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Julie Tollefson won the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter's Holton Award for best unpublished manuscript (member category) for her work in progress, In The Shadows.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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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

My Friend Sam Morton, by Carla Damron

My friend Sam cheated death before. He had a bad heart, inherited from a loving dad who died way too young. For twenty plus years, I’ve watched Sam deal with a frightening diagnosis, be told “there’s nothing else we can do,” and suffer the highs and lows of waiting for a transplant. I remember during one hospitalization over ten years ago, I prayed that he live long enough to help his kids grow up and remember thinking that was a long shot. I’ve never been so happy to be wrong—his oldest is heading to college this fall.

Last year, he dealt with a failing heart and kidney malfunction, but damn if he didn’t come back from it. He hated the idea of dialysis and miraculously escaped it. His body failed, but his spirit never did. He kept smiling. Kept focusing on the positive. And kept making us laugh.

A few weeks ago, he had a bad heart attack. While in Cardiac ICU, his heart stopped five times, in something called a “ventricular storm.” I saw him when he was barely awake, surrounded by so many tubes and machines it looked like a sci-fi movie. I held his hand and quietly thought, this is it. When I got to my car I burst into tears.

But Sam wasn’t done. Dang fool rallied once again. He stayed alive the weekend, and the next day and the next day, and we all shook our heads at the miracle that was Sam. When I visited him again, he was sitting in a chair smiling, and his wife talked about plans for when he left the hospital. I told him the title of his next book would be Ventricular Storm.

They were prepared to step him down from CCU when it happened.  Sam’s sweet old heart stopped again, and despite valiant medical efforts he didn’t revive. When I got the 6 AM text from a friend, “call me now, IMPORTANT,” I knew.  That this happened on April Fool’s Day seemed a cruel, yet oddly fitting, joke.

My little writing community in Columbia, SC is grieving the loss of Sam Morton. We’re sharing stories and photos on Facebook. We email and text one another. We are planning our own gathering to celebrate the life of this friend.

 
Me and Sam in writer's group. We were rarely this serious!


And my fellow Writers Who Kill bloggers also miss him. He was a regular contributor to the blog, known for his humor and honesty.

I will never forget Sam Morton. Cop, wrestler, communications director, and campaign speech writer. Father, husband, and friend to so many.

But to me, he was a critique partner, cheerleader, and funny-as-hell writer. The one who said, “They rejected you? Then they are full of shi@t.” when I needed to hear it. And said, “You might find a better resolution to this subplot.” when I needed that, too.

Inkplots Writers Group, early 1990s


Thank you, Sam, for the ten extra years we might not have had you. Thank you for your amazing spirit and ability to laugh at yourself (and me). You stayed with us as long as you could, but now you’re way above us, cracking jokes and hoping we all don’t grieve too long.  


And here on earth, there’s a part of you still with us—your words. We will have them forever, and there’s some comfort in that. 

10 comments:

E. B. Davis said...

I knew Sam had serious health issues. I didn't know he'd inherited the problem. Although I didn't know Sam well, we had a running joke we tossed back and forth. He was the mountain man and I was the beach chick. It was fun, and I "got" his sense of humor.

A few months ago I found out that a friend of mine from college had died the previous year. He helped me through a turbulent time in my life. I was grateful for his support, sorry we hadn't been close for years, and remember him fondly.

My problem with Sam's and my friend's death is that I still think the best is yet to come. Perhaps I'm too much the optimist, but I feel sad for all that they will miss in the latter part of life and all we will miss due to their absence. Our loss is everyone's loss. They were good men.

Jim Jackson said...

I only knew Sam electronically. I had hoped to meet him a couple of different times, but health issues kept him away. From everything I have heard (and now read) about Sam, the loss was mine.

I've learned that others are only truly gone when we stop telling stories about them. I have a feeling Sam will live a long time.

~ Jim

Paula Gail Benson said...

Thanks, Carla, for this wonderful remembrance. Sam's influence, through his writing and his personality, is a mighty force that will long endure.

Kait said...

What a wonderful remembrance. Like Jim, I knew Sam only electronically, but he had a vitality and humor that pulsed through the ether. The world is a poorer place.

Riley Miller said...

This resonated. Thank you so much for sharing, Carla. He'll stay in our hearts and our stories-- for us, tied closely together.

Carla Damron said...

Thanks for the kind words, y'all. Each of us have losses we must face, some easier than others. Sam was one-of-a-kind, a "might force" as Paula said. I hope he continues to "pulse through the ether" as we remember him, and laugh at his jokes, and read his words.

Gloria Alden said...

Thanks Carla, for the beautiful remembrance of Sam. I only knew him as a fellow blogger, but wish I could have gotten to know him in person. Such a special and beautiful person, he was, or should I say is because he's living on in the memories of those who knew him. And because I believe in an afterlife, I know he's watching over all those who cared about him.

Shari Randall said...

What a wonderful remembrance, Carla. Sam was one of a kind, that's for sure. I always enjoyed his posts. The joy he took in his family and his writing jumped off the page.

Warren Bull said...

I got to see Sam in person once in addition to knowing him electronically. He was truly memorable. He will live on in the memories of those who knew and loved him.

KM Rockwood said...

A great tribute for a great man. We will miss him.