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

February Interviews

2/5 Heather Weidner, Glitter, Glam, and Contraband
2/12 Rhys Bowen, Above The Bay of Angels
2/19 Elizabeth Penney, Hems & Homicide
2/26 Annette Dashofy, Under The Radar

Saturday Guest Bloggers:
2/1 Valerie Burns
2/8 Jeannette de Beauvoir
2/15 Kathryn Lane

WWK Bloggers: 2/22 Kait Carson, 1/28 & 1/29 Special Interviews with Agatha Nominees by Paula Gail Benson


WWK is proud of our four Agatha nominees. Kaye George for Best Short Story--not her first time to be nominated, Connie Berry and Grace Topping for Best First Mystery Novel (wish they weren't having to compete against each other), and Annette Dashofy for Best Contemporary Novel--her fifth nomination!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Look for Kaye George and Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Kaye's story is "Life and Death on the Road" and Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."

Kaye George's first novel in the Vintage Sweets mystery series, Revenge is Sweet, will be released on March 10th. Look for the interview here on March 11.

Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, will be released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here on April 29th.

Don't miss Shari Randall's "The Queen of Christmas" available on at Amazon. Shari's holiday story for WWK was too long so she published it for our enjoyment. It's available for 99 cents or on Kindle Unlimited for free!

KM Rockwood's "The Society" and "To Die A Free Man; the Story of Joseph Bowers" are included in the BOULD Awards Anthology, which was released on November 19. KM won second place with a cash prize for "The Society." Congratulations, KM! Kaye George's "Meeting on the Funicular" is also in this anthology, which can be bought for 99 cents on Kindle until November 30.

Paula Gail Benson's story "Wisest, Swiftest, Kindest" appears in Love in the Lowcountry an anthology by the Lowcountry Romance Writers available 11/5 in e-book and print format on Amazon. The anthology includes fourteen stories all based in Charleston, South Carolina.

Kaye George's "Grist for the Mill" was published in A Murder of Crows anthology, edited by Sandra Murphy on October 9th.

Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Finding Time to Write

The little goldfish pond I added to my backyard
This time of the year my stress level increases. Actually, it starts increasing in the early spring and escalates until sometime in the fall when things start to calm down. Writing takes up a good part of my days, but so many other things interfere with my writing that I get frustrated.  I want more time to write.  I’m passionate about gardening, too. Over the years my gardens have grown beyond manageable size, and when you add the bitter cold until late in the season so I couldn’t get out and take care of early spring cleanup and planting, it put me behind. Also, we’ve had an excessive amount of rain that started in spring and is still continuing to make mowing and weeding difficult, especially making the weeds and grass grow like they’re on steroids. I still have some shrubs and plants I bought this spring that I have yet to plant.
Maggie in one of my gardens
Then there are the other activities; Mobile Meals every other Thursday, two book clubs, a local writers group and my SinC chapter both meet once a month, and I joined my church’s bereavement team, which isn’t exactly social, but did require a lot of meetings as we got organized. There were Malice Domestic, birthday parties, baby and wedding showers, picnics, a granddaughter’s graduation and her open house, monthly sibling nights, three book signings, a three day camping trip and other things I won’t bother to mention. Meanwhile the weeds grew and the rabbits ate most of the veggies I’d planted. I’ve hosted one of my book clubs here as well as a family reunion a couple of Sunday’s ago, and in July I flew to California for eight days to help my youngest daughter move into her new home. I’ll be flying out again in September to my daughter’s for ten days. My youngest sister and her husband will be driving down from Tacoma to visit and after touring San Francisco for three days we’re heading to Yosemite to camp.
Camping in Yosemite several years ago.
My calendar is filled with other activities, but there’s something else that’s time consuming, too. I’m not talking about my daily walks in the woods because those are relaxing. Actually, I find weeding relaxing, too. What I’m referring to are the critters I have which many of you have read about.

Maggie with my ponies, Puffy and Phoebe
I have two small ponies who are sisters. They are totally useless except that I love them. I downsized from horses, you see. I rationalize them by telling myself they’re good for compost, which is true except it also adds to the weed problem. Then there are my six hens. Messy stinky fowl, but they produce lovely brown or blue/green eggs which are delicious even though I don’t eat a lot of eggs and give almost all of them away.

