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

Here are the upcoming WWK interviews for the month of July!

July 4th Christopher Huang, A Gentleman's Murder

July 11th V. M. Burns, The Plot Is Murder

July 18th Edith Maxwell (Maddie Day), Death Over Easy

July 25th Shari Randall, Against The Claw

Our July Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 7/7--Mary Feliz, 7/14--Annie Hogsett, 7/21--Margaret S. Hamilton, 7/28--Kait Carson.

Our special bloggers for the fifth Monday and Tuesday of July--Kaye George and Paula Gail Benson.

Please welcome two new members to WWK--Annette Dashofy, who will blog on alternative Sundays with Jim Jackson, and Nancy Eady, who will blog on every fourth Monday. Thanks for blogging with us Annette and Nancy!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Annette Dashofy's Uneasy Prey was released in March. It is the sixth Zoe Chambers Mystery. The seventh, Cry Wolf, will be released on September 18th. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Annette on September 19th.

Carla Damron's quirky short story, "Subplot", was published in the Spring edition of The Offbeat Literary Journal. You can find it here: http://offbeat.msu.edu/volume-18-spring-2018/

Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here. Tina was nominated for a Derringer Award for her novelette, "Trouble Like A Freight Train Coming." We're all crossing our fingers for her.

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), was published on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here. He's working on Seamus McCree #6 (False Bottom)

Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in July 31, 2018.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Month of March

A March Walk in the Woods

Maggie and not my earlier collie in the poem.
                        The aging lion opens its mouth to roar,
                        and pauses to watch a dog with golden fur
                        coming through a silent woods of leafless trees,
                        except for young beeches clinging to old leaves
                        afraid that’s all they’ll ever have.
                        The collie’s nose searches for smells of spring.
                        Under dead leaves she finds a small green shoot,
                        a spring beauty, and gives a joyful bark.
                        The lion cocks its head, listens,
                        opens mouth to roar, but yawns instead,
                        closes his eyes and settles down to sleep.

Narcissus in my front yard.
Today is the last day of March, a month with a mixture of cold days, a few warm sunny days, a little snow and lots of rain, and some of the highest winds we’ve had in some time.  

Spring officially started on March 20th, but I’ve always considered March the first month of spring.March, April and May are springs months followed by June, July and August as the summer months, etc. After all, some years March comes in like a lamb so that is sort of like spring, isn’t it? This year it didn’t, at least not here in N.E. Ohio, although by the 2nd week it was warming up, only to have a week of bitter cold later in the month, but it did end more lamb like. What can be said about March is that it’s capricious. One never knows from week to week what kind of weather we’ll be having. For instance, last Thursday there was a 70 to 90 percent chance of rain. That rain didn’t come until I was in bed.
Maggie is looking for squirrels. 

Still, I can’t complain about the weather because this was the warmest winter on record with average temperatures 4.6 degrees F above the 20th century average according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Since I consider March the first month of spring, I start looking for early signs of it, especially on my walks in the woods, but until this past week, I didn’t see any there, except one tiny cut-leaf toothwort just barely visible it was so tiny and holding it’s teeny tiny buds tightly against any possible freezing, maybe. I also saw a few tiny spotted green leaves of trout lilies, and there were a few buds on narcissus I planted five or six years ago near my path, as well as buds on the daffodils I planted over a year ago on the spot the stranger committed suicide by hanging. It’s the spot where I stop and say a little prayer for him – that is if I’m not busy working on a poem, or  the next chapter of whatever I’m working on like a murder in a short story.

Leaves of trout lilies in the woods.

The leaves of the trees have yet to appear. The only leaves visible are the shriveled pale leaves of the young beech trees. The older ones lost their leaves along with the other trees, but these younger ones cling to these faded leaves as if afraid they will get no more. At least the pines at the beginning of my woods I planted twenty-five years ago add green to the woods as well as the moss throughout the woods greener than ever with the rain, and I did notice yesterday that the leaves on my lilacs have appeared still smaller than a mouse's ear.

Pulmanaria and a few daffodils in my woodland garden.

In my gardens, the daffodils and other narcissus are blooming as well as the pulmonaria with clusters of pink and blue flowers and spotted leaves. They have spread throughout my gardens, especially the shady gardens. They are one of the earliest blooming flowers.  A few primroses are blooming, too. 

The Star Magnolia Tree by me veggie garden.

Behind my back fence, my star magnolia is covered with buds that are starting to open into beautiful flowers. The other magnolias will follow later. The pussy willow tree is full of little catkins, but most are higher up because I kept hitting my head on the lower branches when I was mowing so I trimmed those branches.

One of a dozen or more gardens I have to clean up.

And now the negative aspects of spring, like cleaning up all the fallen branches and twigs from the many trees around my place after the high winds we’ve had this March. And taking care of the dead stalks of last year’s plants, and the leaves and pine needles I never finished raking last fall. Each flower bed that’s showing the green leaves of daylilies, tulips, daffodils, etc. also have dead plants that need to be removed. The high winds also turned over large pots spilling out dirt. The winds even turned over an old wheelbarrow I plant annuals in each spring.

I couldn't resist including one more picture of Maggie.

