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

June Interviews

6/02 Terrie Moran, Murder She Wrote: Killing in a Koi Pond

6/09 Connie Berry, The Art of Betrayal

6/16 Kathleen Kalb, A Final Finale or A Fatal First Night

6/23 Jackie Layton, Bag of Bones: A Low Country Dog Walker Mystery

6/30 Mary Keliikoa, Denied

Saturday WWK Bloggers

6/12 Jennifer J. Chow

6/26 Kait Carson

Guest Blogs

6/05 Samantha Downing

6/19 Lynn Johanson


E. B. Davis's "The Pearl Necklace" will appear in the new SinC Guppy anthology The Fish That Got Away to be released in July by Wildside Press. The anthology was edited by Linda Rodriguez. It will be released on June 21st.

Paula Gail Benson's monologue "Beloved Husband," from the perspective of Norton Baskin the second husband of Marjorie Kinan Rawlings (who wrote The Yearling and Cross Creek), appears in the Red Penguin Collection's An Empty Stage (released March 28, 2021).

Martha Reed's "Death by GPS" will appear in the Spring 2021 issue of Suspense Magazine, which will be released in the second week of April. Congratulations, Martha!

Susan Van Kirk has a new audiobook, A Death at Tippitt Pond, that will be released this month. Marry in Haste will be released in May by Harlequin Worldwide Mystery, as will Death Takes No Bribes in September. Congratulations, Susan.

Congratulations to Martha Reed. Her short story, "The Honor Thief" was chosen for the 2021 Bouchercon Anthology, This Time For Sure. Hank Phillippi Ryan will edit the volume, which will be released in August at the time of the convention.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Killer Weeds," appears in the January 20 edition of Texas Gardener's Seeds: From Our Garden to Yours. Congratulations, Margaret, who, if you follow Facebook know, is a superb gardener herself!

Congratulations to Paula Gail Benson whose "Reputation or Soul" has been chosen for Malice Domestic 16: Mystery Most Diabolical anthology to be released this spring.

KM Rockwood's "Stay Safe--Very Safe" appears in this year's 2020 BOULD anthology. Congratulations, KM!

Annette Dashofy signed with agent Dawn Dowdle of the Blue Ridge Literary Agency. Congratulations, Annette!


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Run For Your Life by Kait Carson

Anyone who has read one of my books knows my characters are into exercise. Both Catherine and Hayden are runners. Hayden scuba dives. Exercise, and those specific sports, is perhaps the one and only trait we share. Oh, I admit, I tried to make them more like me. Well, Catherine at least, she was the first series character I wrote. Hayden, let’s just say I knew better. Characters are organic. They grow and change at their own rate, and the person on the other end of the keyboard has very little to do with it. A lot like children, I’m told.

Both Hayden and Catherine use running as a means of clearing their heads, thinking things through, solving mysteries and crimes. They are active runners. They think and puzzle as they go. Me, not so much. Someone once asked me what I think about when I run. I had to think about the answer. In reality, until recently, I ran and emptied my mind. Kind of a physical meditation. Yet at the end of the run, I would find the answer to some thorny problem. The phenomena fascinated me. To become full, you must first be empty. Sounds like the Dalai Lama, who is a great man, but probably not a runner. I’ve used the technique to solve problems of plot, character, and closer to home, personal stuff. It never failed.

Every runner knows the hardest part of running is lacing up your sneakers. Once that is done, you are going. Until that is done, there are days when you dread the exercise. Since spring, I’ve noticed that my times have lagged. My usual three to five mile run was taking longer, and I was dreading it more. When my husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I quickly responded iPod® Shuffle. This little one-inch square will hold up to a gigabyte of tunes and it fits in the key pocket of my running shorts. Best of all, it is available in Hayden blue.