I keep my bird feeders filled for the wild birds, too. Inside, I have two tabby cats who are sisters. Nice cats, but they need fed and their litter boxes need cleaned and some attention, too. I have a canary, Pavarotti, who sings beautifully and loves broccoli more than anything else, and two old African ring-neck doves, that were given to me for my classroom close to twenty years ago, but were only allowed to stay for several days. Does anyone know how long these kind of birds live? I don’t. I’m tired of cleaning bird cages, but I do love the sounds they make even though they’re messy birds.  Then there’s the biggest nuisance critter I have; Maggie, my tri-color collie. Yes, I love her.

Daylilies and phlox in another garden

 I enjoy our morning walks and the funny things she does, but she does require a lot of brushing, and a lot of time sweeping the carpet. She’s good at begging for treats, and I don’t always feel like throwing the toys she brings to me that I have to wrestle from her to throw again. There are the trips to the groomer every three months, too.  And when she wakes up from a nap and I’m busy writing, she doesn’t understand that I don’t want to play.
Maggie waiting to be brushed or for a belly rub

I’ve been trying to finish my fourth book as well as write a weekly blog while still trying to keep up with the digests from the various list serves I belong to (hopeless job that) and balancing all these other things including visits or phone calls from friends and family and wondering how I can simplify my life when it suddenly dawned on me.

I’m going to embrace the wild!

Members of my book club, friends who visit, etc. tell me they love my gardens and how peaceful and serene it is like a little oasis or an English country garden. I look around and see weeds. They look around and to the vast majority of visitors the weeds look just like more plants to them. Yes, I get great satisfaction in weeding and mulching sections of my gardens and making it look neat and cared for. And when I mow (not a riding lawn mower, either) and pass these gardens, I tell myself I need to start working on that garden and sometimes I do, but more often I never get to it. Since I can’t afford to hire even one let alone two or three gardeners, I’m going to have to look at my gardens the way the majority of my friends do and embrace their wildness. And now Maggie is awake and wanting attention so this blog needs to end. Now!

The sidewalk leading away from my back door.

What can you eliminate in your life to give you more time to write?


E. B. Davis said...

I have no idea, Gloria. I'm still juggling, as usual. I've been writing for about 9 years and blogging for I think around 3.5 years. This summer I took time off to recharge. Of course, I had so many people in and out of the beach house, I cooked and cleaned a lot. But I enjoyed the reading time on the beach. I'm now back to revising my novel because I have a beta reader lined up in October.

If there was something I could cut out, I would. But I write, read, and take care of the essentials. I'm not a social butterfly and I don't have other hobbies. You do as much as you can do without apologies. How other writers are so productive--I don't know!

Gloria Alden said...

E.B. I think some of those who manage to find a lot of time to write, don't do much of anything else. I've heard that some of them, one popular mystery writer in particular, don't read books. I know that's something you and I could never give up. Good luck with the revisions. Sometimes I think that's the best part of writing - going over what we wrote and seeing so much that we really like and are pleased with.

Jim Jackson said...

It’s all a question of priorities. I have a balance between writing and other things that is flexible. Sometimes more of this; sometimes more of that. This year I made a big commitment to marketing and selling CABIN FEVER. My bridge game lost out, and the marketing brought little reward. Next year, we’ll see how I change the mix.

~ Jim

Clamo88 said...

Gloria, it all sounds overwhelming and yet wonderful (I'm an outdoorsy person and love animals).

Have you considered getting some help from a school project or after school group for some of the gardening tasks? Is there a scouting organization near you that could learn while helping? They have merit badges to earn and some schools require community service projects. Maybe some of your vegetables and eggs could become part of that - going to a senior community center or nursing home or such - but done by the youth in the community.

Just a thought as I could feel your channeling your vibes - they take so much time but I love 'em all! Good luck with getting time to write.

Gloria Alden said...