Perhaps one of the grossest aspects of spring is the road kill with all the animals coming out of hibernation; raccoons, skunks, and possums. Unfortunately, Maggie has been finding the remains of dead creatures in the woods, too. I don’t appreciate these gifts she brings me.

Still, in spite of the work, I still welcome spring with its flowers, trees greening up, and the song birds that migrated south returning. I like going out without a coat and hat. I like working in the gardens. I like just about everything about spring except for what I mentioned above.

What do you like about spring?
What do you not like about it?


Jim Jackson said...

One of the wonderful things about Spring are all the shades of green nature provides, some so pale they are almost white and others so dark they are nearly black.

I am fortunate that I get to experience three Springs each year: one in Savannah, a second on the road as we travel north, and the third sometime after we arrive at our place in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

~ Jim

Margaret Turkevich said...

happy spring, Gloria. March was always the worst winter month in northern Ohio, snow banks melting into a landscape of brown mud. It would be May before the world burst into glorious bloom, everything at once.

I enjoyed your tantalizing glimpses of what is still to come. In Cincinnati, the trees are leafing out, with the redbuds and pear trees in bloom, the crabapples about to flower.

KM Rockwood said...

What lovely pictures!

Right now, my daffodils and forsythia are blooming. I was worried about the forsythia. We had such a mild winter they bloomed in a bit in December, and I was afraid they wouldn't in the spring.

The redwoods are beginning to show along the roads and at the edges of the woods. Usually the dogwoods come out just as they are reaching full color, but so many have died of some disease in the last few years. However, we had a few last year. Some of them in Camp David have been found to be immune to the disease, and we are close enough to Camp David that I have hopes that the remaining ones will survive.

Shari Randall said...

Share as many photos of Maggie as you like - she's a beauty!
I moved from Virginia, where spring would arrive with no warning. BAM! All the daffodils were up and you needed your shorts and sandals! Here in Connecticut, spring is taking her time, which is delightful. Every day there is something else to notice: the blue pulmonaria, the moss under the snow, almost fluorescent, the birdsong. The biggest indication is the change in the strength of the sunlight. It seem so bright, almost summer like, even though the wind is chilly. I think Dickens said it's summer in the sun and winter in the shade. That's what it is like now.

Warren Bull said...

Since my wife and I moved to Oregon I am interested to see how all the seasons will differ from the way they were in Missouri. Spring came earlier here than it did in MO. I am enjoying the greening of trees and flowers poking up.

Gloria Alden said...

Jim, you are lucky to have three springs. Since I wrote this almost a week ago, there are more signs of spring. The lilacs have little mouse ear sized leaves, and there are buds on the old apple trees that came with my house.

Margaret, you're much further south than I am so I imagine that spring is much further along than it is here.

K.M. I actually have a couple of dog woods in my woods that I wasn't aware of until a few years ago because they were tall and the flowers were up so high that I never noticed them until some blossoms fell. One of my delights in going to Malice is that all along the route the dogwoods and red bud trees were blooming - at least on the original route I took. Going to your house first now it's a little further north, and I don't remember if I saw them last year, but then it could be that I was driving and not a passenger as in many of the years before.

Thank you, Shari, about my pictures of Maggie. She's not just beautiful on the outside, she's the sweetest dog one could ever have. Only once in the years I've had her have I heard her growl. I've never lived anywhere than in the area I live in now, and yes, it is nice that each day brings some new delight that wasn't there the day before. Yesterday, I saw the little blue and white flowers that look like tiny daisies. I forget what they're called right now, but it's something I planted. I like that Dickens saying. I hadn't heard it before, and it's certainly true here.

Kait said...

Extra pats to Maggie for the extra picture. I miss spring. Living in my part of Florida spring is largely absent. Oh, it's here if you've lived here long enough and know what to look for, cardinals and mockingbirds arguing and flying overhead to be followed in a few weeks by the mockingbird attack as the eggs hatch. Here in my county the bunnies come back and swallow tail kites appear, tabularia (sp?) bursts into bloom. But I miss the pale greens of the trees and the pointillist landscape, the crocus, lilacs, daffodils and tulips. Sigh. thank you for the pix!

E. B. Davis said...

I'm glad the temperatures are warming, but the vast difference between freezing nighttime temperatures and warm during the day annoy me. Putting on and taking off clothes takes time. Spring chores mean wearing old clothes that I don't want to wear in stores or shopping, so again, on with clothing and then changing during the day.

I love the beauty of the blossoms, but the pollen doesn't make my respiratory system happy. Like all things, spring has its attributes and detriments!

Gloria Alden said...

Kait, a lot of people enjoy the almost year round spring you have. I guess I like the down time in the winter where I get more writing done, etc. and then the excitement I feel each time something new starts to grow or bloom once winter starts to disappear.

E.B. I live in old clothes so I'm used to changing clothes if I want to go anyplace other than a walk in the woods, etc. I keep decent clothes downstairs so it doesn't take too long to make the changes. Still, I'll be happy when I can go straight outside without getting all bundled up. Since I have sinus problems much of the year, in or out, it's something I pretty much ignore or take a decongestant.