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

September Interviews

9/2 Dianne Freeman, A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Murder

9/9 Ellen Byron, Murder in the Bayou Boneyard

9/16 Marilyn Levinson, writing as Allison Brook, Checked Out for Murder

9/23 Rhys Bowen, The Last Mrs. Summers

9/30 Sherry Harris, From Beer To Eternity

September Guest Bloggers

9/19 Judy Alter

WWK Weekend Bloggers

9/5 V. M. Burns

9/12 Jennifer J. Chow

9/26 Kait Carson


For The Love Of Lobster Tales by Shari Randall is now available to download free for a limited time. Go to Black Cat Mysteries at: https://bcmystery.com/ to get your free copy! Thanks for the freebie, Shari.

Keenan Powell recently signed with agent Amy Collins of Talcott Notch. Congratulations, Keenan!

KM Rockwood's "Secrets To The Grave" will appear in the new SinC Chesapeake Chapter's new anthology Invitation To Murder, which will be released by Wildside Press on 10/6.

Congratulations to our two Silver Falchion Finalists Connie Berry and Debra Goldstein!

Paula Gail Benson's "Cosway's Confidence" placed second and Debra Goldstein's "Wabbit's Carat" received Honorable Mention in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2020 short story contest. Congratulations, Paula and Debra!

Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.

KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.

Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!


Monday, July 30, 2012

Delivering One-Liners

When my husband and I were first married BC (Before Children), we got the half-baked idea to move back to our hometown in Pennsylvania. We missed our families and the countryside. To seal the deal, we bought an old farmhouse.

Every weekend, we’d travel from Virginia to Pennsylvania to renovate the house. At the start, we thought we would be moving into the house and living there, so the renovation work became far more extensive than if we had been fixing it up to sell it. In the end, we realized that there were quite a few reasons why moving wasn’t a good idea and were happy our plans didn’t work out even if we had put far too much effort into the renovation.

We loaded the doors onto my husband’s truck and took them back to Virginia so that during the week, I could strip the old paint and restore their beauty. Since they were handmade, solid doors, I felt the effort was well worth the labor and time. They were beautiful by the time I finished. But other tasks in the house were in situ chores.

The entire house was finished in old plaster, and a lot of it was in sorry shape. When we tore down a wall to open compartmentalized space, we found that the original owners were poor folks who insulated the walls with newspaper. The newspapers dated the house’s age to 1916. The headlines featured WWI and the women’s suffragette movement.

Much to my surprise, the editorials on the suffragette movement focused on the question of who would raise the children—a question we still struggle to answer—when I had imagined fearful, domineering men trying to hold on to their power (although I’m sure there was some of that and some of the other inane arguments justifying inequality). The opposition arguments were better than I expected because their priorities on children were at least valid. I took some of the advertisements from the newspapers, kept them and had them framed.

One night, after we’d been working on the house for several months, we were slap-happy with fatigue and started knocking plaster off the ceilings in the upstairs bedrooms. My husband worked in one bedroom, and I worked in another. Even though my husband is a building contractor, to this day he favors new construction because renovation is a dirty mess.

I’ve always loved champagne. My husband, wanting to reward me for my perseverance, bought me a cold bottle, but he forgot that we had no glasses, not even a paper cup. With no alternative, I opened the champagne and drank directly from the bottle. Since we were young fools with a lot of energy, we continued to work. Perched on a ladder and armed with a hammer in one hand and the champagne bottle in the other hand, I knocked off old plaster, which rained down on my head and covered me in grime, when my brother-in-law came up the stairs to see how we are doing.

I hoped and prayed, and then he answered my prayers by asking, “What are you doing?”

Of course, I replied, “I’m getting plastered.”

Do you orchestrate one-liners for your characters? Has life afforded you the opportunity to deliver any good one-liners? Let me know. I’d love to hear your stories.


Linda Rodriguez said...

The things we do when we're young! I only wish I had that energy and strength now. Good blog, Elaine!

I don't orchestrate one-liners for my characters. As in real life, I think that tends to make them sound strained. But sometimes the opportunity for one arises spontaneously, and that's nice.

Warren Bull said...

Sadly, I usually think of one-liners long after the immediate situation is over. However, I was once confronted by a divorced man who claimed to have a court order stating that I could not continue to see his wife and children in therapy. She had the legal right to bring them in. I checked. He headed toward the door saying, "You would want to violate a court order." I answered, "Of course not. Just bring in the order so I can make a copy for the files."

He looked like a deer in the headlights.

E. B. Davis said...

You're right, Linda. If you try too hard, the strain will show, but every now and again, a one-liner presents itself and can show your MC's whimsical nature. I like a character that can see the lighter side, especially since our work is so often dark.

E. B. Davis said...

Sounds as if you called that one just right, Warren. I like it when bullies are cleaned, starched, pressed and spotlighted in stark relief. Real life affords few opportunities. We need to take advantage of every one.

Polly Iyer said...

One-liners are tough because it's so easy to make them sarcastic. I've written good ones and sarcastic ones. The good ones aren't planned; the sarcastic ones hopefully fit the character speaking the line. Those are the ones that are tricky because you don't want the reader to identify your character as unlikeable or a smart ass. I have to admit to writing a few of those. :-(

E. B. Davis said...

I think you're being way too hard on yourself, Polly. Sarcastic characters can be fun. I know that sarcasm is supposed to be the lowest form of comedy, but at least it is comedy! Face it, a lot of our humor is sarcasm--we're not all fantastic comics. But we can poke fun, and often sarcasm is our fun. It's a great way to be self-depreciating, and most people like characters to evoke that personality aspect. (in a way that is unfortunate, but true)