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

Our March author interviews: Karen Pullen (3/1), Lowcountry Crime authors: Tina Whittle, Polly Iyer, Jonathan M. Bryant, and James M. Jackson (3/8), Annette Dashofy (3/15), Edith Maxwell (3/22) and Barb Ross (3/29).

Saturday Guest Bloggers in March: Maris Soule (3/4), and Virginia Mackey (3/11). WWK Saturday bloggers write on 3/18--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 3/25--Kait Carson.

Julie Tollefson won the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter's Holton Award for best unpublished manuscript (member category) for her work in progress, In The Shadows. Big news for a new year. Congratulations, Julie.

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.

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 June, 13, 2017. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Linda here in June!

Cross Genre Publications anthology, Hidden Youth, will contain Warren Bull's "The Girl, The Devil, and The Coal Mine." The anthology will be released in late November 2016. The We've Been Trumped anthology released by Dark House Press on September 28th contains Warren Bull's "The Wall" short story and KM Rockwood's "A Phone Call to the White House." KM writes under the name Pat Anne Sirs for this volume.

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 pre-order.

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

It's Time for Spring Cleaning - Gloria Alden

No, that's not me or my house. 
Once upon a long time ago, I did spring cleaning. I washed the windows and all the curtains. I swept and cleaned like a good housewife, but not so much anymore. I know I’ll try to get around to cleaning the windows inside and out, and I’ll probably wash the curtains and rehang them – sooner or later, but probably later.

In the March issue of Readers Digest (a good bathroom read magazine) there was an article by Andy Simmons titled “I’m a Slob, and You Should Be One Too” My eyes immediately lit up when I saw that, and I went directly to that article.  He wrote “I Never Make My Bed So I Can Thwart Dust Mites.” Apparently, there are close to 1.5 million hungry dust mites living off our dead skin and the moisture left on our sheets. After reading that, I washed my sheets and blankets, but I still make my bed every day. I figured those dust mites haven’t hurt me yet and probably won’t in the near future.

And then there was “I Skip Shampooing so I can Rock a Better Do” Mostly it had to do with not shampooing every day because it takes away important oils. Since every three days is okay, I read on because that’s what I do.
This is one of my two desks. The other one is worse.

I loved the next thing he wrote.  “I Won’t Clean My Desk So I Can Spark Creativity.” Hooray for that! Of course, I have a little magnet on one of my desks that says “Einstein had a messy desk, too!” So that’s one of the reasons I don’t worry too much about a messy desk except when I can’t find something I want.








The next thing he wrote is “I’m a Lazy Bum so I can Boost My Mood.” He mentions that we all know the value of exercising, but for mental health doing nothing is important. He quoted Oliver Burkeman who wrote in the Guardian “that ‘doing’ can be a kind of compulsion, an addiction we only fail to acknowledge as such because society praises us for it. Indeed learning how to do nothing might be the most vital skill for thriving in our frenetic, overwhelmed, always connected culture.” Hmm. I hope he considers reading quietly and listening to music doing nothing. Simmons went on to write “The Mayo Clinic says relaxation techniques can lower blood pressure, reduce muscle tension, improve concentration and mood, and increase blood flow to major muscles.” Hmmm. Maybe I should quit working on this blog and settle down with the newspaper and relax.

Now this last one is kind of funny. “My Jeans Go Unwashed So I Can Make Them Last Longer.”
In a Fortune magazine conference on the environment, Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh pointed to his pants and said, “These jeans are maybe a year old and have yet to see a washing machine. I know that sounds totally disgusting.” Obviously, Strauss isn’t wearing them outside to weed gardens, walk in sometimes muddy woods, or cleaning pony stalls. He does recommend cleaning jeans with a sponge or toothbrush and then air drying. I do hang out my jeans in the warmer months instead of using a dryer.
There's actually a small spot at the end where I eat my meals.

Right now I can’t concentrate on spring cleaning. I’m trying to get my current book reformatted to publish if and when my step-granddaughter comes through with a cover. There are other things I want to get done before I head off for Malice, too. Like write some blogs ahead before I leave. Probably, I’ll be working on picking up all the branches the high winds have brought down in my yard, and dead heading last year’s perennials, too. Although, the pictures I’m posting of my library/office/dining room look like I’m a total slob, I do keep the rest of my house reasonably clean. I sweep the floors at least once a week. I pick up the chewed up rugs and toys Maggie drags around the house daily. I don’t dust as often as I should, but at least my house won’t be condemned by the Health Department, and it looks a thousand times better than the images I saw when I Googled messy houses. For those of you, who don’t think your house would pass muster if Mrs. Clean comes to visit, Google those messy houses.
 
I have a coffee mug with this picture on it.
Do you obsess on having a spotless house?


