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

October Interviews
10/2 Debra H. Goldstein, Two Bites To Many
10/10 Connie Berry, A Legacy of Murder
10/17 Lida Sideris, Double Murder or Nothing
10/23 Toni L. P. Kelner writing as Leigh Perry, The Skeleton Stuffs A Stocking
10/30 Jennifer David Hesse, Autumn Alibi

Saturday Guest Bloggers:
10/5 Ang Pompano
10/12 Eyes of Texas Anthology Writers
10/19 Neil Plakcy

WWK Bloggers: 10/26 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Lyrical Press will publish Kaye George's Vintage Sweets mystery series. The first book, Revenge Is Sweet, will be released in March. Look for the interview here on 3/11.

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.

KM Rockwood's "Frozen Daiquiris" appears in The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, edited by Judy Penz Sheluk. The anthology was released on June 18th.

Fishy Business anthology authors include KM Rockwood, Debra Goldstein, and James M. Jackson. This volume was edited by Linda Rodriguez.

Please read Margaret S. Hamilton and Debra Goldstein's short stories (don't ask about their modus operandi) in a new anthology, Cooked To Death Vol. IV: Cold Cut Files.

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

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30.


Thursday, June 4, 2015

ON BEING with Krista Tippett

On Being is a NPR program I often wake up to on Sunday mornings. Krista Tippett is an American journalist, author and entrepreneur, who created and hosts this public radio program and podcast.  In 2014, she was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama. She has also won a George Foster Peabody Award, and three Webby awards for excellence in electronic media. Her book Einstein’s God, was a New York Times bestseller. After Tippett graduated from Brown University where she studied history, she was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study at Bonn University in West Germany. She became a freelance foreign correspondent, reporting and writing for The Times, Newsweek, the BBC, the International Herald Tribune and Die Zeit. Tippett received a Masters of Divinity from Yale University in 1994. While conducting a global oral-history project for the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research at St. John’s Abbey of Collegeville, Minnesota, she developed the idea for her radio show, a show she describes as “a social enterprise with a radio show at its heart.”

On the program she interviews people with different beliefs. “The Tippett style” as described by the New York Times, represents the child of a small-town church, Yale Divinity School and the diplomat seeking to resolve social divisions.

In a recent interview with Jane Gross, a creator of the New York Times “New Old Age” blog about the landscape of living longer and dying more slowly, she gave advice and practical wisdom about caring for our loved ones and ourselves on the far shore of aging.

Another interview was with Margaret Wertheim on “The Grandeur and Limits of Science.” She’s a passionate translator of the beauty and relevance of scientific questions and is wise about the limits of science to tell the story of the human self.

She has interviewed Hannah Boyd, about “Online Reflections of Our Offline Lives,” Greg Boyle, “The Calling of Delight: Gangs, Service and Kinship,” Mohammed Fairouz, “The World in Counterpoint,” David Blankenhorn and Jonathan Rauch, “The Future of Marriage.” This just names a few of the interesting programs she’s presented. All can be accessed by Googling Krista Tippett and then going to the archives where the programs will come up with video format.

However, this past Sunday’s interview with Jean Vanier had me going online to look him up. He’s an amazing man who at the age of 86 is still a tireless advocate for people with disabilities. Vanier, the philosopher and Catholic social innovator, is the teacher of the wisdom of tenderness. The L’Alche movement, which he founded, centers around people with mental disabilities, and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this month. He strongly believes in humility, strength in weakness and light in the darkness of human existence. He advocates tenderness and love for others.

Some things I took from his talk are that the deepest pleasure is doing well at what you do. Our deepest desire is to be loved and appreciated that is in each of us. Years ago he visited a home for the mentally handicapped in Paris and was touched by their lack of anyone who really cared about them. He ended up taking two young men to live with him. One could not talk and the other talked too much. Both were mentally impaired. However, by showing he cared about them, they thrived. That’s when he started the L’Arche movement.

He also said one of the greatest pleasures we can have is doing good for others. I agree with that since I’ve enjoyed delivering Mobile Meals more than seven years now. In my county it is funded by local support instead of government funds. Trumbull Mobile Meals started in 1970, and only a few in the office are paid employees, the rest are all volunteers. It’s estimated that 80% of the volunteers continue for years. The agency delivers more than 100,000 meals a year.
Subscribers are charged a modest fee based upon their ability to pay. 

I’ve gotten quite attached to various people who I’ve delivered meals to over the years. They are happy and pleased to see a smiling face, and I’m happy seeing their pleasure.

