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.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Truth, Lies and what's Between

Most of us were taught the importance of telling the truth. Our parents emphasized this by telling us we would be in more trouble if we didn't. In school we were told the same thing, and we heard how George Washington told his father "I cannot tell a lie. I cut down the cherry tree." We later learn that was a fabrication invented by an early biographer of our first president. And as the years went by, we read many books and saw many movies where someone was being interrogated and told it would be better for them if they told the truth, which often ended with bad results for the one being questioned, especially if the interrogator was a bad guy. To some extent this changed our seeing the world in black and white. Over time we started seeing shades of gray. Maybe it started when we found ourselves still being punished when we told the truth and wondered if it was really a lesser punishment because we'd been honest.

Still most of us, I hope, find the examples of lies, cheating and dishonesty that we read or hear about on the news repugnant. We've learned of college students at Harvard cheating, school administrators fudging their student rosters to hide how their schools are really doing and Ponzi schemes of all kinds. Recently we found out about writers, sometimes well-known ones, who have paid reviewers to give them good reviews to move their books up on the best seller or Amazon lists. That can only make us wonder how valid the Amazon lists actually are. One writer blogged about doing it as if he'd found a wonderful new way to market his book. I can only hope most writers are more ethical than that.

And, of course, now with a major election season in  full swing, the lies, half-truths, hyperbole and misleading statements are filling the media nonstop. PolitiFact and FactCheck.org are working overtime to get the actual truth out there, but I'm not sure how many people look for those fact checks. Do they only get their candidate information from the ads?  I hope not because the largest amount of money ever raised for campaign advertising is being poured into campaign coffers mostly be a few very wealthy people. A lot of people think all politicians are dishonest. Unfortunately some are, but I don't believe the majority are. Misguided maybe, according to my opinion, but there are a lot of good politicians who want to make our country better. I may not agree with the opposite party's viewpoints, but I don't think it necessarily makes them totally dishonest. (By the way, I have no idea who the men in the picture are so I'm not impugning their character in any way.)

That leaves us with the "In Between." Most small children blurt out the truth even if it's offensive like "You look funny," although at another time they can blame a sibling or an imaginary character for doing something they themselves did. As we mature we learn the value of the white lie; the way of fudging the truth so as not to hurt some one's feelings. When we get a gift we neither like nor can use, we don't tell the giver that. We look for something nice to say about it while wondering how we can get away with not wearing it or displaying it in our home. If someone asks us how we like their new dress, we evade telling them our true opinion by saying something like we love the color, but don't tell them it's very unflattering.

Cheating is a lie I have trouble condoning. Whether it's cheating at a game - how can anyone feel they really won if they cheated to win - or cheating on your income tax or something else. Of course, everyone has excuses if they're caught.

Is lying more prevalent today than it was in the so called good old days? I don't think so. Human nature being what it is, there have always been those who lied and cheated to get what they want. I think there's just more opportunity to be found out today through the Internet. Of course, there are more opportunities to lie, cheat and steal through the Internet, too. As for myself, I try to always be honest, except for those kind, little, white lies, and even those I try to avoid by not saying anything when possible. Guilty feelings are a burden on the soul and hard to live with.

When do you feel it's okay to stretch the truth?

Have you ever been caught out in a lie?




Judy Alter said...

atTruth and lies is particularly pertinent during an election, but I resent it when someone says, in effect, "there is no honest politician." Yes, they slant the truth to their advantage but outright liars are few and far between. And don't forget Snopes.com for fact checking. Conservatives say they're biased, but in truth they're reliable and often see half truth, half lie in an issue. Good reality check.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Excellent post, Gloria! As Judy says, especially pertinent during an election.

I have always tried to tell the truth as diplomatically as possible and have found over the years that some people are shocked that I would. Don't know what that says about the people they usually hang around.

Gloria Alden said...

Judy, I'll have to add Snopes.com to places to check. I'm glad you believe there are honest politicians, too.

Linda, I feel the same way. When I asked the question I was trying to think of any outright lie I'd told. The closest to one is when I missed my piano lesson because I was hanging over the fence across from my piano teacher watching a horse. There was a car in her drveway so I thought she was still with a former student. So I took my money for the lesson home and slipped it into the jar used for school lunches. Eventually, I did tell my parents the truth.