Husband, being the well-trained chap he is, immediately ordered one for me. On delivery day, I downloaded a running album (a combination of songs like Footloose done to a disco beat), the theme from Top Gun, and Wipeout (for those of you who remember Wipeout, tell me your toes aren’t tapping right now). My first run, my times were cut in half. Same for the second. It took me until the third run to figure this out. The songs were filling my head. I was becoming the songs, losing myself in the lyrics, moving in time to the beat, and free-associating from lyrics to stories. Completely different experience. What was filling my head was coming out in storylines. A snatch of a lyric would become a scene. But I was no longer getting answers to problems. My running time became fully creative.

I’ve been toying with the mix of music and silence for the past few weeks, and I’ve discovered how to best balance the exercise level I crave with the creative result I need. My big question now is do I introduce Catherine or Hayden to musical runs. What would the beat bring out in them? Time will tell. In the meantime, I’ll keep running for my life.

What about you? Do you crave silence in your workouts, or do you want the background filled. Does it make a difference to how you feel?


Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Silence when I'm walking the dog, the time I let my mind wander. Dialogue emerges and sticky plot points resolved. I watch HGTV home renovation shows with subtitles at the gym while I'm pounding out the miles on the elliptical, stationary bike, and rowing machine. I can't climb off the machine until they get the basement structural issues resolved. And it's research for the home renovation aspect of my books.

KM Rockwood said...

I have some physical limitations, so I take aquatics classes and swim. The classes, of course, are with other people & interactive.

When I swim laps, I like silence. I did ask for, and got, a Dolphin swimmer music player, but after many frustrating attempts, I just had to admit I can't figure out how to get music on it. That was disappointing. I try to chose times when the pool will be almost empty, and the swims turn into a zen-type experience. Sometimes, however, there are loud children, or the other day, when it rained, an entire rugby team in the pool. That's less relaxing, but more stimulating.

I used to enjoy walking my dogs,listening to the animals in the woods but I can't do that anymore, and I miss it.

Kait said...

Margaret, a woman after my own heart - silence definitely brings resolutions to the surface. And HGTV - oh, I love it. Especially the home reno shows (although WHAT WERE THEY THINKING often comes to mind) and house hunters. I love peeking without needing to price.

Kait said...

Oh KM, I am sorry. High marks for finding an exercise activity that you can do and enjoy. I am also a swimmer - no surprise there - and had wondered about the Dolphin swimmer music player and toyed with getting it so I appreciate the heads up.

Warren Bull said...

After each of two bone marrow transplants exercise has been the most helpful thing I could do to recover.

Grace Topping said...

Kait, you are an inspiration to us couch potatoes. I get most of my exercise going up and down the steps from my computer upstairs to my washer/dryer downstairs. I guess you need to get exercise wherever you can get it.

Susan Schreyer said...

Riding horses (dressage, for me, specifically) requires "active focus." It's problem-solving in an immediate time frame and planning ahead for the next few strides. I'm constantly thinking about the here and now, so I can't turn my mind off. I doubt going blank is ever a good idea when you're sitting on something that is capable of making its own decisions! Nevertheless, it's a kind of meditation in its own right. I do ride to music from time to time because tempo and rhythm are important in dressage. I have "Riding Music" playlists on my phone, so I snap on the Bluetooth and crank up the sound! I also use my riding music for the walking exercise I do. I find that if I don't obsess about problems (whether they be life or writing), and can redirect my busy mind with something like music or riding then the problems can be left to my subconscious -- which does a far better job of working things out than my conscious mind!

Shari Randall said...

Hi Kait!
Yes, my toes are tapping.
Since my workouts are dancing, there's always music. It helps me go to my happy place. Occasionally I'll get on my husband's rowing machine, and music is a must there. Otherwise it's just torture!
No plot resolutions, though. I think the music takes up thinking space.

Kait said...

@Warren, that's great Warren. Exercise is really helpful for so many recoveries. What exercise has helped you the most?

Kait said...

@Susan - I can totally understand the need for active focus with 1,000 pounds of critter beneath you! I never thought of riding to music. It makes total sense for dressage, of course. Calculated movement always requires focus. When I danced, it was impossible to completely lose myself in the music always had to stay in the moment.

Kait said...

@Grace--exercise is how you find it. My Fitbit tells me that stairs are a good substitute for running on Florida's bad days. It's the movement that counts.

