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!


Monday, July 13, 2015

When the World Gets in the Way of the Writing

Linda Rodriguez's busy writing and teaching schedule has prevented her from being with us this morning. This post was published a year and a half ago, but I'm identifying with Linda's sentiments in this blog because I am in the middle of moving while trying to revise a short story with a looming deadline. I hope you appreciate it as much as I do.                                                                E. B. Davis

I am trying to finish a book, a big, ambitious book unlike any novel I’ve written before. I love it, but I’m nervous about it because I’ve not done anything like it before. I’m quite close to the end, and usually that means I’m swept up in the sweep of the book’s action and pouring out those final chapters in huge daily bouts of work, but I keep getting sidelined by the world that refuses to let me off just long enough to finish this book.

First of all, I’m dealing with some medical side effects that leave me never knowing whether I’ll be able to do my usual multitasking or whether I’ll be dealing with so much nausea, pain, and overwhelming fatigue that I’ll feel lucky to get one big task done per day.

Then to add to that uncertainty, my husband was rear-ended by a truck when he stopped to allow a fire engine to pass. Our car was totaled, and my husband left with whiplash. This has necessitated a million phone calls (with lots of time being entertained by hold music, the bane of the universe) while trying to find a doctor’s office, walk-in clinic, or emergency room that would see him without us having to pay the entire huge bill up front before they’d examine him, all because the injury was in a car accident. This is when we’re covered with health insurance! At some point recently, those companies all agreed to stop covering any injury from accident, and then the medical facilities all agreed that they would demand payment in full upfront. Even with documents from insurance companies showing that two different car insurance companies were committing to pay his expenses, still they wanted money upfront. Fortunately, a friend’s long-time chiropractor would see him and bill the insurance companies, so my husband is finally getting some relief from the pain.

Add to those phone calls the calls and emails to the insurance companies, not only for his medical coverage but to arrange compensation for our totaled car, and then the meetings to show the claims examiner the car and to turn over the car plus keys, etc. After that, there were the visits to the bank to have documents notarized for the insurance claim, and then again, because the insurance company felt the original notary seal was not clear enough.

I’ve also been spending a lot of time on the laptop not-writing but rather looking for good, low-mileage used cars of about the age and for the amount we have to spend and then calling/texting/emailing to make arrangements to see the car and check it out. I’ve gone as far as taking one car that looked so good to our mechanic to be inspected, only to find it had one tiny problem that, alas, was in the dash and would require at least $800 to fix, but it would have to be fixed to be able to register and license the car. Back to the drawing board—and the computer and the car listings and the emails/texts/phone calls. Cross your fingers for us. I’ve got one I’m going to be taking to the mechanic today. Let’s hope it checks out, and I’m done with this nightmare. And into the new one of waiting in line at the DMV, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.

As part of my freelance work to bring in needed cash, I’m also supposed to be judging several bins and boxes full of manuscripts for two national contests, and I’m only halfway through as the deadline clock ticks constantly nearer, rather like the clock the crocodile in Peter Pan swallowed. I just finished teaching at a writer’s conference, which eats up days to prepare and three days at the conference, plus at least two to recover physically, and I’m supposed to be preparing for a reading next week.

So my poor book is lucky if I manage my minimum word count several days a week right now. If only the world would stop and let me off long enough to finish those last eight scenes I need to write to finish it!

Do you have those times when you just want the world to go away and let you alone for a while so you can finish what you really need and want to do?


E. B. Davis said...

Obligations? All the time, Linda. When I started writing, I knew it would be a part-time endeavor. We still operate a business, and my daughter moved back home to minimize costs for grad school. Thank goodness there haven't been (lately) crises that you've endured. But in the coming year, we anticipate closing the business, selling our house, buying another house, and doing renovations where we plan to live. I can already see myself derailed in my attempt keep writing. There have been occasions in the past where pressure has forced me to produce, which I hope will be the case in the coming year. We'll see, but I've found my energy is finite.

I hope the current crisis passes you by quickly Linda. You are so close and you will finish. Sometimes I wonder about why things occur. Is the situation an annoyance or is there a reason for the delay? Is there a complication in your current situation that may apply to your script? Can you use the delay for a positive in some way? I'll stop playing the Pollyanna. Maybe anger and frustration will carry you through this time. Good luck!

Jim Jackson said...

Jewish proverb: Man plans, God laughs.

~ Jim

Warren Bull said...

I absolutely know how you are feeling. Hang in there. I'm sending psychic good luck vibrations.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Sending all good wishes to you and your husband that everything will be resolved soon. I spent the month of June in New Orleans nursing my daughter after major knee surgery. She's about to tackle a move and start a new job on crutches. I'm finally rested, energized and focused on writing again. Take care of you (don't forget you) and yours.

Gloria Alden said...

Linda, I sometimes - well, more than sometimes - moan and groan over all the interruptions in my life and things that go wrong, but they're nothing compared to what you're going through. I mean my collie with a bladder problem, and buckets of rain drenching my yards and gardens making me far behind on weeding, planting and mowing, are tiny annoyances compared to yours. I'll continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers at night.

Shari Randall said...

You have definitely had more than your fair share, Linda. Strange how these things come in waves - or tsunamis in your case. Seeing glimmers of your sense of humor and writerly eye at work shows why you endure. Hope some good things come your way, and soon!
Oh, as far as writing…I've been derailed. My husband has accepted his dream job - in another state! And has to move in a month. As a former military wife, I have lots of practice moving, but I have to admit, this one is hard. I'm in querying mode, so I'll try to keep going from among the packing crates, but as EB says, the energy is finite. The good thing is a move does not entail listening to hold Muzak. That's a very special kind of torture.
Hang in there!

