that forceful in my suggestions to others. Hopefully at least one of them enjoys the gesture enough to write in it, so they can reap the rewards.

Unknown said...

I find that keeping a journel helps me express my dreams,emotions and past experiences. It is like FREE therapy! I am 20 pages in so far. But, I am writing alot of school papers currently or I would be further. I will not stop though!
You have and always will be, my inspiration Mom.
Love,
Mary

Gloria Alden said...

Alyx, that wasn't the only gift I gave them. It was an extra bonus and incentive for them to write. Even if they don't write, it doesn't mean they won't still get something from me next year. Some won't, but maybe some will and develop the habit of writing.

Gloria Alden said...

Mary, I know you keep a journal, and I know it's been helpful for you over the years. This was an extra encouragement that you didn't need, but isn't it nice that you'll be rewarded for what you do naturally?