Nelly shared her love of gardening with me giving me seeds from her Four O’Clocks that bloomed by her driveway. She had a lovely backyard garden with vegetables and flowers. I commiserated with her when her son took over her vegetable garden one year and wouldn’t let her give advice even though he’d never planted a garden before. She told me she didn’t know why she went on living. She was in her 90s, too.  A few months later she was no longer on my route and a few months after that her house was put up for sale. I don’t know where she went, but I haven’t seen her obituary so I assume she’s living somewhere. I still miss her.

Robert is a ninety-three year old veteran of World War II. He loves to tell me how he bought the house he lives in, fixed it up and raised five kids there. He also recounts how it took him three times trying to join the Navy. He kept getting rejected because his front teeth were knocked out as a kid playing football and they wouldn’t take someone with false teeth. On the third time he was rejected, when out of view of the recruiters, he slipped into the acceptance line and became a member of the U.S. Navy. He’s told me his story numerous times, but I smile and listen as if it’s the first time I heard it. He has told me more than once he is lonely. I hope someday when I repeat the same story over and over, someone will be patient enough to listen to me.

 I’ve bonded with so many more people on my route, even a couple who didn’t want me to do more than leave their meals in a basket by the door. I’d met each of them briefly, but the wife was suffering from grief and anger over the suicide of her oldest son, a PTSD victim who shot himself. She hated the doctors who treated him, everyone in the community, etc., and she’d become a depressed alcoholic. Last winter, I got stuck in their driveway in a deep snow drift. I called AAA, but was told it would be an hour or more before they could get there so the husband asked me in. I sat with them for several hours. The husband’s mother had died the night before. In the time I was with them, I listened to them, commiserated with them and laughed with them over their funny little dog and other things. Before I left I hugged the wife, and she hugged me hard. I still leave their meals in the basket by the door without seeing them, but that’s okay.

So much that we listen to on the radio or TV is depressing. There’s a lot that is wrong in the world. However, on NPR in addition to news that can be a downer, they have programs like Prairie Home Companion, Car Talk, Story Core, Thistle and Shamrock, and many others that are inspiring, make one laugh, informative, or uplifting in some way like “On Being” with Krista Tippett. It’s wonderful to hear her guests who are making the world a better place in some way or another.

What do you do for others that gives you pleasure?

What have others done for you that made you feel good?


James Montgomery Jackson said...

Whne my NPR stations carried Krista Tippett, I used to listen to her. Then I listened to downloaded podcasts, but somehow that got messed up and I've stopped getting them.

I do a fair piece of teaching between online and in-person bridge lessons. I receive a lot of pleasure when I see the light shine in someone’s eye (physically or electronically) when they understand a concept for the first time.

~ Jim

Kait said...

Beautiful Gloria. I love your comment about hoping that someday someone will listen to you tell the same story over and over again.

My Dad lived with me when he was in his early 90s until his death. It was during this time that I realized that the elderly are invisible. Few take the time to listen, but they have so much to share. Over the years (and multiple renditions of many of the same stories) I realized that what he was really doing was validating his life. He kept telling these stories to prove (to himself?) that he had made a mark on the world. It made for a close relationship.

My passion is animals. I have served as a president of an Animal Welfare Organization and get great pleasure from donating time to the least among us.

Gloria Alden said...

Jim, what you do is important because playing - and that is what every game is - is important to one's health both in the joy of what they're doing and in the case of a game like bridge, to one's mental health.

Kait, my father had so many stories to tell and was a remarkable man in so many ways. As he aged, he started forgetting things and it bothered him. I remember when we were at the hospital where my mom was having open heart surgery, he said "I know John (my oldest son) died, but I can't remember the funeral." This was two months later. He could remember things from long ago, but his short term memory suffered. Then he started telling the same jokes every time I saw him, and I always laughed and pretended I'd never heard it before even though Mom would say "John, you told that before." His youngest brother, who is six years older than I am, has the same problem now - not with jokes, but stories that he thinks are funny from the past. By the way, Kait, I'm an animal lover, too.

Warren Bull said...

Sadly, there are many groups invisible to the public at large including people with mental illnesses and "throw away" children. I remember being in the hospital after a bone marrow transplant when I lacked the energy to do much of anything. A woman on the cleaning staff showed kindness and concern that really mattered to me. Caring was not part of her job description, but she did. At one of the lowest times in my life it made a tremendous difference.

KB Inglee said...

I'd like to say I woke up to Krista Tippet but by the time she comes on I have already fed the sheep, and listened to two other NPR programs. By the time she is on I am driving to work. She accompanies me every Sunday morning on the drive. I can't say which of her guests I have enjoyed the most.
I did like the interview with the woman who talked about end of life decisions, especially what she had to say about society not valuing friendship enough.
I have a neighbor who has kids and grand kids in Buffalo. Now and then she takes the train out to visit. The train leaves at 4:30 AM and I will drive her to it if I can. I was at Malice the last time she needed a ride, so I missed that one. I get the most joy from teaching history to kids in such a way that they are interested and learn something.