Kait said...

Oh Linda, what a week! Hope you are feeling better, your hubby is well and that you are enjoying that new car right now. Sometimes it seems the forces are all aligned against you. This entire year has been like that for me, and a lot of other people. I think we should all have a sign of relief it's 2016 New Year's Party!

Linda Rodriguez said...

Elaine,it must be tough looking at what you've got coming when you close the business and move. I know that's totally disruptive. Here's hoping that you'll find a way to keep on track with your writing.

Linda Rodriguez said...

So, so true, Jim!

Linda Rodriguez said...

Many thanks, Warren, for your good wishes. I know you have first-hand experience of serious obstacles to your writing time.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Margaret, I'm so glad you're through all that and able to return to your writing. I suspect you'll find you've moved another level in depth from the enforced absence.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Gloria, I do hope you can get Maggie's problems finally dealt with. I'd check back with the vet, and if s/he has no other options but wait and see after all this time, I'd get a second opinion. Wishing all goes well.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Oh, Shari, moving is a horror all its own, and it makes doing anything else ten times more difficult. Best of luck with the move and getting settled in the new place--and with the querying, too.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Kait, yes, I had hoped 2015 would be better since 2014 was hell medically for me, but of course there are leftovers from that and then all this new stuff. The appointment to have our mechanic check out the car has now been changed to tomorrow morning, but --fingers crossed-- maybe that search, at least, will be over after that. Let's not wait for 2016. Let's force 2015 to turn around and shower all of us with good things in its last half.

Unknown said...

Living it right now. My writing has suffered for over a year now due to my need to manage my mother from 2.5 hours away. Even now that I've placed her in memory care due to her dementia I still have a list of Mom related things to take care of. Plus the day career.

Judith Fertig said...

After all of this, I wish you a long time of smooth sailing on calm waters. You've had enough of the bad stuff to, hopefully, allow you years and years of good. My best to you and Ben.

Anonymous said...

Not fair for so many problems to gang up on you all at once. Hoping for a respite for you. I'm appalled at the medical restriction on care after an accident. I don't see how they justify this, or how they live with themselves. It seems the insurance rules are getting more broken every day . . . England's and Canada's National Health are looking better all the time.
At school there was a frantic pace at the end of each school year, deadlines for finals, grading, so much tension that a collegue's husband warned their children, "Don't mess with Mom in May." Our department chair assured us, "It will all be finished by (last workday). It always is." No one knew how we did it, but it was indeed always finished on time.
Holding you in the Light, healing, gentle hugs. <3

Linda Rodriguez said...

Clue Liss, that's one of the toughest assignments around, a parent with memory/dementia problems. If you're handling that and a day job without exploding, you're doing so well right there.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Judith, from your mouth to God's ear!

Linda Rodriguez said...

Mary, I at first thought it was something local, but when I mentioned it on Facebook, so many chimed in about running into it in other states, too. Yes, for national health coverage!

KM Rockwood said...

The best laid plans of mice and men...

I hope things settle down, and I especially hope your husband recovers. I know you've had a lot of health issues in your family in the recent past. That alone is enough to bring writing time to a crashing halt. Add in all the other things, and you have a totally out-of-control situation.

The only thing you can do is set priorities, handle what you can, and deal with the rest when the opportunity presents itself.

I don't understand how emergency rooms get away with refusing service. I sometimes use a chiropractor who requests donations instead of charging a fee. He says he can't imagine living with the knowledge that there may be people out there who would benefit from his services but don't come because they can't pay, and he has always been able to meet his expenses and bills with the contributions from people who can afford them. I have to admit I am inclined to give more than the "suggested donation" amount.

Linda Rodriguez said...

KM, I love the concept that your chiropractor works with. Sounds like he's a true healer. Among the Cherokee (and in other tribes, as well), we have traditional healers who use the same concept of donation (mostly in gifts instead of money) rather than pay, so that all who need their services can have help.

Sarah Henning said...

Oh, man, YES. Sometimes, I really wish it were possible for a week with no Internet, no phone and an endless supply of chocolate, so I can just FINISH. I know it'll get there, that I'll be fine when it happens and then I'll revise the heck out of it, but it's so frustrating, especially when it's something you're proud of, scared of and awed by.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Yes, Sarah, YES! Actually, my beloved youngest son Joseph (whom you know) has invited me to come down to Lawrence and stay with him for a week of writing retreat as soon as we have all this stuff under control enough so I could go--AND I INTEND TO TAKE HIM UP ON IT. I'm going to spend a week getting up and writing till I go semi-blind while he cooks for me--he's a great cook; I taught him--and then going around town with him in the late afternoons and evenings, just having fun. Doesn't that sound good?

Denise Rodgers said...

I can so relate! I work part-time at my family business. My elderly mother requires attention, either in the late afternoon or evening, at least two times a week. I have two beautiful grandsons; I've told d-i-laws that I can sit only in evening or weekend -- and I sit a LOT! (and love it) And I, too, have health issues that require natural cooking and lots of supplement management (and exercise, and getting enough sleep, and avoiding STRESS), so I really get it. Writing is so important, but it can usually be put off. The only thing that works is patience and determination. I wish you both... and I wish you a nice, peaceful, "normal" week -- one after the other!

Linda Rodriguez said...

Yes, Denise, when you look at what we're all trying to juggle, it's a miracle any of us ever get anything written at all, isn't it? Here's to some peaceful productive time ahead for all of us!