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

Our April author interviews: Perennial author Susan Wittig Albert--4/5, Sasscer Hill, horse racing insider--4/12, English historical, cozy author, TE Kinsey--4/19, Debut author, Susan Bickford--4/26.

Saturday Guest Bloggers in April: Heather Baker Weidner (4/1), Christina Hoag (4/8), Susan Boles (4/29). WWK Saturday bloggers write on 4/15--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 4/22--Kait Carson.

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 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 order.


Saturday, February 4, 2017

On Being Stuck, Needing Rest, and Forgiving Oneself by Laurel S. Peterson

First, thanks E. B. Davis, and Writers Who Kill for hosting me. I’m honored to be here.

This is about the fifth incarnation of this blog post. I’ve been writing most of my life and at the moment I can’t come up with a single thing to say that’s light-hearted. On my mind, I’ve got gum surgery, a cat lost to cancer, the inauguration, my return to the spring semester’s teaching in a state that’s $1.4 billion in debt, and an uncle who died at Christmas. I’m stuck.

Modern American society seems to suggest that if one isn’t working, one is wasting time. My cat thought differently. For him, rest was the point, preferably snuggled up against someone warm. I should learn from him.

But I, like many people I know, have difficulty with rest. There’s so much to do: we have to write the next novel, find reviewers, go to conferences, write blog posts, go to our day jobs, feed our families, clean the closets. I look at the list and get depressed.

I don’t really want to write at the moment; I’d much rather be drinking a martini and watching “Good Girls Revolt.” (And if you haven’t seen it, it’s on Amazon Prime.)

What I need is a way to stop. Yoga helps, if I do it. Going to the gym helps. Reading a good book helps, although sometimes that feels like work, too. More often these days, beauty helps. Museums are important to me, because they house so much of it. Beauty—or any kind of art, and that includes literature—makes me believe that no matter the trauma or disaster, something meaningful can come out of it. 

I suppose that’s what happens for my character Clara Montague in Shadow Notes. She comes home because she dreams her mother is in danger, and the danger she discovers is so much greater than she imagined. What gets her through are her friendships and the memories that she has of all the beautiful gardens she’s visited, like Versailles or the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, Australia. If I weren’t so terribly tired, I would go find you pictures of those. Instead, here’s one from the Monet’s Garden exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden, which is equally fabulous.

Sometimes, I think not-writing is important. And forgiving ourselves for not writing is important, too, especially if, like me, you’re a Type A. (Remember those?) We need time to heal from whatever has hurt us before we can write about it—or anything else.

So I’m taking the rest of the week off. I’m going to make a decadent white chocolate Frangelico mousse for a party of friends on Friday. Saturday, I’m going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to look at beautiful things and be soothed. I hope in your busy life, you find some time for beauty, too.

What soothes you? Do you schedule time to rest in the same way you schedule time to write? Is writing your “resting,” the thing that renews you? I’d love to hear your thoughts, and thanks so much for stopping by. 

Laurel S. Peterson is a Professor of English at Norwalk Community College. Her mystery novel, Shadow Notes, was released by Barking Rain Press in May 2016. In addition to writing mysteries, she has published two poetry chapbooks, That’s the Way the Music Sounds, from Finishing Line Press (2009) and Talking to the Mirror from The Last Automat Press (2010), and a full length collection, “Do You Expect Your Art to Answer You?” was released by Futurecycle Press in January 2017. In 2016 – 2018, she is serving as the town of Norwalk’s Poet Laureate. You can find her at: www.laurelpeterson.com, on Twitter @laurelwriter49 or on Facebook. Drop by!

SHADOW NOTES by Laurel S. Peterson

Clara Montague’s mother Constance never liked—or listened—to her but now they have to get along or they will both end up dead. Can Clara find the connection between the murders and her mother’s past that will save her mother and finally heal their relationship?

Clara suspects she and her mother share intuitive powers, but Constance always denied it. When Clara was twenty, she dreamed her father would have a heart attack. Constance claimed she was hysterical. Then he died.

Furious, Clara leaves for fifteen years, but when she dreams Constance is in danger, she returns home. Then, Constance’s therapist is murdered and Constance is arrested.

Starting to explore her mother’s past, Clara discovers books on trauma, and then there’s a second murder.

Can Clara find the connection between the murders and her mother’s past that will save her mother and finally heal their relationship?


Grace Topping said...

Laurel, thank you for your thought-provoking blog. Your message hit home with me. I've been unable to start a second book, and it nags at me. I feel that I should be doing something all the time and feel guilty when I'm not. It doesn't help that as a child I was taught that it was a sin to waste time. Taking time to appreciate the beauty around us sounds perfect.

KM Rockwood said...

I'm from just outside New York City, my husband is from Philadelphia. We met in Chicago. One day we looked at each other and realized, "This isn't where we want to be raising children." So we decided to move to and area where living was less stressful (and, yes, less exciting.) First a small town in Michigan, now a rural area in Pennsylvania.

When I was working (I'm retired now) the commute home was decompression time. Even when I worked in Baltimore City, it wasn't long on the drive before I was surrounded by forests and farms. When I pulled into my driveway, the only man-made thing I saw was our house.

IMHO, taking time to relax and appreciate things around us is not wasting time.

Margaret Turkevich said...

March-November I photograph gardens. During January and February, I edit photos to use as greeting cards. Both are relaxing pursuits that lead to a good end: the cards are sold at a fund-raising auction for women's college scholarships, and I send some to Girls Love Mail, a program for women recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

Gloria Alden said...

Laurel I can relate to your blog. Right now I'm reformatting as well as doing a final edit of book eight of my Catherine Jewell Mystery series and working on book nine at the same time. I also write a blog for Writers Who Kill for every Thursday. What I find the most difficult is those who don't understand that because I'm a retired teacher, I'm still very busy every day.

How do I relax? I have a dozen acres in the country with some critters (ponies and chickens) I take care of In spring trough fall I'm working in my gardens and walking every day in the woods with my collie. In the cold days of winter, my relaxing time is reading the newspaper with my meals, and reading a book when I settle down for the evening and another one when I head to bed, and listening to music.

Two weeks ago I took a Sunday afternoon off to go to a movie with my sisters, FENCES, and I'm doing the same today with LION and a dinner to follow. A little over a week ago I took the afternoon off to see LA LA LAND with a friend. Those three movies were treats for me because I so seldom go to movies anymore.

Shari Randall said...

Laurel, first, thank you for sharing the photo from the Monet's Garden exhibit. I was at the Botanical Gardens just before opening day and had forgotten all about it.
Gardens, art, music, dancing are all my escapes. Opening ourselves to things outside of ourselves - which great art does - is the way I recharge. It would also be yoga and working out, but as you say, if I do it ;)

E. B. Davis said...

Scheduling rest sounds like work. The best rest to me is spontaneous. Last summer we were too busy working on an addition to our beach house, which became our primary home. When a girlfriend of mine visited, we went to the beach and met other friends. I was suddenly aware of how stressed I'd been and how relaxed I was feeling. I had to remark to my friends that with them I felt like I was on vacation. Spontaneous and unexpected--but very welcome. Sorry about your kitty--hope you get a break!

Deborah Romano said...

Welcome Laurel! My youngest sister graduated from Norwalk Community College in the early 80s!

I don't schedule as much rest into my schedule as I should. I do try to get together with friends for dinner at least a couple times a month, and I always take the beach route to and from work. Even during the winter when it gets dark early and I can't see the Sound all that clearly, just knowing that it's there is calming.