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!


Saturday, November 2, 2013

For Love or Money

Today’s Salad Bowl Saturday guest blogger is Yolanda Renée who poses a very interesting question that each of us, writer or reader, should reflect upon. ~ Jim
From 2008 to 2011 I hosted a Blog Talk Radio Show, called Conversations with Renee. I would send my guests a list of twenty questions and ask them to pick at least ten for our on-air discussion. One of those questions caught my eye today while looking for inspiration for this post.

If guaranteed riches beyond your greatest desire but no love, would you go for it?

Those that chose to answer it always chose love over money, but today, I realized that I should have changed the question to read:

If guaranteed riches beyond your greatest desire, but you could never write another word, would you go for it?

At first I thought, that's easy, of course I'd choose writing over money. Writing is what gets me through the day—it's my identity. I love writing. I love the intensity, the challenge, and the surprises. I mean, there are times when I'm so caught up in what I'm working on, I have no idea what time it is, let alone what day it is. Eating, feeding others, a dirty house, and a stack of laundry doesn't even register—I call it being ‘in the zone’.       

When it comes to a writing challenge, I'm there—whether the prompt is the title of a potential story or simply a list of words that need to be incorporated into creative fiction—flash fiction is close to an addiction.

Then there are the surprises, the ones that catch you off guard, like when a character takes you on a trip you never saw coming. Or you find a glitch in your story—something you have to tie to the past—but can't figure out how to do it. On those occasions, I've purposely gone to bed thinking about the puzzle and wake up with the answer. Sometimes the answer comes in the middle of the night, sometimes first thing in the morning, or later while washing my hair in the shower. Those are the surprises that I love, especially the ones in the shower. I get some of my best ideas there, it's a wonder I don't take three a day.

The only problem is, that when I'm no longer in the zone, the dirty dishes, dust, and stacks of laundry still exist. As do all the bills, and our 100-year-old house that can, at times, be more money pit than comfortable home. Hubby and I are getting up there in years and retirement will be a challenge. Wouldn't it be more fun to enjoy those leisure years than stress through them with health issues? Maybe the option to have endless riches would be the wiser choice; after all, I can always try another creative outlet. It would be wonderful to tell hubby he can retire and all that traveling he wants to do starts tomorrow.

Besides, just because I can't write another word doesn't mean I couldn't find another creative outlet. I could always try painting, except I'm all thumbs when it comes to drawing; I can't even draw a straight line without a ruler. I remember having fun while creating Christmas crafts— could I do that instead of write? I've always admired my grandmother's quilts; maybe quilting is a possible outlet. Would that be enough? Somehow, I don’t think so.

I have stories in my head, and they keep running if I don't write them down. Characters constantly vie for my attention. If I accepted the money, I'd never be able to write another blog, twitter message, or Facebook update. So, no more social media, because the temptation to get involved would be too great, although, some would say never participating online again would be a blessing …hmm …something else to consider.

Suddenly a new idea dawns on me—if I can't write the words, what about recording them? Is it possible to create my tales via audio? That's an idea that might work, until I remember that it's always in the rewriting where the true gem dwells. It's all about the selection of just the right word, the way the characters express them, the flow of words in describing the setting, but the best is the quotable phrase. The first draft is just simply putting it down, especially for the mystery writer. The character and plot development, subplots, and red herrings create the finished product. Could all that even be done using audio?

And what about the writing implements, the journals, the pens, inkwells, typewriters (for those of us who still remember and the few of us who collect them,) or laptops—those things we cherish as our instruments of creation, how do we turn away from them and just say no?

Could I really give up my creative outlet for money? Could you?

I don't have that answer, because today, I'm having too much fun, at least I thought I was. Until the electricity went out and the electrician told me that we need to replace the main breaker, the breaker box, and the line into the house. Suddenly, that question isn't so funny anymore, and I'm wondering exactly what guaranteed riches really means?

So, dear readers, what would your answer be?
An adventurous spirit took Yolanda Renée to Alaska where she hiked the Brooks Range, traveled from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, and learned to sleep under the midnight sun.

