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, March 24, 2013

Morgan le Fay (5/5/2000 – 3/18/2013)

Life is inherently unpredictable. My intention for this week’s blog was to write about my first book signing or my book launch party. Instead, I’ll tell you about a wonderful companion.

Prior to receiving this dog into our family, I had named my animal companions after gods and goddesses. My cats had names like Aphrodite, Artemis, Diana and a brother and sister pair we named Electra and Orestes. Before we got her at nine months, the dog’s name was Winnie. (Welsh for a fair one, white and smooth, fair and pure.) It was a good name, but the dog had not been trained and was out-of-control, which was why we needed to “rescue” her. For a new life, she needed a new name. I searched through Bulfinch’s Mythology not finding any Greek or Roman goddesses who seemed quite right. She deserved a powerful name and then I remembered the Arthurian Legend and Arthur’s sister – the enchantress, Morgan le Fay.

She was well named. She never met a person who could resist her magic spells.

Morgan believed her role in the world was to allow people to express their love for her. She gave everyone, whether they knew they needed it or not, the opportunity to heal through petting her. God gave humans two hands, she often said, so one could experience the joy of petting a dog while the other went about its normal business. If you forgot, she would bump your hand with her head or with the tip of her wet nose.

She was the star pupil at her obedience training classes and preferred carrots as reward treats. At her favorite command, “Belly rub,” she would flop onto her back, four legs into the air, thumping her tail on the floor in anticipation. When I gave her a neck rub along with the belly rub she would close her eyes, tilt her head all the way back and moan with pleasure.

It took her several years to train her “masters” on proper daily routines. If they lapsed she would stand in their presence and huff loudly until they figured out what they had forgotten. Dinnertime was precisely at 5:00 pm and, except for a readjustment period twice a year when humans foolishly reset their clocks, she would begin agitating a couple of minutes before the appointed hour.

She was the protector of the house—as long as that meant being outside and barking at the deer, bear, coyotes and wolves. After years of practice attempting to imitate her fellow canines, she came up with a modest version of a howl and did not take kindly to the human laughter it prompted.

She was omega to anyone or anything’s alpha. If ten-pound Electra (our Calico cat who died last year) chose to eat from Morgan’s food bowl, seventy-pound Morgan would whimper—asking her human parents to solve the problem for her.

Morgan loved the Northwoods. She learned to swim in 2001 when she waded into Shank Lake and discovered her feet no longer touched bottom. She never tired of swimming or chasing the Frisbee, and when forced to go back inside because she was shivering from near freezing water, she would protest. As she stood there you could almost hear her say, “I-I-I’m not c-c-c-c-old.” She loved swimming with her people, but if they weren’t willing to join her in the water, she’d bring her Frisbee and retrieve it for hours. She trained her humans to throw it just far enough to allow a full-gallop run down the dock, leap and belly flop into the lake, snaring the Frisbee in a stroke or two.

She knew the route between Savannah and Cincinnati and Michigan. Awakening from a nap she would request the driver to lower the window so she could sniff the country to know where she was. She insisted on a quick sniff of any city we passed through to confirm we were on the right track. Once we hit the dirt roads in Michigan she paced the whole way in, anticipating freedom without collar. While the humans set up camp for her, she would trot down to the dock and impatiently wait. If the wait was too long, we would hear a splash and sometime later the drenched dog would appear.

She was marvelous with small hands, allowing many unintended abuses as children learned to love her. She was the chaperone as grandchildren first explored the woods on their own.

Despite her self-image, she was not perfect. She snored and she farted, sometimes acting like a junior high student who looks around pretending not to be the culprit.

Morgan was without question the smartest of our dogs and always interested in the world around her.

Were she still physically with us she would sense the tears now forming in my eyes and lay her head in my lap, reminding me that everything she taught me is still in my memory. True, I whisper back, but I miss your huffing at my failures and your licks telling me I am forgiven.

~ Jim


E. B. Davis said...

Loss isn't easy, Jim. But remember you were given the gift of Morgan's friendship. Take care.

Kath Marsh said...

I am so sorry for your very great loss. Thank you for sharing Morgan with us.

Judy Alter said...

Wonderful dog, Jim. I've had big dogs all my life, lost the last one in the summer. Now I have a medium (poodle/Border collie mix) and much as I love her I miss that lovely big dog temperament. I grieve with you.

Pauline Alldred said...

Thanks for sharing the memory. I lost a dog over two years ago and I still think of the way she'd pretend to do something forbidden and then (I swear this is true) grin at me.

Gloria Alden said...

I love big dogs, too, and collies are my dog of preference. I've had many over the years, but the loss of Miss Molly, my sable and white collie, almost three years ago now, hit me the hardest. She was only a little over a month shy of 5 years old when she developed grand mal seizures. They were controlled for about three weeks and then she had one that paralyzed her hind quarters so I had to have her put to sleep. I got down on the floor at the vet's office to hold and pet her and sang "You are my Sunshine" to her. It was the song I sang to her often. She licked the tears from my face while the vet was injecting her, and she continued licking the tears from my face until she fell peacefully asleep. I brought her home, and she's buried in a flower garden beside my house.

Now I have Maggie, a tri-color collie. She's not Molly, but she's equally lovable in her own way. Like people, each dog has their own personality.

Warren Bull said...

A wonderful account of an exceptional dog. I;m sorry for your loss and sorry I never got to meet her.

Liz Mugavero said...

Oh Jim, so sorry for your loss. She sounds like a wonderful dog with a wonderful family to love her. My thoughts are with your family and my pooches send their licks.

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

Such a sweet story, Jim. And so sorry for your loss. At the time, it feels like almost more than a person can bear to lose such a friend!

Georgia said...

An appropriate memorial for a trusty friend,Jim. As a well-trained husky companion, I pause with you to honor Morgan.Such a sweet face.

Anonymous said...

Jim, I'm a Golden lover, and have been through what you're going through twice before. You wrote a beautiful obit. I'm crying as I write this. I'm so sorry for your loss.

James Montgomery Jackson said...

Thanks to all of you for your kind thoughts, pet licks and stories.

Sharing indeed makes things easier.

~ Jim

Polly Iyer said...

I'm sitting here crying. We all have stories of our loving animals and their loss. It is so hard. Beautiful tribute, Jim.

Valerie said...

So sorry for your loss, Jim. Morgan sounds as if she was a dear companion.

Marilyn Levinson said...

Sorry you lost Morgan, Jim. She sounds like such a sweetie. Our animals are very important to us. How it hurts us when they die.

Claire said...

What a wonderful tribute to your four-footed companion, Jim. I know the pain of letting them go. It never gets easier, but their memories are precious and help us through it.