Warren Bull said...

Of course there are times when we "improve" the truth to make it more interesting/acceptable. Sometimes the manner in which we say the truth matters as much as the truth itself. I had a friend once who people described as "Honest to the point of drawing blood."

Gloria Alden said...

I'm not sure a friend like that would be easy to deal with. :-) I have a sister, who is basically very honest, but "improves the truth" sometimes to make it more interesting.
And, of course, people often see the same event and then recall it differently. We all believe what we saw or experienced is exactly the way it happened.

Pauline Alldred said...

This might sound corny but I follow, "to thine own self be true and it doth follow as the night the day you can't be fasle to any man." (free adaptation there!)Beware of false leaders and prophets, even in the workplace, I think. If my gut senses something bad in a proposed course of action, even if it would be to my advantage to suck up to the perpetrator, I would choose to resist, I hope.

Alyx Morgan said...

I do my best not to lie, or improve the truth, if at all possible. But I don't like hurting people's feelings, so if anyone asks for my opinion, I will either find something nice to say about it (like the color), or say "Not really, but then again I'm not one who likes [the color orange/paisleys/polka dots/etc]."

I can be much more honest when it comes to movies or books, because people don't seem to get as hurt if you say you don't like a movie/book they like.

Patg said...

Well you know the old saying about never ask a question you don't already know the answer to. Unfortunately, too many people ask questions they seem to think the answer is a given truth they believe in. Over the years, I've 'trained' people to be careful when asking me questions concerning something they believe whole-heartedly in. Because there is another old saying that applies: Can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Okay, this only applies to religion and politics.
Over small issues (gifts, style opinions) little white lies have to do because so few people seem to realize that the population of the planet is 7 billion and every single one of us has our own opinion, taste and concept of truth. Needless to say, I'm not one to believe in the black and white of any issue.

Gloria Alden said...

Pauline, that's a good way to live and one I try to follow. Once my principal and a curriculum director, hinted I should cheat a little when administring the No Child Left Behind tests given in the spring. I was appalled and didn't do what they obliquely suggested.

Gloria Alden said...

Alyx, I try to do the same thing as much as possible. I might say something with the color combination you mentioned, "My that's colorful" in an admiring tone of voice and with a smile while not actually saying I like it.

Gloria Alden said...

I try not to discuss religion or politics unless I know the person has the same beliefs I have. I wouldn't be able to change their opinion so rather than create enmity I change the subject, although I have on occasion replied to an email with one of those blanket emails to many people that I didn't believe what they sent.

Patg said...

Speaking of truth. I received this from a friend because I'm interested in reviews of the the new J K Rowling novel. Though the first part is all about the reviewer, when he gets into it, he mentions truth and the teenage boy in the novel named Fats. It's an interesting comment and he feels Rowlings handles it nicely.

Gloria Alden said...

I'll have to check that out when I have time, Pat. Thanks for posting it.

E. B. Davis said...

Many people don't really want the truth. (i.e., Do these pants make me look fat?) I would much rather hear the truth than have someone tell me what they think I want to hear. The truth may change how I feel about something entirely. For example, a friend of mine, who grew up in Jersey City, N.J. said that she was for "public school credits" toward private schools to help parents with tuition. I disagreed, but then she told me what the public schools were like in her hometown, an entirely different experience than mine. She could have agreed with me, but then I'd still be ignorant of many people's experience.

Mysteries are based on lies. The bad guy hides the truth, lies to everyone. The sleuth must detect the lie or find evidence that refutes and proves the bad guy guilty. I love to see how authors create new and unique ways for their sleuths to determine the truth. Maybe that's why Monk was so popular.

Gloria Alden said...

E.B. actually, if someone asked about the pants making her fat, and she was trying them on before buying them, I might tell the truth. If she'd already bought them, I might not or make some sort of noncommital response. It's true that different experiences can create different view points.

You are so right about mysteries being based on lies. I like reading the mysteries that don't tell the reader who is lying, but lets us figure it out for ourself. I enjoy trying to solve the mystery before the end of the book.