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

Here are the upcoming WWK interviews for the month of July!

July 4th Christopher Huang, A Gentleman's Murder

July 11th V. M. Burns, The Plot Is Murder

July 18th Edith Maxwell (Maddie Day), Death Over Easy

July 25th Shari Randall, Against The Claw

Our July Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 7/7--Mary Feliz, 7/14--Annie Hogsett, 7/21--Margaret S. Hamilton, 7/28--Kait Carson.

Our special bloggers for the fifth Monday and Tuesday of July--Kaye George and Paula Gail Benson.

Please welcome two new members to WWK--Annette Dashofy, who will blog on alternative Sundays with Jim Jackson, and Nancy Eady, who will blog on every fourth Monday. Thanks for blogging with us Annette and Nancy!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Annette Dashofy's Uneasy Prey was released in March. It is the sixth Zoe Chambers Mystery. The seventh, Cry Wolf, will be released on September 18th. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Annette on September 19th.

Carla Damron's quirky short story, "Subplot", was published in the Spring edition of The Offbeat Literary Journal. You can find it here: http://offbeat.msu.edu/volume-18-spring-2018/

Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here. Tina was nominated for a Derringer Award for her novelette, "Trouble Like A Freight Train Coming." We're all crossing our fingers for her.

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), was published on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here. He's working on Seamus McCree #6 (False Bottom)

Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here:

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.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in July 31, 2018.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Landscape of the Heart


I have a theory that part of our inheritance comes in the form of genes and the rest comes in the form of stories. As with the nature/nurture debate we could spend endless time assigning weights to these two forms of inheritance but I’m not gonna do it today, no sir.
Well, maybe a little.
The gene part gave me and my sisters our looks. One of my sisters looks much more like Mom than Dad; my other sister and I look more like Dad. At the visitation for my father, who passed away last week, a lot of people told me I was the spitting image of my father. Other than for a two week experiment, my father never wore a beard and his hair was short. However, we’re both bald and fairly tall, especially in a room of older folks who have shrunk or are stooped. And people need something to say in the receiving line. A few people told my sister who looks quite similar to Mom that she looked just like Dad. Now there is wishful thinking or a demonstrated need for a lens correction.
People will see what they want to. I remember my Mother telling me about people who would swear she looked just like her father. Problem with that was she was adopted. So when people tell you how much you resemble someone else in your family, it’s time to reach for a salt shaker (for that grain of salt) – or sometimes even a salt block.
However, my partner, Jan, insists that as I get older my laugh and Dad’s sound more and more alike. And an ex-wife commented decades ago when watching my father and me walking together that we had the same gaits. I’m not sure whether these shared characteristics are genes, learned/modeled behaviors or salt-shaker material.
And frankly, I don’t much care. What is important to me, and I know has shaped me, are the family stories told. Since it was my father who died, I’ll concentrate on his side of the family. This very small semicircle of headstones represents the following achievements:
Abolitionist newspaper editor and circuit rider (1840s), founder of water cures 1850s (who believed in exercise, whole foods, no caffeine and alcohol), creator of the first ready-to-eat cereal (granula – no typo; granola came about because a rival cereal company lost a patent suit to the Jacksons and had to change the name of their cereal), one of the first US woman physicians (1850s or earlier) and proponent of the “American Costume” (loose fitting clothes for women) , Initial supporters of the first American Red Cross Chapter (Chapter #1 in Dansville, NY), Founder of the Dansville Fire Department, another woman physician (graduated in 1877), an early cost accountant, sober alcoholic, seventy-five-year Mason, decorated Coast Guard auxiliary member for life saving beyond the call of duty (at age 80+), early female graduate of the University of Rochester when women had to take chemistry labs in separate rooms from the men, several authors. And I could go on and on and on.
This past Wednesday we added Dad and all the stories we share of and with him.
~ Jim


E. B. Davis said...

When it comes to physical characteristics, I often wonder when it comes to death, which parent I will emulate.

But, I hope later, when you have processed the death, you'll be able to tell his stories. What will be interesting--which stories your siblings and you favor and keep. I suspect, each of the stories will vary depending on their resound within each of you. Nurture yourself, now. Be a bit selfish. It's a fresh loss and wound that needs time to harden off.

Gloria Alden said...

You have quite an impressive background, Jim, and I can tell your father was a positive influence on your life - as was mine. We are the lucky ones to have been molded by good and strong parents. I value the stories my parents told of their growing up years and of their parents, my grandparents on both sides.

My siblings - 6 of us in all - have various features of both parents, but as we age I see stonger resemblances in each of us to one or the other parent, but more a mixture. My youngest brother looks more and more like our father now.

James Montgomery Jackson said...


I've had my first public opportunity to tell some of Dad's story when I gave his eulogy (one of my sisters also spoke and we had one of Dad's work friends as well.)

And you are right, although many of the themes are the same, we children do have different favorite stories and, of course, our own slants on shared stories.


I've maintained that one of the ways to find out how good a parent a person was is to look to their grandchildren -- and mine are pretty nice kids, so I think my parents get good marks.

~ Jim

Linda Rodriguez said...

You are so right, Jim. The stories of your family are your true inheritance. Like Elaine, I hope you'll share them later when you've had some time to work through your grief. Losing a parent is always difficult, no matter how old we grow ourselves. Do take good care of yourself and give yourself a chance to mourn this unique man.

Warren Bull said...

You have reason to be proud of your family and I'm glad you are starting to take the opportunity to share your family's stories.

B.K. Stevens said...

You have quite an accomplished family, Jim. Your pride in them and your affection for your father shine through in every line of your post.

Jess * Jessie * Jessy said...

What a wonderful, interesting family!

I learned a long time ago that everyone sees differently. Makes you wonder about all those innocent/guilty people in our prisons who were put there because of witnesses. :)

My mother was a beautiful redhead. Today, nearing 90, she looks like a homeless person because she refuses to get her hair trimmed or curled. I notice every time I look in the mirror that I resemble her more and more--not the raving beauty but the homeless person.

In spite of out others see us, I think sometimes nature is cruel. :)

jan godown annino said...

a new blog visitor here ... from the Guppies

thank you for this generous sharing of a remarkable source in one family of stories of this nation's history/important movements/progressive ideas!
it's a lot to absorb at once, the breadth of your family's sweep on your father's side.

how fabulous that the shared trait identified by your
sweetie is the laugh.

a beautiful sharing

James Montgomery Jackson said...


Welcome to both the Guppies and Writers Who Kill.

~ Jim

Kaye George said...

I am so impressed by your ancestry, Jim! Mine include a horse thief and a boy who lied about his age to be a drummer boy in the Revolutionary War.

About gaits, my mother said my brother walked just like her father, who died before he was born. She said he had the same hand gestures too. Life is strange. I can hear my mother myself when I laugh.

This is a fitting tribute to your dad!