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













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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!


Look Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."


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


Annette Dashofy's 10th Zoe Chambers mystery, Til Death, will be released on June 16th. Look for the interview here on June 17.


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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Humility


I live in Columbia, South Carolina, parts of which were completely underwater just two weeks ago. I know people who lost everything. I was fortunate. I lost only the use of my tap water.

I had to go to the drug store Tuesday after the major flooding on Sunday. When I left, just outside the door a guy stood playing his guitar. His case was open, a few stray dollar bills littered its inside. I stopped and asked him if he had been affected. He had. He and his young family had been evacuated and displaced. He had not yet been to his home, but he knew, as did I, it was submerged. 

I dropped everything I had in my wallet in his guitar case, not because I felt sorry for him, but because I admired him. He had lost everything but his ability to play his music, to put his art on display. The last place that man probably wanted to be was standing outside a pharmacy depending on the generosity of strangers. But there he stood. He humbled himself to earn money through his art to provide for his family. I thought that took guts.

We writers are fond of saying how lonely a profession writing is, but I imagine that’s true of all artistic expression. All art, if it’s done well, exposes the artist’s vulnerabilities. It lays bare his or her soul. And that is an intimidating experience. Writers often shy away from saying the words, “I am a writer,” or “I am a novelist.” Either sounds a bit pretentious. 

The guitar player helped me get over that particular insecurity. For many in Columbia, there will be no insurance settlement. For some, I imagine, the help the government offers will be too complex, too frustrating, or too bureaucratic to pursue. They will be the ones to humble themselves. They will be the people who will put their talents, if they have them, on display for the world to see, because, frankly, they may not have a choice. 


I didn’t ask the guitar player his name. I’m glad I didn’t. I don’t need to know. He plays music. I write books. His bravery gave me the courage to say it out loud. I am a writer, and I am proud to be one. 

9 comments:

Kait said...

That's lovely, Sam. You have given the perfect example of dignity. I hope the guitar player experienced a miracle. I hope many in Columbia and the affected areas experienced miracles. God speed to all.

Grace Topping said...

Your experience illustrates that we never know when something is going to affect us and possibly change our outlook in life. And the intriguing thing is that it can come from something as simple as deciding to go to the drug store.

Warren Bull said...

There is no way to predict when a crisis is going to happen. All we can do cope with it afterward. How we cope says a great deal about who we really are. Thanks for reminding us, Sam.

KM Rockwood said...

A great example of meeting adversity with whatever resources (and dignity) he could muster. I wish him and his family well!

Jim Jackson said...

In times of disaster, I often think back to John Kennedy’s words about asking not what our country can do for us, but what we can do for our country.

~ Jim

Gloria Alden said...

Where I live, I don't often encounter musicians playing in public, but when I travel to larger cities, I do see them and almost always put money in their music cases after taking time to listen to them. In Madrid, I heard a fantastic guitar player in a park near the palace. I not only listened to him, I bought one of his CD's and still enjoy it. What you did, Sam, was truly special. So many people would have only walked by pretending not to notice him.

E. B. Davis said...

As a country, I think the concept of "safe" has gotten out of control. Everything is regulated for safety. But the fact is that none of us get out of here alive. There is no safe place to live. There is no such thing as a safe car, or shower, or knife, etc. When something adverse happens our impulses run to litigation because whatever ought not have happened or there should have been a law. But situations like you have described, Sam, happen all the time. We have to rely on ourselves and our neighbors in those adverse times. Thanks for reminding us that humility doesn't have to be humiliating. You've given a man his dignity. Thanks from all of us.

Anonymous said...

Some people were outraged that Kennedy's famous quote was "plagerized" from his former headmaster at Choate, which he attended as a teen, but it's a great quote anyhow.

Shari Randall said...

Beautiful post, Sam. Thank you for sharing this.