What do you let slide in keeping a clean house?

11 comments:

Warren Bull said...

Spotless and I are not buddies. I keep up on laundry but that's about it.

Jim Jackson said...

Gloria,

I can attest to having stayed at your house and not being eaten by bugs, given asthma by dust, or requiring stitches or patching up from tripping over something on the floor.

Whoever said cleanliness was next to godliness hasn't checked out the natural world.

~ Jim

Gloria Alden said...

Warren, I pretty much keep up on laundry, too. Actually, in nice weather I hang my clothes outside under a big maple tree next to my side woods. I love the smell of fresh dried clothes and like being outside listening to birds.

Jim, I enjoyed having you and Jan stay at my house. I hope you have time to stop by again on your way between Georgia and Michigan. Maggie, Brat Cat and Moggie would love to have you both visit. They love company, too.

E. B. Davis said...

My house is so clean there is nothing in it--literally. We're waiting around for the movers to arrive on Monday. I can't stand the waiting. Seems like the entire two-month process has been a "hurry up and wait" situation. Everything that we don't need is in storage. The rest is in our garage. Only the ghosts remain in my house. My children when they were small--all the memories--it's killing me. Clean is a lousy consolation prize.

Gloria Alden said...

E.B. I feel for you. The last time I moved was almost 26 years ago, and I hated it. The house
I moved into wasn't even completely finished. The kitchen cupboards were in boxes in the living room, so I had to get water from the bathroom and heat it on the stove to wash dishes.There was no trim around the windows because the house had been gutted and although the drywall was up and painted, there was no trim anywhere. At least the time is getting closer for you, and then will be the work of setting up house in a new place.

Margaret Turkevich said...

Elaine, you're getting there. As soon as your house is on the market, it's no longer your home, it's just a house, immaculate, empty and full of promise, ready to entice the new owner. You'll be living your new life in a new place soon enough.

My mother used to tell me that a conscientious domestic engineer would have her spring cleaning finished by Easter and be ready to garden, finding her carefully oiled tools on the garage shelf. Fall cleaning would be complete by Thanksgiving, the same tools oiled and stored in the garage for spring.

I can only dream.

Kait said...

Oh, Elaine, I remember the feeling. Seems like I go through it every couple of years. It's the memories that are the hardest, but you've always got them packed and with you.

My house, clean--hah! I do have someone come in every other week for what my other called the "heavy" stuff. I must admit, I hate housework on my own and with six cats and four birds, it is a constant struggle. I cook, work, write, do daily surface cleaning and then fall into bed! I am confident that messy is the natural state of houses. If it wasn't then they would take the hint and stay clean for at least a reasonable amount of time after we clean them.

Shari Randall said...

Elaine, I know that feeling. It will pass and you'll build wonderful new memories in your new place. Really.
Gloria, as far as a clean house….hah! When the kids were little I yearned for a house with a rubberized floor that I could hose clean. My biggest problem is paper….so much paper. I'm addicted to it and just have a hard time taming that paper beast.

Gloria Alden said...

Margaret, I know my mother worked hard at cleaning, but with five - the sixth came after I married, it was hard although my dad and all her children when they were old enough helped out.

Kait, for a while I had two different friends when they were out of work clean for me once a week because I felt they needed the money. I still think it would be nice to have someone, but not sure I could afford it, and the messiest room in my house, they couldn't clean because it's my office/dining room/library and it's the papers that clutter that.

Shari, you sound just like me! I can't discard the piles of junk mail I get until I tear my name off it and the cellophane windows from the envelope. All that goes to recycling. Then there's the papers I print out for many of my blogs. And then there's the notes, letters and cards I receive. How can I discard those? Also, I clip articles from the newspaper or a magazine that I plan on sending to others or use in a blog someday. How about the hints for gardening, etc. or even recipes that look good, but I know I'll probably never actually use.

KM Rockwood said...

Jim, the way I always heard that is: "Cleanliness is next to godliness, and next impossible, too."

Other sayings I embrace: "A clean house is a sign of a wasted life."

"If a disorganized desk is an indication of a disorganized mind, what is an empty desk?"

I realized a while ago that I would never be able to write unless I practices a benign neglect with the finer points of housekeeping. I prioritized, and while it might be nice to have an organized, spotless home, I wouldn't want to give up the time I use for writing and other things I enjoy for it.

Gloria Alden said...

KM, I so believe in that. When I walk into a home I've never been in before, I look around to see if there are signs of real people living there - books, magazines, etc. - and not a home set up like a furniture store displaying furniture. I used to visit Christmas open houses and I always hoped to see signs that told me what kind of people lived there. Maybe it was just a food dish for a pet. I especially looked for books.