E. B. Davis said...

In my youth, there were two individuals that were kind to me, when I needed kindness. In turn, I passed that kindness on to few people then. Both stories are long and complex so I won't elaborate. Today, I cook for my family when I'm sick of cooking, but I do it anyway.

The only medium I really love is the written word. Although it cuts down on my knowledge of current events and popular culture, I just can't listen to the radio or watch movies/TV. People think I'm strange, but I just can't get into them.

Gloria Alden said...

Warren, when my son was in the Cleveland Clinic going through chemo, etc. He had a very caring doctor and also there was a young man who worked with teenagers who had cancer or other serious illnesses. He had a room set aside just for the teenagers to meet in, listen to their music, or play any instruments they could play. No parents or other family members were allowed in there so they could feel free to vent and talk about anything they wanted. When my son graduated - while still going through treatments - we had a graduation party for him and that young man drove all away from the other side of Cleveland with his wife to attend.

KB, you are a much earlier riser than I am. :-) Sometimes I'm up by 6:00 in the summer when the sun comes into my window. I remember the show you mention, but another one I liked was the preacher/priest? not sure which now, but has befriended the gang members in LA and what a difference he has made in so many of their lives.

E.B. I think cooking for others is a big kindness, especially since after years of cooking for my family, I'm tired of cooking. I listen to the radio in the morning when I'm eating
breakfast or reading TIME, in the car and in the evening when I'm fixing supper. I admit I
only half listen unless something really interesting comes on. TV? Right now it's on the
blink, but I don't care a lot because except for a few things on PBS, like the mysteries,
I'd much rather read, too. I think reading is important for writers, but even if I weren't a writer, I can't imagine life without a book to read.

Kara Cerise said...

I volunteer as a conversational partner for people learning English as a second language. I admire people who move to another country and work hard to learn a new language and culture. Also, I sometimes volunteer online at Tomnod to identify objects on satellite imagery. Their newest campaign is to locate villages across Swaziland as part of the Malaria Elimination Initiative.

There have been so many people that have been good to me that I wouldn't be able to mention them all here!

Gloria Alden said...

Kara, I think both of those things you do are so admirable. Like you, I have had so many people who have been good to me in so many ways, that I couldn't begin to mention them all.

Patg said...

I don't listen to radio, but this sounds like a nice program.
You're a good person, Gloria.

Martha Crites said...

Giving: So important. I work with people who live with mental illness, so I am one who "gets paid to care" which doesn't mean I care any less! So to volunteer, I do less emotionally intense things like volunteering in my cathedral's bookstore, and serving on the board of American Pilgrims on the Camino which supports pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago in Spain. On my vacations I volunteer/run hostels for pilgrims in Spain. So I say I clean toilets to give back. Beat that!

EB, You aren't the only one. I can't take much radio or tv either. I think I am too easily over stimulated on a noise level.

KM Rockwood said...

Nothing is more satisfying than seeing the people with whom you've worked succeed, especially if they succeed at something they didn't think they could do, but tried because you were instrumental in making them give the situation an honest try.

I think of the special education students who managed to get jobs (and work them successfully,) the kids who tried Job Corps and actually made it to graduation, even the ones who just tackled regular curriculum courses and managed to pass them.

Martha, I don't think "being paid" disqualifies anyone from "giving." People chose these jobs and professions because they care and want to make an impact. I shake my head at the people who feel teachers need to be "held accountable." I'll grant you there are some misfits, and some burn outs, but who would go into teaching unless they had a passion for helping students? It's not like people get rich teaching, or it's an easy job.

Gloria Alden said...

Thanks, Pat, but sometimes I really feel I should be doing more than what I am doing.

Martha, it doesn't matter if you're getting paid or not, it's the caring that counts. My youngest daughter is a nurse and for quite a while she worked in a county hospital that took in the homeless as well ad drug addicts and the kind of people most people wouldn't deal with, but she took care of those and showed compassion for all of them even those who hadn't bathed in months. It sounds like you are that kind of person and to do all the other things you do makes you a really special person. And I can't beat that you're cleaning toilets. I don't even like doing my own. :-)

KM, I so agree with you. Teachers don't make a lot of money, we - you and I - chose those professions because we cared about our students. Yes, there are some who have burned out, but mostly they work hard and care about their students from the first class to the last class. I know I did, and knowing you, I know you did, too.

Anonymous said...

I really loved this blog. Your closing questions stayed on my mind. I like to do things for people but I wish I could do it totally in secret. I wish I could come to your farm and do the weeding and you could wake up and think the fairies had done it!