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

Check out our February author interviews: 2/7-debut author Keenan Powell (Alaskan lawyer), 2/14-Leslie Wheeler (Rattlesnake Hill), 2/21-bestselling author Krista Davis, who unveils a new series, 2/28-Diane Vallere answers my questions about Pajama Frame. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our February Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 2/3-Saralyn Richard, 2/10-Kathryn Lane. WWK's Margaret H. Hamilton will blog on 2/17, and Kait Carson on 2/24.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

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 has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


Saturday, October 15, 2016

Afternoons in New Orleans

Margaret S. Hamilton

Don’t you just love those long rainy afternoons in New Orleans when an hour isn’t just an hour—but a little piece of eternity dropped into your hands—and who knows what to do with it?

Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

I found this quote painted on the wall in the entrance to Gallier House, a restored nineteenth century home on Royal Street in the French Quarter. My circumstances and mindset were different from those of Blanche Dubois—I spent a month in New Orleans caring for my daughter after her knee surgery—but Blanche’s words resonated with me.

I spent long afternoons sitting next to a wheezing window air conditioner during my daughter’s recovery. Bells from the schoolyard across the street and nearby St. Anthony of Padua Church marked the slow hours. Streetcars rumbled by on Canal Street, bound for the end of the line at three cemeteries. I wrote a short story, and outlined another. Binge-reading Ann Cleeves’s Shetland mysteries, I vicariously experienced life on an isolated group of islands with a cold and foggy climate.

To avoid the heat and thunderstorms, I took a daily early morning hour-long walk in City Park. I photographed the intense southern sun filtered by Spanish moss hanging from venerable live oak trees and dodged tour groups in the Sculpture Garden. Stalking egrets, heron, and ibis on the shore of the lake, I stole some quick snapshots.

In New Orleans, it’s customary to say hello to everyone you encounter, even Percy the black Juliana pig, clopping on dainty hooves down the sidewalk, drooling in anticipation of a powdered sugar donut hole at the Blue Dot donut bakery. Most dogs are some mix of pit bull, all friendly. The homeless people gathered at the local gas station helped me heave dripping bags of ice from the outside freezer. Sales associates in the local stores called me “Sugar,” “Hon,” or “Baby.”

Time goes slowly. Afternoons are endless. We were in the middle of two of the four New Orleans seasons—hurricane and football, with the other seasons, Mardi Gras and crawfish, not till spring. I embraced the heat, the mounds of gulf shrimp at the grocery store, the last of the crepe myrtle blooms scattering petals on the sidewalks. And some rainy Ohio afternoon, I’ll write about it.

Readers, what do you do on a rainy afternoon?


Kait said...

What lovely pictures, Margaret, and what an atmospheric blog. There is something enormously appealing about a city that has a pig walking the streets.

Right now, I'm living in Florida. Rainy afternoons go with the territory. From May to October you can set your watch by them and plan nothing outdoors between 2 PM and 6 PM. What I love best, though, are rainy nights (thank you Eddie Rabbit). As a dedicated night owl stuck in a lark life, rainy nights are writing time, daydreaming time, explore the depths of the soul time. Rainy afternoons are nap time, reading time, and alas, work time.

Hope that your daughter is fully recovered.

Jim Jackson said...

I write during the day, so rainy days generally mean more time at the desk, or if I have done my work for the day, then curling on the couch with a good book.

But I adore rainy nights. Our Michigan house has a steel roof so the rain plinks and plunks in a shower, snare drums in a harder rain, and positively thrums on a downpour.

My favorite spot is on our screened porch where there is only a ceiling made of aspen between the metal roof and my hearing. Once the rain ends, I'll get the steady patter as droplets slide down the main roof and fall in a line onto the porch roof.

Today is supposed to rain, but be warm (by U.P. standards, which means it will be above 50 degrees) today, so I'll be polyurethaning that very same aspen porch roof.

KM Rockwood said...

Rainy afternoon=stew or tomato sauce simmering in the crock pot, bread dough rising so we can have fresh bread with dinner, a glass of wine and either a reading a book snuggled up with an afghan, or (more productively) a stint at the computer on the latest writing project.

Thanks for the evocative blog post, and the wonderful pictures.

Gloria Alden said...

Lovely pictures, Margaret, and a discussion of what you saw and heard on your walks. It makes me want to go there.

What I do on rainy days is write, read, or other housework that needs done. Like winter days, I enjoy having the time to write.

Warren Bull said...

What an interesting place. Rainy afternoons are great times to write.

Shari Randall said...

What an evocative post - I felt like I was walking along with you, greeting Percy. Rainy days here by the shore are just extra unpleasant - so much gray and dampness everywhere. Definitely the time for curling up under an afghan and catching up on reading, with a cup of hot tea at hand.

Margaret Turkevich said...

Kait, I savor rainy nights.
Jim, there's nothing like sitting on the screened porch watching a thunderstorm brew.
Kathleen, I concur with delicious cooking smells (pot roast) on a rainy day.
Gloria, I can't wait for winter, when I get more writing done than at any other time of the year.
Warren, I agree. Writing = rainy afternoons.
Shari, I love foggy days but the damp gets to me, too.

Ellen Byron said...

Oh Margaret, this is spectacular! I'm overwhelmed. Thank you for capturing NOLA is such a beautiful, eloquent way. xoxoxo