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


June Interviews

6/02 Terrie Moran, Murder She Wrote: Killing in a Koi Pond

6/09 Connie Berry, The Art of Betrayal

6/16 Kathleen Kalb, A Final Finale or A Fatal First Night

6/23 Jackie Layton, Bag of Bones: A Low Country Dog Walker Mystery

6/30 Mary Keliikoa, Denied


Saturday WWK Bloggers

6/12 Jennifer J. Chow

6/26 Kait Carson


Guest Blogs

6/05 Samantha Downing

6/19 Lynn Johanson













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E. B. Davis's "The Pearl Necklace" will appear in the new SinC Guppy anthology The Fish That Got Away to be released in July by Wildside Press. The anthology was edited by Linda Rodriguez. It will be released on June 21st.


Paula Gail Benson's monologue "Beloved Husband," from the perspective of Norton Baskin the second husband of Marjorie Kinan Rawlings (who wrote The Yearling and Cross Creek), appears in the Red Penguin Collection's An Empty Stage (released March 28, 2021).


Martha Reed's "Death by GPS" will appear in the Spring 2021 issue of Suspense Magazine, which will be released in the second week of April. Congratulations, Martha!


Susan Van Kirk has a new audiobook, A Death at Tippitt Pond, that will be released this month. Marry in Haste will be released in May by Harlequin Worldwide Mystery, as will Death Takes No Bribes in September. Congratulations, Susan.


Congratulations to Martha Reed. Her short story, "The Honor Thief" was chosen for the 2021 Bouchercon Anthology, This Time For Sure. Hank Phillippi Ryan will edit the volume, which will be released in August at the time of the convention.


Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Killer Weeds," appears in the January 20 edition of Texas Gardener's Seeds: From Our Garden to Yours. Congratulations, Margaret, who, if you follow Facebook know, is a superb gardener herself!


Congratulations to Paula Gail Benson whose "Reputation or Soul" has been chosen for Malice Domestic 16: Mystery Most Diabolical anthology to be released this spring.


KM Rockwood's "Stay Safe--Very Safe" appears in this year's 2020 BOULD anthology. Congratulations, KM!


Annette Dashofy signed with agent Dawn Dowdle of the Blue Ridge Literary Agency. Congratulations, Annette!

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Friday, September 27, 2013

A Second Step


A Second Step

I wrote about the effect a bicycle could have on a child, a family and ultimately an entirely community in a developing industrial country.  As a writer, I appreciate that experiencing something in person gives a perspective not available in other way.

An example of cash-poor living concerns a device estimated to have been invented 10, 000 years ago, namely a kiln.  One of the villages we visited was home to a tribe that migrated to Tanzania some years ago.  Needing a way to survive, the tribe developed an economic niche as brick makers. 

By local standards they would not be considered poor because they have all the necessities of life.  I observed that only children walk in this village.  Everyone else runs.  A man with a pick dug clay out of pit. He stopped only to hurl rocks out of the way. Another man slapped clay into a two-brick-mold, hurried the filled mold to a drying area, flipped over the mold dislodging the newly formed bricks, ran back to dip the mold into a pits of muddy water and restart the process. A third man ran with a wheelbarrow full of clay.  A woman stacked six bricks on her head and quickly carried them away.

We talked to a local elder who explained the faster they worked the more money they made.  Each family had a separate business.  Some families had built a kiln and some had not.  I asked if the villagers shared the kilns. He said they did not. Sounding like my capitalist father, he said those with kilns had saved money for years to have then.  Those families (like his) made a major investment and others in the village could do that too by working harder.

            Asked the price of bricks, he said roughly six fired bricks for a dollar and six unfired bricks for twenty cents.  Using a kiln increased the value of bricks five times.

            He said he wanted his children to get an education well beyond his so they could leave the hard life of brick making for something easier and better paying.  Our guide pointed out that the villagers did not sell bricks every day. It might be a long time between sales. 

            Apparently business loans and mortgages are difficult to obtain.  When people want a house or a kiln they spend what cash they have to start the project.  When they run out of money, they stop building.  As soon as they accumulate more cash, the building resumes.  I saw many unfinished buildings both in the city and the countryside. 

4 comments:

Gloria Alden said...

Interesting blog, Warren. I admire their industrious ways to make money and survive. When you said they run everywhere, I thought of the marathoners who are the fastest ones in every major marathon. They are all from Africa.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Warren, what an amazing journey you have had. Did the man want to send his children to faraway places for their educations, or did they have schools and colleges in a close proximity to the village?

Linda Rodriguez said...

Warren, do the international micro-loan agencies not function in their area of Tanganyika? I know those NGOs have been a fundamental resource for bettering the quality of life for many communities in Africa and other developing nations.

E. B. Davis said...

It seems to me that there are many things you could make with clay and kiln. They are all competing with one another. They have the concept of capitalism in their grasp, but fail to realize that producing other products and creating new markets would create more sales. Too bad, I imagine having many unfinished buildings in the community is depressing.