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

Our September Author Interviews--9/6 Kathleen Valenti, 9/13 David Burnsworth, 9/20 Jeri Westerson, 9/27 Frances Brody. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

September Saturday Guest Bloggers: 9/2--Anne Bannon, 9/9 WWK Bloggers, 9/16 Margaret S. Hamilton, 9/23 Kait Carson, and on 9/30 Trixie Stiletto.


“May 16, 2017 – The Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) today announced the finalists of the second annual Star Award, given to authors of published women’s fiction. Six finalists were chosen in two categories, General and Outstanding Debut. The winners of the Star Award will be announced at the WFWA Retreat in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 23, 2017.” In the general category, WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

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.

In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.
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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Nurturing My Inner Writer by Carla Damron

Next month, I will leave our comfortable home in South Carolina and head to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I will be attending Tinker Mountain, a week-long writer’s residency at Hollins College in Roanoke, Virginia. I reserved my space at Tinker back in March. To prepare, I had to submit an up-to-twenty page manuscript for critique.  I will take classes, workshop writing samples in a smaller group, and take advantage of the built-in “writing time.”


Just like when I began my MFA program, I am excited and anxious.  I’ve already received thirteen submissions from other Tinker Mountain participants that I am to critique. I plan to spend plenty of time with each, putting together thoughtful and hopefully helpful feedback for each writer. Fingers crossed that I get the same from them.  Faculty at Tinker Mountain include some of my favorites from Queens University: Dan Mueller, Fred Leebron, Pinckney Benedict, Kris Baxter and Jon Pineda. I will be workshopping with Barbara Jones, Executive Editor at Holt.

What do I hope to gain? I’m taking the opening chapter of my up-market women’s fiction project.  Maybe Ms. Jones can advise me about what editors want in literary fiction.  What keeps them turning pages? In contrast, what makes them toss a manuscript to the side?  I have a good idea what works in the mystery world, but I’m crossing to another genre here and don’t have a good paddle. 

But that’s not my main reason for going to Tinker Mountain.  When a writer friend of mine once asked, “how do you nurture your writing?” I was slow to respond. I know I commit time and energy to it. I know I have a great writing space and the tools I need for the task. I even have a husband who understands how writing comes before vacuuming.  But what do I do to keep writing from just being another job? Sometimes—often, actually—it feels that way. How do I nourish it?

Four years ago, when I would return from my school writing residencies, words would explode from me. I completed DEATH IN ZOOVILLE while working full-time and completing massive school assignments.  It was one of the most fertile writing times of my life.

I hope Tinker Mountain nurtures me the same way.  Being around other writers, learning from an outstanding faculty, enjoying a lovely landscape: this may be the recipe to nourish my inner writer. I could use another explosion of words.  I want to return to a fertile writing ground. 

 But mostly, I want to love, love, love writing again.

How do you nurture your writer self? 

13 comments:

E. B. Davis said...

I wish I had an answer to your question, Carla. May and October seem to be "no write" months for me. During the winter months I have much more time to write. I'm frustrated, but real life predominates now. I'm hoping to get back on track, but my sister, who now lives in Florida, will come for a month-long visit in July. Providing critiques and reviews for other writers is the best I can do for my own writing currently, and it does help to analyze others' writing. I can then apply what they do well to my own writing. Have a great time--and get back "into" your writing, Carla. I love your books!

Paula Gail Benson said...

So often, the word nurture seems to evoke thoughts that are comforting, gentle, loving. But, when I consider nurturing my writing, I equate that with challenging myself to intensify my pace; to plunge forward and complete and refine story ideas. Maybe nurturing writing means tough love!

Great message, Carla. I hope you enjoy your time at Tinker Mountain.

Gloria Alden said...


Carla, it sounds like you're going to have a wonderful productive time. I love that part of the country. I hope you're not giving up on Caleb Knowles. I want to read more of him.

Like E.B., my best writing times are in the winter months. Too much seems to be going on in the spring. If it gets hot and I'm confined to the house in the summer, I use it for writing. Autumn is another busy time for me. Actually, if I were more of a recluse and didn't have a rather large family and friends, I'd probably have more time to write, but who wants to give them up? Not me.

KM Rockwood said...

It always seems to me that I'm not using my potential writing time productively, but then I feel like that about most of my life. Perpetually behind! I do come back from my writer's group breakfasts all fired up (but unfortunately, with a list of errands I have to run that day before I can settle down to write.) Malice Domestic had much the same effect. I'm going to take an on-line course this summer, and I'm hoping that will inspire me, rather than get me stuck in a series of time-consuming, drudge assignments.

Your journey to Tinker Mountain sounds wonderful. Let us know how it works out!

Carla Damron said...

Paula, I think tough love is a good description. EB and Gloria, Caleb Knowles is coming back soon! I like having several projects going at the same time.

Shari Randall said...

Your retreat sound wonderful, Carla. Just giving yourself time to simply be a writer, instead of all the other roles you must juggle, that's key. Enjoy! I hope it is a very productive time.

Warren Bull said...

I hope you have another wonderful experience. I need to consider how to nurture my writing.

James Montgomery Jackson said...

Carla,

It is important to get out of ruts, to explore new things, be exposed to new ideas and recharge personal batteries. I hope you week provide dividends for many years.

~ Jim

Jan Christensen said...

This sounds wonderful. I hope you have a terrific and productive time and come home with lots of energy and enthusiasm to write even more.

Carla Damron said...

Wouldn't it be great if there was a mystery writer's residency somewhere???

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Being with other writers, people you have much in common with, does encourage creativity. Writers as a group are isolated. This is an excellent way to thrive.

Kara Cerise said...

Carla, the writer's retreat sounds wonderful. I hope you return energized and love writing again.

Gloria Alden said...

I'm so happy Caleb will be back. As far as I'm concerned, I'd like to see him continue on for many, many more books.