Jim, it is a balancing act. I don't do much marketing, but plan on doing more as soon as I get this next book out there. I have two book stores in addition to the one I already have books in, who I think will be willing to handle my books and do book signings. Also, I'm going to rent a table at my church's big Christmas craft show in December.

Claire, I have considered contacting a local vocational school that has a horticultural class, but somehow never got around to it. When I get most overwhelmed, they're already done for the season. I have a teenage grandson, but he's so busy with scouts, band and helping his dad, that he's not available a lot.

Sarah Henning said...

I have no idea what I could eliminate other than my job, and I need that! I have a pretty good system to get work done when I'm drafting and revising and though I'd love more time, I still feel pretty efficient. Usually, the worst part is wanting to write and not having the time. I hate waiting!

Gloria Alden said...

Sarah, you sound like a totally organized person. I wish I could say the same about myself. :-) You must hate the waiting for your new little one right now. But soon she'll be here.

Kara Cerise said...

Beautiful photos of your gardens and animals, Gloria.

I can't think of anything that I could eliminate from my life to gain more time to write. One thing I should cut down on is time spent researching. I get carried away learning about a topic or historical event when I should be writing.

Gloria Alden said...

Thank you, Kara. I do more research for my blogs - not this one, of course - when I come up with an idea from something I'd heard on NPR or read in the newspaper, and like you I get carried away reading and/or downloading more information. Still, even though it's not as much for my books, I do a certain amount of research for them, too, like poisons, what are the symptoms and how long do they take to kill.

Nancy Adams said...

I agree with Jim that it's a matter of priorities and balancing. I write first thing every morning when I'm working on a book, but then I feel frustrated that the garden is full of weeds (I once gardened, too!) and that the house is a mess. What I won't give up are reading for pleasure and talking long walks.

I also take off time from writing after a project is done, so I can get to other things without feeling any guilt.

Your garden and animals are so lovely, I can see why you spend lots of time with them. Wish I had a magic answer to offer, but I don't.

Best wishes!

KM Rockwood said...

Ah, yes, the eternal question--how to fit in everything?

I have recently retired, which should give me more time, but I've had some health issues & find a lot of my time is spent "doctoring" and sitting on hold with insurance companies. I can get some stuff done sitting on hold (like reading) but I really can't write. And I find my energy level is much lower, so I sleep a lot more and it takes me forever to do some things that I used to just knock out without much thought or effort.

It's amazing to me that people with full time jobs, houses and children manage to write. I dabbled a bit, but it wasn't until my kids were out of the house that I could devote reasonable blocks of time to writing.

Maybe the best thing that happened, time-wise, was a few years ago when state budget cuts that left the program in which I was working in such shambles that I went looking for another job, and ended up in a public school. I always knew teachers didn't have to report to work during the summer, but I also knew they spent most of the time taking courses, etc. However, I did find I had a lot more control over my time and could spend big blocks of it writing. A wonderful discovery!

Gloria Alden said...

Nancy, except for my journal sometimes if I don't get to it the evening before, I need to get outside after coffee and breakfast to take care of the barn critters and once I'm outside I stay out for a while doing other things, so my writing is mostly in the afternoon. It is all a matter of priorities. Too bad I have so many of them. :-)

KM, embrace the sleep. It's part of healing. In time you won't need as much. In fact, I find that as I age I sleep less and less and almost never get in the 8 hours deemed important. Like you I wonder how people with full time jobs and children manage to write. Of course, when I had children I wasn't working outside the home, and in those years I was an artist. I painted or read when they were at school or after they went to bed. Teaching did give me more time in the summers, at least, as well as other days off through the school year when I wasn't taking grad classes or grading papers, etc.

WSCampbell said...

Beautiful pictures, Gloria! I love your goldfish pond. I'd say the thing I've pretty well given up is TV. I don't miss it like I thought I would, and it definitely frees up time to write!

Gloria Alden said...

Wendy, thanks for stopping by. I only watch TV on Thursday nights when PBS has three mysteries on in a row. Also, if Masterpiece Theater or Masterpiece Mystery is on Sunday evenings I'll usually, but not always watch that.