She claims her vivid imagination as a blessing, a habit, a hobby, a calling and sometimes a curse.

Renée now resides in Central Pennsylvania with her husband, two sons, and Boston terrier, Patches.

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Denise Covey said...

Great article Yolanda. Ah, we don't do writing for the money, do we? Just as well...

Oh no, Word Verification! Grr...

Jim Jackson said...

There is a lot I could do for others if I had guaranteed riches AND I have a number of ways other than writing to be creative. Consequently, after carefully reading and understanding the fine print, I'm pretty sure I would take the money and give up creative writing.

This probably consigns me to damnation by those writers who define themselves by their need to write, but knowing thyself is important...

~ Jim

Sarah Henning said...

I would love to be in a position to pick writing over money. I'm lucky in that I write as part of my day-to-day job, it's not exactly the same creative outlet as fiction. If I just did that and didn't write fiction, I'd feel like I was missing a piece of me for sure.

Jo said...

Having lots of money would not affect your health one little bit. If you develop aches and pains when you get older, money wouldn't help at all, so you might as well enjoy writing which you can do for the rest of your life.

Yolanda Renée said...

It really isn't about the money, but the dream to make big bucks doing what we love - is.

That too should be a consideration, what we could do for others - I think finding a creative way to be creative might take up the first month - right. But yes, know thyself!

Already writing for a living is another consideration, but yes, I agree, not being able to access that creative outlet would be giving up a part of yourself.

Health problems come - and hopefully go, but dealing with them, I'm sure, is easier with access to money. But you're right, writing is a joy that would be hard to give up.

Love the varied answers. Thanks everyone, for participating.

Warren Bull said...

Interesting question without an absolutely clear answer. Of course I want both. I'll have to mull this over.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

A million dollars if I never wrote again but I could still play guitar? That I might have to think about!
I do the writing, especially online, for enjoyment. If others enjoy it or it helps them, that's what matters.

Yolanda Renée said...

Yes, Warren, give me both!

Of course, Alex, you have your music. Then consider the question with music as the items you'd have to give up. LOL

Thanks both of you!

Gloria Alden said...

Yolanda, once upon a time I might have taken the money, but not anymore. Yes, like James I think about having enough money to help others, but I'd hate to give up writing even though I know I'll never make much money at it. When I think of the problems money would cause like being afraid of someone breaking into my house because of my money, it doesn't appeal to me. Right now, except for thousands of books no one would want, I have nothing of value. Then there would be all the people I don't even know wanting money and being the sympathetic person I am, I'd have trouble turning them down.

I guess maybe if I could have a large amount of money - with no strings attached - anonymously so I could still live my quiet simple life and still be able to help others, I could go for the money

Yolanda Renée said...

Gloria, I agree. Honestly it would be trading one problem for another. We have our creativity, and if we're lucky making enough to cover the expenses. But not to have that creative outlet would be so disheartening. Just this morning I woke up with a main character on my mind, the next leg of the journey forming before I was even awake. Not to be able to get out of bed and start my day with a continuing adventure would - well, I can only imagine be, depressing. Money comes with it's own troubles and I like you don't need any of those. Funny how the emergencies, even the electrical one we had recently, have a way of getting fixed despite the deep hit! LOL I'm with you, besides, if we work hard enough there's always the chance we'll have both! :)

Cindy Parker said...

Loved your post, Renee, it's an awesome response! My current answer, as of this moment, is that I couldn't give it up, writing gives meaning to my life, it's my greatest passion! I would hope my answer would be the same if given the choice for real, and you're right, none of us really know for sure...I do know, however, if I did say 'yes,' the future would find me in an insane asylum for sure, lol.

Yolanda Renée said...

Cindy, I agree, for some of us writing is therapy as much as a creative outlet. I'd give consideration to what that money could do for others, such as my husband - who has given me this opportunity to write by bringing home the bacon. It'd be awesome to give something back to him. But then again, I'd see an asylum in my future too! :)