Kait said...

@Shari--wondered if anyone else would have that reaction. What kind of dance? Oh yes, rowing definitely requires music. Don't mind the TV in the gym then either!

Cynthia Kuhn said...

Very interesting! I like music, the louder the better, for movement activities. But plot/story things often pop into my mind when I'm doing something quiet, like washing dishes or driving. :)

Jim Jackson said...

I run to the sounds of nature when I am north in the woods. Like you, I use it for generalized thinking time, often coming up with a solution to a writing or life problem (or these days remembering something I had forgotten).

In the south where I am running neighborhoods, I listen to podcasts with one ear; the other ear protects me from vehicles.

~ Jim

Kait said...

@ Cynthia - It's so strange how that happens. For me, it's the shower. I end up reciting the thought until I get to pen and paper.

Kait said...

Same for me, Jim. I run on a closed track. It's actually a taxiway for our air park. But I am trying to find over the ear phones that I can run on the road with. Safety first.

Shari Randall said...

Zumba! And I go line dancing with a great group of girls on Tuesday nights. My daughter teases me that I hang out at a bar; I hate to say it, but she's right!

KM Rockwood said...

Kait--don't let my sad experiences with the Dolphin influence you unduly. I have a terrible time with anything electronic. You might very well be able to load music with no problem at all.

I have been inspired to get it out and try again, but so far I just keep going in circles. I can't find instructions that make sense to me. My husband says it's like someone trying to explain to you how to drive if you have no concept of what a "key" or an "gas pedal" is.

Right now I only swim for 30 minutes at a time, and I would like to get it back up to at least an hour, which I used to do with no trouble. I know listening to music would make it easier for me to add those extra laps, a few at a time.

Linda Rodriguez said...

I think music is a must for times when you need to move. It helps me to do chores around the house and my stretching exercises (trying to regain range of motion after a number of surgeries). For yoga, I want silence, and that helps with working out things. When I write, I veer between music and silence, depending on what I'm writing.

Kara Cerise said...

I usually like to listen to music with a good beat when I exercise. For me it's a time to give my mind a rest. But if I hear a song that will be useful to listen to when I write a scene, I jot down the name.

Last week I was worried because my sister had a bad fall and injured her head. Even though I love music, I wanted silence while exercising or writing.

Kait said...

Ah, Zumba, that sounds like a ton of fun. I would love to try line dancing. Alas, for how country this area of Florida is (we had escaped cows in the yard a few weeks ago) there are NO western honky tonks!

Kait said...

@ KM, you are very brave to try. The music may well help. Swimming for an hour. My hat is off to you!

I have the same trouble with things electronic. My husband is an electronic engineer, eventually I break down and give it to him, but that is almost like admitting defeat. Yes, I do read the instructions, even try to follow them step by step, but some place in the middle, it seems the tech writer omitted the 'no do this' because it was so elementary. Trips me up every time! The Shuffle was easy peasy. Between the instructions, and iTunes, did it in less than a minute and completely boosted my self-esteem!

Kait said...

@Linda Interesting that you use music for stretching, but not yoga. And you can write to music. I read someplace that music opens up a little used creative pathway in the brain and that listening to music while writing will allow you to access that spot. I tried a few times but I kept falling into the music. How do you keep that from happening?

Kait said...

@Kara, I hope your sister is much better. Head injuries are so frightening. Did the silence put you in a more meditative frame of mind?

Linda Rodriguez said...

Kait, it depends on what I'm writing and on the music. But I never listen to music with any lyrics in English while writing--don't want other people's words in my head. If I listen, it will be instrumental or music with lyrics in another language (not Spanish, I know that well enough to have my thoughts contaminated there, too).

Kara Cerise said...

I was in a meditative state during exercise, Kait. First, I tried to sit quietly and relax but my mind was busy thinking, "what if..." So I stood up and moved my body. It felt good to get rid of nervous energy and relax my mind.

Kait said...

So true, Kara, whenever I'm worried, my first thought is to run, work it out and then when the body is exhausted, let the mind take over. Hope that all is well.