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.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

With or Without a Parachute

When I moved into my new house in Orange, Massachusetts, nothing grew in the garden except grass. The builder thought he was doing me a favor by planting grass but he wasn’t. I’d prefer white clover and no mowing.

Creating a garden from scratch is a little like sitting in front of a blank screen, fingers itching to begin a new story. I studied gardening books, searched local garden centers, and wandered through the surrounding area to check out other gardens. I wanted to know what grows in Orange and to find design ideas worth copying.

Two Pekingese dogs barked at me as I stood close to a white picket fence and contemplated one of the neatest gardens I’ve ever seen, not a weed in sight. Out of the corner of one eye, I saw a flash of orange, the fashion shade for prison outfits. A skydiver, missing me by inches, landed on the perfect lawn and frantically tried to reel in his tumblr_lmdxe5BjfY1qfkztjo1_500parachute. The dogs went wild.

Even after an appraiser commented that I lived near an airport, I hadn’t given much thought to the fenced field and gas pump I could see after a short walk down my street. The first private sport parachuting school in the US opened on May 2, 1959 in Orange. Not to belabor the obvious, it’s called Jumptown. All summer, and often in early spring and late fall, brightly colored parachutes dot the sky. I can hear the jumpers but not what they’re saying. If I were a jumper, the words would probably be that I’d changed my mind. Even for a million dollars, I’d have a hard time jumping out of a plane.

However, once a story is written, revised, and mulled over, I believe there comes a moment when the story takes off as though in a free fall. Without that leap, stories might be interesting, technically perfect, and easily publishable but they still haven’t reached their potential.

Do you have a favorite point while writing when the story seems to launch itself?


E. B. Davis said...

I see the parachute analogy in two ways.

Yes-the take-off and lift, when you find an interesting and unexpected way to advance your story and it changes everything. The dead middle is revived, springing the reader toward the conclusion.

I also find standing behind your words a leap of faith, knowing that the way you wrote the story is the way it should be. Having that faith in yourself-your words is a grace-I'm getting there.

Warren Bull said...

Of course sometimes the plane lands and you're still on board. Some stories soar. Other crawl painfully onward inch by inch, When I start a new story I never know which will happen

Patricia said...

I'm a pantser and although I have a vague outline in my head of where I think the story will go, it may veer in a different direction. And I let it do that. I get my ideas many times when I'm thinking over my book in bed in the middle of the night and then start writing about it the next day. I like to be open to something different happening than what I'd originally planned.

Pauline Alldred said...

Hi Patricia, I find the most interesting developments happen unexpectedly, after sleep or when I think the story is finished but it isn't.

Pauline Alldred said...

Elaine and Warren, take off and faith, or crawling inch by inch, skydiving or gardening, who knows what will happen for certain. Plants I never planted grow and flourish and shrubs I babysat shrivel and die.

Kara Cerise said...

Just when I think the story is finally finished, a new idea hits. It may send the story in a new direction or just add a little depth to it.

Ellis Vidler said...

My favorite point is when I get to the end of the middle. The middle is my Waterloo. I'd like to skip to the end--I always see that clearly. It's getting there that's hard.

By the way, I'm going to research white clover for my area. Fabulous idea! About skydiving? Maybe for two million I'd think about it, but I doubt if I'd do it even then. ;-)